Properly Marketing Your Local Business Online

So as some of you may know, I dabble in online marketing a bit for a few years with some success. It’s a tough road, things change very fast and before you know it – what you were doing is now obsolete.

This is why I started to market my own “online marketing” services to local businesses here in my hometown. This way I get to actually meet with people and become a bit more social, instead of starring at my computer screen all day long. Felt like life was being wasted.

Things are much different in the real world I have found out. As soon as you mention “website” or “SEO” these business folks cringe. Why? Mainly because they have been hammered for years about all this stuff and none of it really seems to work unless you are a big corporate company. Not true.

These local biz people are very uneducated on how real online marketing works as it has been scammed to death. It’s not about how fancy a website looks or how many “followers” you have on social media – it’s all about targeted leads. The internet is the #1 source for targeted leads. Case in point, Google – their stock price is $733 for a reason, advertisers get great ROI because they can reach targeted customers right away via search phrases.

As good as that is, having a top ranking in the search engines is even better! It has more trust associated with it.  My colleague and friend Greg has a tutorial on how to do this correctly, Click this Link to learn more.  Combine the two and you got gold.  Not to say that social media is a complete fail, but it takes away from the main source which should be your website – the foundation.

Make sure you get on Google Plus for Business – this is a must these days!  As well as Yelp.

From there you can start a plan to online marketing.  You will need a website that has a purpose, not just to look pretty and give general info.  Having a MOBILE optimized website is very important – for some reaosn all businesses are slow to get on this.  People are searching more and more on smartphones for the things they want, if they find your business with an optimized site for mobile they are significantly more likely to call, contact, or walk in the door.

Make sure you submit your website and company info to all the online business directories like Manta, Hoovers, BBB, etc.  This will give your company a solid online footprint and authority.  Also do not ignore social media, it does serve a purpose – and it’s free.  Just make sure you do it right or else it will look amateur thus making your business look amateur.

Photo sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest are great for businesses that have “photo” value – food, apparel, automobiles, etc.

Finally, lead generation.  This is the most important no matter what avenue it takes; search, mobile, social media, PPC, etc.  Always remember to GIVE your lead something in return for their email/phone number, this will gain trust and value so when you market to them via email or SMS text they will be more open to offers they “know” you already.

I hope this helps some, there is so much more I can blog about.  So, I’ll leave it open to questions:  leave a comment below and I will answer best I can.

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