Benefits of Promoting a Local Business Online


Marketing a Small Business Online, where to start?

Understanding how to digitally market your small business that targets a local clientele can be a conundrum. There are a variety of directions to go in and steps to take in order to obtain your business goals. The tough part is understanding what to do first. An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) audit is a good place to start; however, these can be expensive. So how do you prioritize when you don’t know where to start?

Check out this video tutorial from Google. They make five recommendations:

 

Google Recommendation Summarized:


  1. Submit your website to Google for indexing, go here: https://www.google.com/addurl
  2. Create digital ads via AdWords : https://www.adwords.com or contact me to help you.
  3. Submit your business to Google’s local listing directory here: https://www.google.com/placesforbusiness
  4. Get involved with social media, this includes video sharing and blogging.
  5. Get involved with eMail marketing.

If you prefer an outline of suggestions, please see this SEO resource. They do a decent job prioritizing areas that need to be looked at.

The catch with getting involved with digitally promoting your business is that you are now entering the SEO game. Acknowledging the wealth of data available, sheds light on the relationship between your business goals and customer demand. Understanding this relationship drives how to grow your business and therefore where to gain a stronger hold of SERP (Search Engine Rank Placement).

Being there for your customer with the information that they are looking for when they need it, is key. 


Making SEO and SEM improvements, that really move the needle, will potentially drive the way you do business. Your business may shift to cater to these new assets. A need for new resources or even departments may begin to develop. That just isn't what many want to hear however.


I am recommending a realistic approach. Please view both of these resources I have mentioned above. Realize that there are 2 main dividers within SEO and digital marketing. The first one is “onsite” improvements. Onsite improvements are: making technical improvements, site organization, and content improvements to your website that will benefit your organic ranking or SERP. The other piece is “offsite” improvements, this means: working with other platforms such as social media, digital advertising, email marketing and more… to increase traffic to your site. 

You want to work on both onsite and offsite improvements. technical aspects such as site speed, sitemap, and mobile friendliness are top of the technical list. However, these few things I just rattled off can become very complex very quickly. If any one of these technical aspects is much worse then the other, start there. When locating where to start with organization and content improvements, review your goal pages. Goal pages are pages of the website that you are trying to drive traffic to such as: a form page, a checkout page, an informational page, or even making the phone ring. Goal pages should take priority over all other pages; however, all other pages should support the customer journey to the goal pages.

For local businesses trying to improve online presence, having a completed Google Places listing is imperative. Submitting your business to directly listings such as Yelp, Yahoo local and others is also very important. I recommend using a directory submission and management tool called Yext. If you don’t use a directory management tool, it’s impossible to keep your listings correct and up to date with useful information.


One more area that is tremendously beneficial is to work with your digital advertising professional. Your website should be set up with reporting tools to help you understand how visitors find and navigate your website. Part of optimizing your digital advertising includes optimizing landing pages for a better user experience. Consequently, this process drives “onsite” SEO optimizations. 


There really is no limit to how finally tuned you can make your website. The solution is to be able to identify what needs to happen first and allocate resources to make these improvements. 

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