How to market your business locally online

Google and facebook

There are millions of businesses across the nation all competing with each other to maximise their exposure to potential customers.

Having top quality products and services is one thing, but for more localised businesses, there’s a myriad of factors to overcome.

If you’re a business serving up products or services online to the entire nation or even worldwide, this is arguably a far easier task than if you’re a local business competing for a very limited marketplace. Local businesses notoriously don’t just target online business, but they need to market effectively to their local area – including both residents and tourists.

Over 60% of search traffic via mobile

Mobile search queries on Google are now at over 60% and local businesses should aim to drastically improve their presence on Google for mobile search queries. Location service integration on Google ensures that local businesses have the chance to be prominent and use this as a primary marketing strategy.

There are however, many businesses competing for a slice of the cake on the first page of Google and you need to make sure you’ve covered all elements to ensure the best chance of optimal visibility.

Here are a few things that you need to ensure you’ve covered to get the best exposure possible.

Ensure your business details are in order

Google’s local search function works pretty much exactly how it’s regular search works with the only difference being that Google will serve up a map with businesses that are close to you (for the search query you’ve typed in).

Here, you need to ensure that you’ve got the following details straight in Google’s index:

1 – Name of your business

2 – Contact details

3 – Opening Hours

4 – Any other relevant information

When all of this info is correct and indexed in Google, you have a much better chance of appearing in its local search results – so make sure you get this data (also called NAP data – name, address, phone number) straight first.

Enrol in local business directories and niche listing sites

The first thing you want to do is get yourself a Google My Business account – here you can input your business information and ensure that Google indexes your information accordingly.

Once you’ve enrolled in Google My Business, you should then seek to look at other ways to improve your visibility and enlisting yourself in local directories and niche related listing sites are a greataddition to increase your visibility.

In the UK, the most notable sites that can help increase your visibility are Yelp (which is a global business directory) and an extremely useful resource – (let’s people know what time outlets, stores and various other businesses are open – make sure you enlist your business here – as this can help your local business visibility)

Keep your site up to date

In the world of search engines, you may hear the term ‘content is king’ thrown around a lot. Google and other search engines love devouring new content and as such, you should ensure that you keep your websites content updated regularly.

Try updating your blog with industry relevant news and make sure you link to internal pages that are useful within the post.

Ensure that your NAP data is prevalent on all pages throughout the website. Google and other search engines will cross reference the information on your website with the data you gave to Google My Business.

Finally, work on your social media

Keeping your business information up to date on social media can help not only increase your search engine visibility, but can also help with increasing ROI through direct sales as a result of Social Media.

Social media opens up a wave of possibilities to ensure that you can easily network and advertise to people in a local radius – this can be an invaluable tool for any business to utilise. So get tweeting!