How to market your local business online
To market a business correctly online is hard and takes time, skill and experience. A majority of business owners are just wasting time with their online marketing efforts.
To promote my business I use a mixture of both but it is not always necessary and for many small businesses the free methods are adequate.
The biggest resource that you need with the free methods, however, is time and that is a very valuable commodity. That is why it is sometimes more efficient to outsource your workload to a professional marketer.
If any of the marketing methods look confusing or time consuming I can do this work for you for a fee.
The basics every business must do
Ensure that your website is registered with the search engines.
There are hundreds of different search engines available all over the world but at the minimum you should be registered with Google, Bing and Yahoo. ( I do this for all of my clients as standard). To register your website on Google visit Google Webmasters, to register on yahoo and Bing visit Bing Webmaster.
If you wish to do this yourself you can type into google ‘top 100 search engines’ and complete the task manually.
Claim your website and business listing
Business listings are very powerful and are a great way for your business to be found both online and offline. Many listings are free but offer an enhanced paid version.
The big ones to claim your business with are Yell.com, Yelp.com and Google My Business. Search the terms on Google and you will find the help you need.
The Google 3 Pack are the top local business that appear on page 1 of Google. Having a position here is very powerful and will directly lead to more clients and business.
To register with more directories just type into google ‘top 50 UK business directories’ and do it manually.
Have a Search Engine Optimisation Audit
Most websites have basic onpage SEO done already by your web designer. You can have an audit done for free at http://seositecheckup.com and they will conduct a review of your website and tell you what you need to do.
You need your onpage SEO to work and a little bit of research online is invaluable so that you understand how your website works. Have a look at Backlinko.com to get some great information.
These are the websites that are linking to your website and the more relevant the better. Google rates websites on Pagerank from 0 to 10, the higher the score of the website the better it is.
This is a very time consuming process but you can find good websites to link to by searching on google.
Social Media Marketing
Every business should have the following social media accounts as a minimum – Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram and YouTube.
Set up business accounts or personal accounts and keep active on them. I am not talking every day but try and post a minimum of once a week.
Do not just post on your own page but build relationships and post on other related pages and groups.
Social Media is about getting involved and it can all be done via your smart phone.
I have a newsletter that goes out a minimum of once a week with lots of tips and tricks. You can sign up and receive a free book here.
On my site is also a number of great information products available.
Get your clients and customers to send you reviews of your products or services and post them online. You can post them on your website or your social media or your business listing but get positive listings out there.
I offer a review and alert service to be immediately notified whenever someone makes a comment about your business online. Contact me for more info because each business is unique and has different requirements.
Email is still an incredibly powerful marketing tool and a great way to keep in touch with your customers.
You can set up an email capture on your website or have one created for your business that links to your social media. Once you have someone’s email you can send them useful information and market to them at the same time.
The marketing should not be spam because you will get black listed. Provide useful information to your reader and it will link back to your website, product and brand.
You can sign up for a free email subscriber account at http://mailchimp.com that allows you to send out news emails.
Auto-responders are the next progression for email marketing. An auto-responder allows you to send emails at a set time and means that you can write a full years worth of emails in advance.
If you are unsure how this works I offer this as a service so just give me a call.
Articles and Posts
Write articles about your business and what you do and how you can help people and link these back to your website. Tell everyone about your article using social media and industry relevant forums.
If you need help writing articles you can join a reseller program that will give you thousands of articles that you can use as templates. The best selection I have ever found is here – Master Resell Rights and I still use it today.
If you can do all the basics listed above you will see a massive increase in your client base and visitors to your website.
I offer all these as services which will save you time but you can do them all yourself with a bit of research and experience.
More Advance Online Marketing Methods
The next methods I will cover are more advanced, complicated and take more time to implement, however, they are more powerful. If you are looking for effective ways to market your local business online but are having trouble these methods are incredibly powerful.
This is an advanced article writing method where you research your competition for a particular keyword. Breakdown exactly how they got to where they are and then write a better article to take their position.
An example would be that the number 1 spot on Google is occupied by an article ’20 ways to enhance your eyeshadow’.
We dissect that article and discover who is linking to it, keywords used, word count, images used and more. Then write ’30 great enhance your eyeshadow techniques’ and get that article to the top of Google for its keyword. This will create leads from the article but send a high ranking page back to the website. We take what is working and build on it.
This is a very time consuming method but worth its weight in gold.
This allows you to contact your clients and previous visitors directly whilst they are sitting at their computer.
You can send them a message direct to their desktop with an offer to visit your website and take action.
YouTube is the second busiest search engine on the internet, if your business is not marketing using video you are missing out on customers and clients.
YouTube is also owned by Google so it gives it a lot of favouritism and using the right methods you can put your business on the front page of Google in under an hour.
Using this method you can create total google domination.
You can build videos for free just using your webcam and laptop, just film yourself talking about a subject and get it out there, once it is on YouTube, put it on Vimeo and all the other video sharing sites and across all your social media accounts.
You can also get videos made for your business or create them yourself, cartoon explainer videos are a fantastic promotion tool.
Public Relations Releases
Got something to shout about and let the world know then release it to the world using http://PRweb.com, writing for this needs to be researched and accurate but it has a huge amount of power behind a good release.
Display Network Advertising
Google Adwords (the sponsored listings at the top of Google) are expensive and not that effective. Display Network Advertising is more affordable and still uses the power of google to put your banner ads all over the internet using their network of websites.
One of the most effective ways of advertising your business online using this incredible social media. Using the available analytics that Facebook provide you can pinpoint your target audience and market to them. You are using a sniper style marketing method to ensure your advertising money goes further.
This is hugely powerful, you get your website recognised and listed by google itself as a newsworthy provider of information.
What happens is that Google prioritises your work and will push it up the search engines and promote it for you on the world’s most powerful search engine.
Online Marketing Takes Time & Patience
Marketing online is an incredibly difficult thing to do right and it is very dependent on what your goals are. Understanding how to market your local business online is vital to getting more traffic to your business and turning them into customers.
It is essential to have all the basics in place to enhance your websites standing with Google. For local business this is enough to dominate the local market.
But if you can’t get into those top slots you need to think outside of the box and that is where the other methods come into play.
Online marketing is difficult, time consuming and changing all the time.
If you have any questions about how Create Website 4 U can help market your local business online just give us a call on 0191 5111009 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.