Any Realtor, Insurance professional or Contractor that wants to succeed in today’s web-first world must implement a local marketing strategy. As consumers are king in the retail world and content is king in the online world, you must ensure your web content promotes your business locally and attracts your target audience. We’ll go over seven steps you can take to promote your business locally online!
Set up a Google Business Profile Page.
Before visiting your location, 76% of customers look you up online. They’ll most likely visit your Google Business Profile page where they’ll see your reviews, services, photos and about page even before visiting your website.
Bonus TIP: Don’t cut corners here as it’s our opinion Google rewards those that put the work in. Love ‘em or hate ‘em doesn’t matter, Google runs the “search” show and they seem to really like lots of (good) reviews. All else being equal, if you have 100 reviews and your competitor has 70 you win and show up above them!
Your Google My Business profile is the first opportunity to build trust with the searcher. Your profile includes information such as your company’s name, address, hours of operation, phone number, customer reviews, and more.
Google My Business is free; you must sign up online and upload some photos as well as any other information you want your customers to know. After you sign up, you may be asked to confirm your physical address – Google will send you an email with a postcard containing a verification code before publishing your page.
Remember to double-check to see if you already have a profile! Google creates business profiles. Your company may already be listed, in which case you must click “Claim this business.”
Setup Your Local Listings
Local listings, also referred to as “citations” help you build a trustworthy online brand and make it easier for customers to find you.
Why do you need citations?
– They provide customers with helpful info about your business
– They Improve your business’s visibility in local searches..
– Attract quality inbound backlinks to your site.
– Allow customers to provide feedback about your business
– Boost the credibility of your brand and cultivate trust with your audience.
The more online proof there is that your company is real, has a physical location, and is operating, the more likely it is that your website will appear higher in search results.
Ask Customers for Reviews
Did you know that the content in your reviews can help you rank locally?
You know you provide top quality products and services – And your customers are always telling you so.
So don’t be afraid to ask your customers for a review. In our 12+ years of experience we’ve learned there is an art and science to how you ask for a review. Without a plan you may get a 4 or 5 star review and that’s great but add a few sentences to those stars and now you have a powerful piece of “social proof” that you are great to do business with!
The more locals who leave you a review, the better. Local reviews attract flies like…. Honey. And the more reviews you get, the more you expand your audience.
But please don’t cut corners. Customers as well as online review platforms can smell fake reviews from a mile away and you don’t want to risk your business’s reputation over something so trivial like writing your own reviews.
Add in the Social Proof
Social proof, the psychology of making decisions based on the opinions of others, often affects your customers’ buying decisions.
Social proof works because it gives real customers the chance to share your story. And if your story is that you’ve made your customers happy and satisfied, that’s pretty convincing.
Often, we don’t even realize how our decisions are affected by social proof. It’s something we seemingly gloss over. But that’s why it can be a powerful conversion tool in your marketing strategy.
Use Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing (SMM) is an excellent way to reach out to new audiences who are unfamiliar with your brand.
Facebook was one of the first and best options for local promotion. Begin by creating a Facebook page. You can promote your company by offering special deals and discounts to your audience. If you’re a Realtor you MUST post your properties here (and on Instagram) In turn, they may share your content with their Facebook friends, who are most likely also locals in your area.
The biggest advantage of Social Media Marketing is that you don’t have to sit around and wait for customers. Once you’ve created your social media profiles you can start advertising.
Platforms such as Facebook (now Meta), Instagram, Snapchat, even TikTok now make it simple to advertise locally by setting up an ad campaign.
Do you want to expand your social media presence even further? Consider looking for local influencers who can help your business gain exposure. Today, no matter where you are or how small your niche is, you can find an influencer in almost any industry.
Consider hiring a Local SEO Agency
Have you tried everything you can and still not getting results? To attract more walk-in and online customers, consider hiring a local SEO services agency. Local SEO Agencies are well-versed in all best practices for all types of local businesses. Working with an expert can help you create a successful local marketing strategy without the need for endless testing.
Local marketing strategies are critical to success in today’s world. You’re more likely to fall behind if you don’t position yourself online. Spending some time optimizing your local profiles, directory listings, social media accounts, and reviews will result in an increase in customers visiting your website and storefront.
What to do next:
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Linda Musselwhite is an author, speaker and co-owner of Musselwhite Marketing (est 2009) along with her husband, Charles Musselwhite. Linda’s previous positions as Human Resources Administrator. Combined with extraordinary customer service makes her the obvious choice of day to day operations for Musselwhite Marketing.