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The Missing Links To Local Online Marketing Success

The missing links in local online marketing success

What Are The Key Missing Ingredients From Many Local Businesses Online Strategies?

Let’s take a minute and analyse what a local business really needs to succeed online.

*Firstly let me say that as a caveat to this listed advice, all business are different. So this is a best of breed guide for typical local businesses, if you do all these suggestions right then you are on the right track to online success.

So let us begin with this non biological dissection of the local online marketing space.

General presence:

A website is pretty much the shop front on the world wide high street of internet marketing.

Without one you don’t have full control of your store/presence/image and location, you may be listed in directories as a business name and number, but let us be honest here, directories are really only good for Local SEO purposes on the whole and other small fringe benefits. People go to Google/Bing and Yahoo to really seek your services in a jiffy….just look at yourself and the way you use the web?

Web Traffic:

Your location on the world wide web (search visibility, prominence, advertising, etc) is all down to what you do to promote your website.

There are choices here:

SEO (search engine optimisation)

A favoured tactic here is SEO (search engine optimisation) is a way of optimising your site and pages, and building links from directories and other sites to your own that will encourage Google and the search engines to increase the likelihood that you will appear higher than your competition for certain search terms. They key to success here is working with a company which understands what Google wants and does not want, and also understanding what you want in terms of the types of people who will be searching for your service or product.

Pay Per Click of (PPC)

Our other tactic is to use paid traffic Pay Per Click of (PPC) to drive traffic by paying for advertising to your site, now this, like SEO is a profession in itself and in order to make this strategy work well it needs a professional team to work on your campaign, tweaking, optimising and developing the approach for maximum success and saving you cash on the way.

Content Marketing/Inbound Marketing

Never underestimate the importance of regular blogging that is also search engine optimised, we find that this is a huge omission on many sites that linger and perform badly.

Writing about your company in an informative and enlightening manner helps to rank you for terms and also shows that you are alive and kicking to search engines and visitors, of course there are ways to do this better than others and you need to be aware of the tactics and styles that go about creating a useful blog post for visitors and search engines.

Other tactics in content marketing include:

Infographics which are often shared socially, great for brand visibility and positioning you as thought leaders and a company who can be bothered to produce something unique and informative to visitors.

And video marketing really helps with the positioning of your company and can also bring in new traffic and a chance to get into the blended results in Google search.

Branding

Let us make no mistake, first impression count.

So many websites look like they were put together by a 6 year old.

This is not how you should appear on the web, please ensure that you have a website that looks fit for 2014+ and not from 1999.

Professional design is worth every single penny that you pay when it is quality.

Why:

When people search for businesses, they often look at a few sites and will judge you almost instantly on appearance and then content.

If you look bad in their eyes you may not get the initial contact you need from them to be even in with a chance.

Calls to action

There is a statistic that over 50% of local websites omit their telephone number, not that bad if there is a valid reason for this, but simply put, many websites lack the thought and application to make a visitors life easy.

Easy to use contact forms, end of post message settings, live chat facilities, there are countless ways to ensure people take action, least of all is a good offer or something to differentiate you from your competition.

All these things need to be considered when designing a website that will work hard to convert leads for you.

Analytics/Statistics

A good set of analytical data and the knowledge to decode what the information really means, and not just look at top level figures, is very useful to many business owners.

We have clients such as dentists and solicitors who use our dynamic call tracking facility.

These clients spend a lot on advertising in various print publications, radio, and even on TV.

With the dynamic call option we can obtain new numbers for each campaign and per visitor on the website.

What is really useful about our call tracking service is that clients can then see who arrives from each number, and see what the real bang for their buck in advertising methods actually is.

This facility also allows clients to see how many visits it takes before a person calls, as we provide a unique number to each visitor so if they return to the site three times before calling and look around the site we get to know where they go, and that people tend to call after seeing a certain page, so we would help make that feature/post or page more prominent to new visitors.

Google Analytics

Having Google analytics on your site can also help you learn much more about your visitors and will (once you understand the complexities of analytics) work out opportunities and issues that your site faces.

There are a number of other cool tools around the web for analytics such as Crazy Egg, which when integrated via a code snippet into your sites structure will allow you to see a heat map that indicates where users are looking.

This is based on the way we move our cursor around the screen to go where our eyes are, great for split testing calls to action to see which side or location works best to gain most leads.

Obviously this has even more uses.

Social Media

Now here is a curve ball for you:

‘NOT ALL BUSINESSES SHOULD SPEND ANY SIGNIFICANT TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!’

With a really well honed social media strategy and application, social media campaigns will succeed for many business types, but in all honesty this is not an activity that will always bring you much success.

And in my opinion and the rest of us here at Local Web Adverts, with many trials to back this up, sometimes your time and money is better spent elsewhere, PPC, SEO, video marketing etc.

Arguments for social media activity include:

Social media allows you to accumulate ‘social signals’ to your website that will boost SEO.

Answer: Yes and no is the answer to this one, and as with anything that is web based, totally likely to alter significantly over time.

It would appear that Google+ is a good place to hang around, with Google rewarding those active in this social space more than others currently.

Who does well in social media?

The businesses that I see doing well with social media are ones that have a human touch, maybe they do events, have new ranges in, are social by nature, whether they be a florist, wedding planner, even a dentist or solicitor but less likely to be a plumber or electrician, this is not to say tweeting away will not lead to some work, but without a clear strategy as to what you are seeking to achieve with your engagement you may find it is less rewarding.

Listening and jumping in with spam type posts or comments or messages may work a few times but my guess is it is not the best tactic for many.

Conclusion

We hope that this list and advice will prove useful for you to assess where you currently stand with your own local online marketing campaign and objectives.

As ever, if you need to work with a high quality digital marketing company who truly understands this space and can tailor an affordable strategy to suit most clients, you know what to do!

Get Social

Anthony Munns

Director - Search and Marketing Expert at Local Web Adverts
If you enjoyed this article and run a small or medium sized business in the UK, please learn more about the many ways we have your online marketing covered and get in touch to ask any questions.
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  • Sue.Janes

    What a thorough analysis of local marketing, great views and interesting mix of avenues to look at. Thanks.

  • Andrew Sumners

    Our social media campaign runs really well, we tweet using the 80/20 rule, which means we give something 20% of the time and listen and engage 80% of the time, we are a leading manufacturer for timber suppliers.

  • Adebole Y

    Great article on local online marketing.

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Local Web Adverts is a service that brings expert online marketing tactics to SME's who want to concentrate on their own business and let a professional team take care of their lead generation.