If you run a small business that serves local customers, you may think that print, television and radio advertising are enough to bring in customers. However, if you’ve been overlooking the internet as a means of marketing your local business, you’ve missed a very powerful promotional tool. Did you know that 88 percent of smartphone users and 84 percent of tablet users search online to find nearby companies to do business with? If you run a local business and you want to harness the power of online lead generation, check out the list below. These tips can help ensure your business gets seen by the people in your area who may become sales leads — and that many of your current leads decide to become paying customers.
When you optimize your company’s website content and structure for search engines, you ensure that it is easily “findable” in search results. To draw in people who are searching for a business like yours in your area, include both local and industry keywords in your website’s content, subheadings and meta-tags. This helps ensure you target the people around you and that your company is competitive with local competitors.
Content marketing is one of the most powerful online marketing tools. You can use well-crafted, informative content to connect with people and provide added value and education. Consistently adding new content that your customers find useful establishes you as a knowledgeable and trustworthy company that is worth doing business with. In fact, studies show that 70 percent of consumers would rather get to know a business via its articles, rather than ads. Start a blog, and write regular posts offering helpful information about your industry. If you optimize posts with SEO keywords, you can ensure that leads find you via search engines
There are tons of online directories where businesses can be listed and found by local consumers. Some of the most popular include Yelp, Bing Places, Google+ and Yahoo. Submit information about your business to local directories, and include relevant keywords throughout your business description. Submitting to directories can boost your SEO, and increase the chances that your business will show up when your customers search for the services you provide.
Don’t let your misguided belief that local customers don’t search online for goods and services keep you from optimizing your online presence. By tackling an online lead generation strategy, you can grow your pool of potential customers and build a stronger reputation for your business at the same time.
The principal owner of Forlight Marketing, LLC, Marketing Mastery Coach Karin F. Kraska uses a wealth of experience in both the marketing industry and field of science to help small businesses maximize their marketing efforts. As a certified consultant with Duct Tape Marketing and a certified professional coach through the International Coach Federation, Karin brings innovation and proven marketing strategies as well as passionate coaching to take small businesses step-by-step to the next level of success.