The focus of SEO and online marketing practices is sometimes placed squarely on web-based retailers and eCommerce sites. Truth is, that’s only half of the puzzle. Local online marketers and small business owners can also benefit from a revamped online marketing campaign, and the New Year serves as a perfect time to renovate!
Most of us have typed our names into Google as a joke or out of idle curiosity, but as a small business owner, it makes a lot of sense to check out what pops up when you search for your business on Google. This is going to give you an idea of what your customers are going to experience when they are looking for your business.
It will also tell you pretty clearly if your online presence is lacking. You might find that you’ll need to raise your visibility, which you can accomplish in several different ways. To begin with, you’ll want to get onboard with some of the highest-ranking social sites like Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Make Use of Analytics
Thanks to Google and several other third-party solutions, the inner workings of your websites are a secret no longer. Google Analytics can offer up a wealth of information about how your site is operating and how your visitors are interacting with it.
With Analytics, you can dive into detailed reports about the number of unique visitors, how they found your site, how long the average visit lasts, what type of device people used to access the site, and much more.
For local online marketers in particular, Analytics provides another invaluable piece of information: the geographical location of your visitors. Are most of your visitors from your area? If so, that’s good; but can you do better? If there are areas in your state or county that don’t seem to be visiting your site much, it might be time to target those areas with billboards or TV spots.
Embrace Visual Content
This is a resolution to remember for brick-and-mortar businesses as well as web-based retailers. About 90% of companies these days are building marketing campaigns using custom content. With that in mind, it might be time to send your own marketing campaign to rehab: cut what doesn’t work and enhance what does.
We’re definitely living in a visual world, so creating content that is both engaging and memorable is of paramount importance to any marketing campaign. It even might be time to start creating video content. Marketers everywhere are embracing sites like YouTube and Vimeo as a way to build an audience and keep followers informed about developments with their favorite brands. This definitely holds true for local businesses as well.
Cater to a Mobile Audience
The effects of our increasingly mobile-first world are being felt in just about every industry. What it’s done is essentially force marketers to work outside of their comfort zone. Historically, marketing content has been built for a predominantly desktop-based audience, but with people accessing e-mails and doing searches on their mobile devices more than ever, content needs to adapt accordingly.
As a small business owner, you need to make sure that mobile users don’t experience any difficulties accessing your site while they’re on the move. Also, just as importantly, make sure the address of your business, and any necessary driving directions, are prominently displayed on your site.
Help Them Find You
Finally, you’re going to want to get on board with local Google services like Places for Business. This will help your business get on the map, both figuratively and literally.
People use services like Google Maps to help them find local restaurants and retailers that might interest them. Make sure your business gets in front of as many pairs of eyes as possible.
As the new year approaches, utilize these “resolutions” to expand your outreach and advance your local business!