As a small business owner, your marketing budget is bound to be understandably limited, which means every dollar has to count. While real-world efforts can be expensive and difficult to track for ROI, the online arena offers a bounty of marketing options that can be far more affordable and deliver tracking capabilities that simply don’t exist in traditional, real-world marketing. For many business owners, these tools and opportunities come with a learning curve. But with just a bit of knowledge, you can start making the most of local search marketing options. Here are a few basics to explore.
If you have yet to create a business website, it is imperative that you do so. Your online efforts are made all the more effective by creating this base of operations, often the first experience prospective customers will have with your business. Like any first impression, you need to make a good one where your website is concerned. It also acts as the hub for your SEO efforts and expanding your online presence. You don’t necessarily have to spend an arm and a leg on your business website, but you definitely need to put some time and effort into making it functional, attractive, and easy to navigate.
From there, you should start to claim directory listings. Sites like Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Google My Business may already have listings for your business. And by claiming them, you can ensure that customers seeking your services have access to accurate contact information, a link to your website, and the opportunity to post queries or even comments. The wonderful thing about these directory listings is that they not only funnel local business, but they also provide you with yet another means of connecting with current and prospective customers. In the end, this gives you the opportunity to open lines of communication and engage your audience.
You should also consider the benefits of pay per click marketing. As a local search marketing tool, it can be a relatively affordable way for small businesses to reach a desired demographic and funnel targeted traffic. It further provides you with an ability to track and analyze resultant data to gauge the success of marketing campaigns. Print and broadcast advertising can entail significantly more expense, yield lesser results, and provide very little in the way of tracking tools to help you determine what worked and what went wrong. There is no shortage of options when it comes to utilizing local search marketing tools. But for the small business owner just beginning to understand available options, solid web design, online directories, and pay-per-click advertising are a great place to get started.