While it’s virtually common knowledge that online companies need to craft content to stay afloat, can digital marketing also help businesses that operate on a person-to-person basis?
In a word, the answer is yes, but this is something that many local business owners overlook.
Today, virtually everything consumers do orbits around the web. When a customer wants information, reviews, directions, or details on products, the likelihood that they’ll turn to Google is huge. If you don’t have an online presence, they may well choose to do business with one of your competitors instead.
Because of this, small and medium-sized brick-and-mortar companies are beginning to use digital marketing to boost local traffic and improve in-store performance.
Why Digital Marketing Matters For Local Businesses
While many small business owners assume that having a storefront and some physical marketing material is enough, this is no longer true in today’s world. According to Search Engine Watch, four out of every five consumers use mobile devices to search for information on local companies.
This is massively important because 50 percent of people who conduct a local search, visit a physical store within 24 hours. What’s more, 18 percent of local searches lead to a sale.
With this in mind, it’s clear that companies who aren’t optimizing their digital marketing for local SEO are missing out on a tremendous potential for traffic and revenue in their businesses.
5 Steps To Drive Traffic To Local Businesses Using Internet Marketing
If you’re interested in using digital marketing to boost your local traffic, follow these five steps:
1. Build Your Engagement On Social Media Platforms
Too many local brands only have a dull, seldom-updated Facebook page. If you want to make the most of digital marketing, now is the time to update this. Use your social platforms to drive engagement with your brand.
If your Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest profile is a bit out of date, refresh it with a new profile picture, an overhauled bio that includes relevant long-tail keywords, and current name, address, and phone number information for your company.
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to start posting. While the best way to drive engagement on social media is to post original content, responding to comments on your page, interacting with similar brands, and getting involved in conversations in social media groups are all powerful forces for engagement as well.
2. Optimize Your Content For Local SEO
To fully take advantage of the prevalence of local searches, you’ll want to optimize all of your content for local SEO. This means targeting geographically-specific long-tail keywords, claiming your local business listings, keeping your name, address, and phone number (NAP) information current at all times, and adding your location to a map for simple navigation.
3. Ensure Your Web Presence Is Mobile-Friendly
Last year was the first year that mobile search eclipsed desktop search. It’s never been more important than now to optimize your web presence for mobile devices. Responsive website design is the best way to do this. You can evaluate your site with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to figure out what, if anything, you need to improve.
When your site functions well on mobile, it serves searchers better. This increases the likelihood that people who initiate local searches will convert fully and decide to make their way to your storefront.
4. Start A Blog & Publish To It Often
When it comes to building an online presence, content creation is the best and most reliable way to do it. Many small businesses assume they don’t need a blog to get noticed. However, publishing a company blog is a hugely effective method for providing your customers with information. This will make your business more relevant in the eyes of consumers.
In addition to the fact that companies that blog earn 67 percent more leads than their non-blogging counterparts, blogging is also a great way to develop your brand voice, showcase new products, goods, or services, and start a conversation with your customers. Plus, since every blog you publish is one more page that Google can index, blogging regularly helps you rank higher in the SERPs.
5. Start An Email Newsletter
One of the best things your local business can do for recognition and traffic is to start an email newsletter. By providing your customers with weekly updates, nicely laid-out content, and any relevant bits of information, you can boost your engagement and drive more people to your store.
For an example, look at this email newsletter from a small, brick-and-mortar home goods store:
Digital Marketing: The New Best Strategy For Your Business
While digital marketing is something many small businesses overlook, things like social media and email newsletters provide a massive boost when it comes to connecting with your customers and promoting quality interaction.
For assistance with any aspect of digital marketing, contact Thrive Internet Marketing.
We’re a full-service digital marketing agency that can help your company build out its digital marketing strategy and boost local traffic – starting today!