For well-known brands, online marketing is much easier considering they already have huge audiences and can afford the expense of paid advertising. However, their strategies can be intimidating and difficult for local businesses wanting to expand their reach.
If you’re one of these local business owners and want to compete in the digital marketplace, you have to reach your target market where they are. Today, that’s the Internet.
People turn to Google to look for local services that offer what they want. In addition, 94% of mobile phone users search the web for local information. It’s crucial to be in front of these searches to improve your sales and gain more customers. While traditional marketing, like printed advertising, is still relevant, Internet marketing is far better in terms of reaching new clientele for your local business.
Why Internet Marketing Matters
Having an attractive storefront in a busy street will entice new customers to enter. However, most of us today are busy looking at our smartphones to even notice a sale. Those loyal customers who have bought products from you the previous years may have experienced satisfaction but non-customers need convincing. This is where Internet marketing services come into play. You need help to come up with an effective marketing plan and putting it into action.
The Internet has become the primary source of information for most of us. People don’t have the time to walk around looking for a tree removal service or pest control company, they go online and contact one. In fact, a potential customer may have gone to a competitor, simply because their business is easier to locate online.
Maybe the customer knew about your business but trusted your competitor because you don’t have much information online. Unlike traditional marketing, Internet marketing is focused on building trust and making sure customers are satisfied with buying a product or service. Word-of-mouth approaches still work at times, but people are more likely to notice free advice, useful tips, and entertaining guides.
Customers also like businesses that interact with them as individuals and not as money generators. Email, mobile, social media, and other online marketing mediums can make these possible. This is why local businesses who market online perform better compared to those that don’t.
Now, how can you use internet marketing to generate more revenues and attract new clients for your business? Here are several strategies on how internet marketing can help:
Make Your Website Mobile-friendly
Having a mobile-friendly website is good for your business. According to CIODive, 70% of web traffic comes from mobile phones. This means that less people look at desktop versions of your website. If you’re not optimized for mobile devices, people will stop visiting your site and go to a competitor that provides a better mobile experience. This video will show you how having a responsive website design for mobile screens is vital for your business. It includes “mobile makeover” tips that can drastically change the experience for your mobile visitors. In order for your brand to grow and achieve its highest potential, you have to be on top of the latest trends, and mobile optimization is one of them. The message is clear: be sure to have a seamless mobile strategy in place. Optimize for mobile to have better conversion and improve your ranking on search engines. Remember to think about your potential customers, follow these design advice for better user experience.
Earlier in the article, we mentioned that people use smartphones to find a local business. If you hope to attract potential clientele to your business, you need to be in front of these prospects. This can only happen if your website is optimized for mobile searches.
If your site loads slow on mobile devices or if users have bad mobile experience, they will not recommend your business. For this reason, you’ll have to consider the importance of using a responsive design, which can make your site perform better on all devices. Responsive web design is seen as mobile-friendly in Google’s perspective. Today, mobile-friendliness is considered as a ranking factor and this can potentially mean an increase on your online visibility.
Claim Your Business Listing
Everyday, businesses lose potential prospects due to inaccurate or incomplete data. This data includes incomplete address, missing phone numbers, and inaccurate opening hours. These data issues exist on more than one local listing. In the end, it’s not the responsibility of the listing websites, it’s yours. You have to keep your business listing updated and make sure your company information is correct and identical to all of your listings. Take aim and claim your listings across multiple website directories.
Local directories provide businesses with the opportunity to promote their brand on search engines and authorize their listing. You can conveniently claim your listing on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Depending on the directory, it is usually free with an offer to upgrade your account for added features.
Create Useful Content
Consumers today expect more than great deals of goods and/or services. Most of them look to brands for guides, tips, and helpful advice. For example, a regular customer at a boutique may want employees to tell him/her what’s in style this season.
“The reason we struggle with content marketing is because we haven’t started with ‘Why?’ Customers don’t care about your vanity metrics. Ask them, ‘How can I help?’” – Kristina Halvorson
The best way to help your customers is to have knowledge and information on the latest trends online. Providing useful information for free can be a great marketing strategy to boost traffic and sales. Look at this way: if you’re a dentist, your potential clients may search the web for tips like “denture care” or “how to floss properly.” The information about these topics is usually online. Providing a comprehensive and well-researched answer can potentially increase your customers. People will see you as a reliable source of information — and may even contact you when they’re looking for a dentist.
Optimize for Local SEO
While some people go to Yelp, Yellow Pages, and other local directories to find a service or product they need, most of us rely on Google and other search engines to search for names of local brands. For instance, you own a tree removal service in Ontario. It is your best interest to appear in search results whenever someone searches for, “tree services in Ontario.”
In order to do this, you have to optimize your website for local search. By optimizing your site to rank higher for both your business type and physical location, you’re increasing the probability of your business to get noticed by people who are actively looking products and/or service which you offer. SEO is what helps users find it in the first place, and even the best content is useless if no one ever sees it.
This graph shows how search engine optimization (SEO) is a great marketing strategy in terms of converting traffic into sales. SEO is ever changing and depends on search engine algorithms but it’s certainly not “dead.” In fact, in comparison with other marketing channels and the amount of effort they require, SEO offers a greater return on investment. It’s the process of helping your website rank higher on search engine result pages. It’s an essential marketing effort that can drive tons of website traffic. While other strategies like blogging are great for building customer loyalty and getting users to find your site, it won’t be found on its own. SEO is what helps people find your business, and even if you’ve written the best content, it is useless if no one ever sees it.
If you want to effectively reach your customers online and increase traffic to both your website and physical location, local SEO is the answer. When people search for a local store, Google shows them a variety of nearby businesses that are selected based on local SEO.
Ranking highly in local search results can be difficult, especially if you’re new to SEO. That is why you need the help of a professional. Choose from among the top Internet marketing services in Ontario. They find ways to make it convenient for every business to reach their marketing objective, be it local or regional. They also provide various digital marketing services that are made to satisfy any local businesses. For businesses who primarily sells locally, start investing in local SEO today. It’s a great approach if you want exposure specifically in geographic areas.
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