When you manage a small local business, marketing can sometimes be tricky. Most of the time, local businesses concentrate their efforts in regional promotions. They promote their company through flyers, ads in local newspapers, and promotions in regional coupon books. The Internet has made marketing a lot easier for big corporations, but it is also an effective tool for small local businesses. Using the best internet marketing strategies, you can target your potential customers right in your home town. Here are some internet marketing tips for local businesses to help them boost business by appealing to local customers.
First, tailor your website to your geographical area by using location-based keywords. For instance, if you are trying to market your hair salon in Phoenix, don’t just include keywords like “hair salon” or “beauty shop” in your website. Get specific and use phrases like “Phoenix hair salon” or “best beauty shop in Phoenix” to really target your local customers. By using the geographical tags in your keywords, it will help the search engines to identify where your business is located so they can direct appropriate searches to your website.
Second, you should promote you business with ads on other local websites. Check with your local radio station, news station, or chamber of commerce and see if they have an active website. In most cases, the city will have multiple websites like these that are already receiving a lot of traffic. Instead of investing thousands of dollars driving traffic to your site, you can capitalize on the traffic these sites are already receiving by placing an ad on their pages. It might cost a small monthly charge to place your ad, but it will be a worthy investment when you start noticing more customers coming in through the referrals.
Third, make sure you have an active social media campaign linking to your website. Social media is the new “word of mouth” and it is a great way to generate support from your existing customers. Ask your customers to “like” your business and Facebook. Each time a person “likes” your business, it will show up on their personal page, giving you free publicity and an endorsement from a real live customer. This is a great way to spread the word about your business and build credibility within the community.
Finally, leverage internet marketing to broadcast upcoming sales and specials that you are offering. If you really want to see a major boost in traffic, offer a 20% off discount to customers who were referred through your online ads or through your social networking profiles. This small discount can be a huge incentive for people to give your services a try. Everyone wants to save money and the internet is the perfect place to broadcast any special promotions you are offering so that more people will know about it right away.