Thriving locally: 5 simple tips to promote your local business online

16 Apr, 2024

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An outstanding product or service is just the starting point for any local business. The real test is making sure people know about it. This guide is tailored for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) aiming to excel locally. We'll delve into five practical tips that can elevate your online presence and draw the local community's attention to your business. 

By optimizing local business listings, engaging with customer reviews, collaborating with local entities, embracing social media, and employing targeted ads, this blog will help you become one of the first options that customers see online. 

1. Claiming and optimizing your local business listings

A fundamental step in boosting your local business's online presence is to claim and optimize your listings on listing platforms. Accurate listings ensure customers can easily find your business online, whether searching on Google, Yelp, or another platform. Google’s research highlights that searches for "local" + "near me" have increased significantly, demonstrating consumer interest in finding and supporting local businesses. 

This includes correct addresses, phone numbers, operating hours, and services offered. Consistent and updated information across all platforms enhances your business's visibility in local search results, directly impacting your SEO efforts and making it more likely for your business to appear in front of interested customers.

Managing a Google Business Profile can improve your local search visibility

Here are 5 tips to effectively manage and update your listings:

  1. Audit your existing listings: Review your business information across platforms like Google Business Profile and Yelp to identify inaccuracies or inconsistencies.
  2. Ensure consistency: Standardize your business’s name, address, phone number (NAP), and operational hours across all listings to improve search rankings and customer discoverability.
  3. Enhance descriptions: Use detailed, keyword-focused descriptions and visuals to highlight your unique offerings and attract potential customers.
  4. Engage with reviews: Actively respond to customer feedback to show your commitment to service and influence prospective customers.
  5. Use listing management tools: Use listing management tools like rankingCoach to help you monitor, update, and optimize your listings across multiple platforms from a single dashboard.

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2. Monitoring customer reviews and building a strong web reputation

Positive reviews can significantly boost an SMB's visibility and credibility, encouraging more customers to choose their services or products. A local café that actively engages with reviews, thanking customers for positive feedback and addressing any negative comments with offers to improve, can improve its reputation and attract more customers. 

Building a strong web reputation requires proactive customer feedback engagement, prompt review responses, and the strategic showcasing of positive feedback online. Yet, the task of monitoring reviews across multiple platforms can be overwhelming for business owners. Fortunately, businesses like yours can streamline this daunting process using review management tools, ensuring comprehensive oversight of feedback on various sites.

Respond quickly and easily with the rankingCoach App

rankingCoach is an ideal solution for SMBs seeking efficient review management. It provides real-time review tracking, immediate alerts, and an intuitive app designed to boost your online presence, optimize time management, and attract new customers.

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3. Teaming up with local businesses and influencers 

Partnering with other local businesses for cross-promotions, events, or referral programs can expand your customer base and strengthen community engagement. For instance, a local bakery and a florist might team up for a Mother's Day promotion, where purchasing a bouquet earns customers a discount at the bakery. This kind of partnership benefits both businesses by driving sales and strengthening community bonds by offering added value to customers.

Similarly, teaming up with local influencers who align with your brand can increase your visibility and credibility. Local influencers, with their dedicated following and community trust, can authentically promote your products or services. Their endorsement through sponsored content, detailed product reviews, or engaging social media takeovers can attract a new audience to your business. 

Such strategic partnerships and collaborations offer a powerful way to market your business, leveraging communal networks and the influence of local businesses and personalities. Choosing the right partners and influencers who share your brand's values and appeal to your target audience creates authentic connections, enhances your reputation, and drives meaningful growth.

4. Going local on social media

Social media offers SMBs an affordable and effective way to reach a broad audience and compete with larger corporations. Emphasizing a local focus in your social media strategy can significantly enhance your brand's connection with the community. Tailoring content to reflect local interests, such as updates on community events, collaborations with neighboring businesses, or spotlighting iconic local landmarks, not only resonates with your audience but also reinforces your business's role within the community. 

Take control of your Social Media Presence now

Incorporating location-based hashtags and geotags in your posts is a strategic move to ensure your content reaches those in your vicinity, making your business more discoverable to potential local customers. A café might post about a local music night they're hosting, using hashtags like #LiveMusicNYC and tagging the performing artists, which helps promote the event and embed the café within the local cultural scene.

Moreover, responding promptly to comments, acknowledging user-generated content featuring your business, and participating in local social media groups or challenges showcase your commitment to the community. 

5. Expanding your reach with local-targeted ads

Digital advertising platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads allow businesses to tailor their advertising campaigns to specific locations, ensuring that their marketing efforts are concentrated where they matter most.

A local florist shop looking to attract more foot traffic and online orders might utilize Google Ads to target users searching for “flower delivery” or “florists near me” within a 10-mile radius of their store. By setting up a geo-targeted campaign, the florist ensures that their ads are displayed primarily to users in their immediate vicinity, maximizing the relevance of their ads and encouraging people to visit their shop. These platforms also allow SMBs to refine their targeting further by demographics, interests, and behaviors, enabling even more precise ad customization. 

This approach, when combined with creative ad content and strategic targeting, can significantly increase an SMB's online presence, drive traffic, and ultimately boost sales, all while reinforcing their business as a vital part of the community.

Create your first Google Ads campaign now

As a local business, you have the opportunity to build strong, personal relationships with customers, fostering loyalty and trust that can translate into repeat business and valuable word-of-mouth referrals. By being actively involved and visible in the local scene, you can leverage this community connection to distinguish yourself, attract new customers, and retain existing ones, effectively using your local status to outshine the competition.


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