You’ve heard of search marketing, but you’re not really sure how to implement it for your business – you’re a local company. These big boys are advertising all over the U.S. How do you compete with that? More importantly, do you even want to compete with that? Your market is in your city, not half-way around the country.
Here’s the good news. There’s lots and lots of good research that shows more people are using their mobile devices to access the web. They’re using them to find directions, buy stuff, and look at product and service reviews – reviews of companies like yours.
A comScore study, for example, showed that mobile phone usage grew by 26 percent between March 2012 and December 2012. Meanwhile, desktop searches were down by about 6 percent. Tablet searches were up. Google’s own mobile search moments study showed that 40 percent of mobile searches have local intent.
In other words, people who are using their tablets and phones to find products and services are looking for local products and services. Here’s how you capitalize on that.
Claim Your Local Listing
If you’re working with a local search marketing company, like Yodle, one of the first things you’ll be doing is claiming your local listing in Google and on other social media sites. If you’re going it alone, you have to set this up yourself. It’s not hard, but it takes a bit of time. Plus, you’ll want to give yourself some exposure after the listing is live.
Get Involved In Your Local Community
Getting involved in charitable events or local sporting events can pay dividends. If you sponsor a local baseball team, for example, you may be able to get some free press out of the deal, a banner at the sporting event with your name and website on it, and a backlink from a reporter writing about local news.
Donate To Local Organizations
Did you know that most non-profits and charities maintain a website? It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s there, and it’s sometimes filled with a list of donors. Guess what? That listing of donors almost always contains a link back to the donor’s website. Why is this good? When Google goes hunting for backlinks, it looks for relevant and meritorious linking schemes. When it sees that you have a link from another local business, it gives you more legitimacy and thus a better local rank for your keywords.
Networking with others in your industry, or others related to your industry, can earn you a backlink. Get yourself listed in the resources section of complimentary businesses’website. Join the local Chamber of Commerce. If you pay membership dues, you will often have a listing on the Chamber’s website. This listing is exclusive – members only. It’s a meritorious link. Again, Google loves meritorious links.
Finally, try organizing your own tip club or networking club, made up of businesses in your local community. You can start an organization website, trade referrals, and cross market. You’ll benefit from the link on the organization’s website, and also from the direct referrals you get from other businesses.
Loretta Martinez has a deep understanding of effective web marketing. From social media campaigns to SEO and business blogging, she often writes about the ins and outs of successful business marketing strategies online.