The coronavirus pandemic disrupted many of our daily routines, including how we market and sell our products and services. The sudden and dramatic changes have made many of us re-evaluate the ways in which we interact with customers and build brand loyalty. As industries shift to a digital world, the importance of online marketing grows.
Along with social distancing and the closure of many brick-and-mortar retail locations, the benefits of conducting business online become more apparent. Consumers have more access to information and have increased the amount of time they spend researching products and services online. As a business owner or manager, it’s essential to remain visible and accessible over the internet in order to capture the maximum amount of online customers and maximize your ROI (return on investment). This strategy is commonly referred to as ‘local online marketing’ or ‘small business SEO’.
What Is Local Online Marketing?
Traditional marketing strategies such as outdoor ads, radio spots and television campaigns can still be effective when used in conjunction with online marketing. However, more and more businesses are recognizing the importance of having a digital footprint in today’s world. The digital marketplace provides an opportunity to target the right audience and engage them online. Local businesses that conduct business online can leverage these platforms to build their customer base and gain more traction in their industry.
“Digital marketing is an all-in-one marketing platform that can be used to market your products or services directly to customers through various mediums (i.e. websites, social media, email marketing, etc.) ”
In addition to having a digital presence, you should also be optimizing your website and social media for local search. When a potential customer types in a search term or keyword relevant to your business, your website will appear at the top of the search results.
Having a digital presence is especially important for small businesses. More and more consumers are using digital marketplaces to find local businesses online. If you’re not listed online, you’re missing out on a potentially huge source of customers. In 2021 alone, people visited local businesses’ websites more than 2 billion times globally. That’s a 100% increase from the previous year.
Why Is Local Search Important?
Since the beginning of time, humans have searched for products and services relevant to their needs. Whether looking for an appliance store or a plumber, people have always turned to Google (or similar search engines) to find what they’re looking for. In today’s world, people are using search engines and digital marketplaces to find all types of products and services, including those relevant to small businesses.
In the last decade, small businesses have gained a lot of popularity. The most recent Census Bureau figures show that there were 25.4 million small businesses in the U.S in 2019. The number of independent contractors, sole proprietorships and freelancers significantly outnumbered traditional ‘employee-employer’ structures.
In order to maximize your ROI (return on investment) from marketing efforts, it’s important to target the right audience.
As a business owner or manager, you’re responsible for driving business growth. However, you probably don’t have the time to devote to traditional marketing methods, especially considering your day-to-day responsibilities. This is where digital marketing strategies such as SEO and social media come in.
How Can SEO Improve My Local Business?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of altering your site content and structure to appear more relevant and authoritative to search engines. Essentially, when someone searches for your business on Google, your website will appear at the top of the search results. If you want to appear in the top spot, you need to have an optimized website. Having a professionally designed, mobile-friendly and easy-to-use website is important, but so is having relevant and high-quality content.
Most small businesses do not have the budget or resources to hire a full-time in-house professional to handle their SEO. This is where outsourcing to a trusted SEO company comes in.
Why Outsource Your SEO?
As a business owner or manager, you’re probably wondering why you should outsource your SEO. After all, why pay for something you can do yourself? Well, if you want to appear in the top spot of search results, you need to have an optimized website. But, beyond that, you need to have the content and structure that appeals to users and encourages them to engage with your company.
In most cases, you can’t predict what keywords or search terms your audience will use to find your product or service. This is where having an SEO expert comes in to help. An SEO expert will review your current site content and perform keyword research to find the most effective ‘hacks’ and ‘tricks’ to optimize your website for maximum SEO.
The benefits of SEO for small businesses are numerous. Not only will having an optimized website increase your conversion rates and sales, it will also set you apart from your competition. If you want to learn more, here are some useful resources: