A Comprehensive Guide On How To Grow Your Local Business Online!
A Comprehensive Guide On How To Grow Your Local Business Online!
A Comprehensive Guide On How To Grow Your Local Business Online!https://www.urbangekodesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/featured.jpg19201080Urban Geko DesignUrban Geko Design//www.urbangekodesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/urban_geko_logo_white-1.png
Are you a local business based in Orange County? Are you looking for ways to expand your Local customer base? Drive more traffic to your store and convert those customers to paying customers? If your answer to above mentioned questions is yes, then this blog is definitely for you. As you have guessed that this content is aimed at local businesses that are operating in Orange County, however, even if you are not based here but as a local business support are looking for ways to grow it, this blog will be of mighty help to you.
In this blog we will unravel some untapped secrets and some known but not followed strategies which you can implement in your business to promote it locally in the area you are operating from. In other words at the end of this blog you will have with you some practical, actionable steps which you will be able to implement in your business right away.
1) You will be able to better understand the platforms that are crucial to your business success.
2) Significance of good content strategy and why; It is imperative to connect first and then sell so without wasting any more time on introduction, let’s dive straight into it:
To begin with let’s understand and elaborate the term Local Business? As defined by Yext “Any business that provides goods or services to local population is deemed as Local business”. Simple Enough! Let’s clarify it further by using a simple example:
For example: You have a store or a shop or like us you are an Orange County Website Design company based in Newport Beach, CA. This is a kind of business where customers can come and directly talk to you. They can explain you their requirements, what they are looking for at what price they are looking for or can simply check for good and services you offer. These kinds of services and businesses are categorized as Local businesses. Even if your business doesn’t have a local address still your services carter to the needs of people in Newport Beach area, your business will be a categorized as a local business.
Here is another example: You live in Newport area and need some plumbing work done for your home, on Google you will type ‘Plumbers near me’. In other words you are looking for services in local area so all those plumbers that falls under that area will be able to provide you with the services you need. This is why it becomes super important that you generate traffic from your local area to strengthen your position locally.
Here are some proven methods that you can implement to your business starting today to ensure that you get the maximum results from the area you are operating in.
1) Muscle up the Social Power of Your Business
Now, I am not a Nostradamus but every once in a while I like to make some bold predictions just to flex my intuition muscles. So, this is what I believe will dominate 2020 and I am basing my guess on the result I am seeing this year.
Seo will be big but Social media marketing is going to be massive. If you want to dominate your niche, you need to fire up your Social Power in others words make sure that you are active on all major platforms. No matter how big or small your business is. You need to take out your brands on these platforms and connect with your audiences.
Even if you don’t have a website or you have a website that needs a redesign if your social game is strong you are a winner. The reason, I say this is because there is a humongous amount traffic that is present on these platforms. Here are some mind boggling statistics validating the statement I just made:
Though this doesn’t discard the significance of website still if you want to wait for a website it is fine as long as you are going strong Social media marketing strategy in place.
Key element to keep in mind is that every platform has its own rules, so learn them well before play them. If you are a small enterprise or a one man show you need to be smart with your social game. You need to target your markets and segments well. You don’t have to what your competitor is doing, though having a good understanding about their business is help, still you need to come up with your own unique strategy.
When I talk about strategy I mean covering every step of the funnel. At times we keep looking and focusing on step 4 and allow a lot of good opportunities go waste. We need to add patience in our game and ensure that we have a full round strategy about our content. I know the end result of every business is driving more sales and revenue in, but you need to make sure that you are paying enough attention to Step 1, 2 & 3 of the sales funnel as well. I have collected some interesting points that will further establish your faith in why Social media is imperative to your business success.
Here are some interesting stats that prove the same:
1) 70% of customers visit Local stores based on information found online
2) Retailers advertising locally on Facebook see an average ROI of 152%
3) Customers will spend 21% more when receiving good social media rapport
4) In a survey of 3,511 Local marketers, respondents ranked Social Media advertising as most effective out of a list of 30 promotional channels that included TV, radio, print and offline advertising
5) 73% of the marketers believe Social media marketing has been very effective for their businesses
Even with statistics that are so much in favour these platforms most businesses fail to make a use of it. Here is a survey that shows that only 25% of small businesses have a website https://gtdesign.co/local-businesses-without-a-website and even lesser number use Social Media pages to promote or rank their business.
This means that there is an open ground to cover. Not only you will have an edge over businesses that haven’t started yet but also the cost of marketing or advertising on Instagram or Facebook is far lesser than compared to Google. As a business owner you can absolutely latch on to this opportunity.
Most big firms and companies are still glued to old, traditional ways of marketing. Every year they are investing good chunks of money on billboards and other traditional practices. Even with so much of data they are still with the old methods, let them be there.
You can take charge of your business right away and get it moving in the direction which will present it with maximum opportunities. Not only organic but you can also maximise your impact on these platforms using paid advertising. The best part of advertising on these platforms is that you don’t need any technical expert or a marketing genius to set up your account on these platforms, rather you can do it all by yourself.
These platforms keep refining their UI experience almost every other week to make things simpler for their customers. So with a little bit of attention and focus you can easily crack the code in this game. These Platforms are helpful and insightful like Facebook and Instagram give you an opportunity to select the radius in which you want to promote your business and now what more you can ask for. The amount insights these platforms provide is incredible. All you need is to be smart with you ad-placement and let these platforms will do rest of the work for you. The kind of metrics these platforms have is phenomenal. You can use them to select your audience, location, income group, interest, behavior and can do a lot more.
Another useful tip I want to share here is to make sure you use a lot of well researched keywords when you are setting up your business profile on these platforms. All these little tricks can reap great returns as continue to grow on Social Media. You don’t have to be an expert to search keywords to set up your profile. You can use a free platform like: Ubersuggest to generate hundreds of keywords in one single click
These platforms are hot at the minute. Big firms, even though are not investing into them enough are still looking at these platforms with more interest than even before so this is a very good time to invest in these platforms. Therefore make sure that you capitalize on them before they hike up their prices. In fact you can go over our article to understand more about how to work and network over Instagram.
2) Yes, Believe me when I say that Local Directories are still Crucial!
Now, I know, you must have come across a lot of blogs saying that those good old directories submissions are dead and redundant, but trust me that is not the case. It is not an opinion but a well-tested fact. The problem is not with directory submissions but the way it is done. Most people just fill up the directories without expecting much and that is where they lose out. So here is what I advise you to do Instead of going after 40- 50 local directories and listing your business there, just pick 7 top directories and list your business and maintain your presence there.
Some good directories have dedicated teams that are working hard to keep these directories running. That’s why they really appreciate businesses that are active on their platforms.
As a Local business owner, once you have submitted your business to these platforms, your next step should be to Interact on them, answer the reviews and make sure you are active. Every platform has its own algorithm which supports the businesses that are active on them. Trust us, it will only take 15-20 minutes of work every week and you will be ahead of competitors. You need to keep in mind that Google value consistency. If you are listed on a reputed website like Yelp and are consistently engaging with your audiences there you are sending strong signals to Google bots.
Key here is again the keywords. Make sure when you are listing your business on these platforms you are using keywords that are most relevant to your business. This will further establish your authority on those keywords, which ultimately will result in good traffic. All these factors are crucial to your brand establishment in long run so make sure you make the most out of it.
3) If you have a website Optimize it
Now coming to our favorite part, partly because we ourselves are an Orange county web design company, we love to talk about developing websites and discussing why they are crucial to the business. If you have a website it is critical that you optimize it to reap maximum benefits from your local search. You need to be thorough with your ground work. You need to test, implement, analyse your competitor to reach to your audiences. You need to ask yourself questions like where my customer will be. You need to draw out a persona framework to determine who your clients are and how you can best reach him. You need to be sure on UI designs to ensure that people who are visiting to your website have a good experience.
Also you need to keep in mind the loading speed of your website. Today the attention span of people is really short, they wouldn’t stay long on things that do not move on, so keep that in mind.
No doubt keyword search again is a prime significance here however there some more hacks that you can implement to your website to optimize its growth, they go as follow:
1) Add Schema Mark-up
2) Make sure that your website open supremely on Mobile platforms
3) Optimize your Google My Business Account
4) Audit local citations and ensure consistent NAP
You don’t have to do all these things yourself, you can hire good Web designers in Orange County and they will do the needful for you. Also, make sure you check if your website is as per current designing standard or it needs a redesign. Graphics also play a huge part in constructing the image of the brand therefore it is imperative you hire only the best graphic designers in Orange County.
Here are some facts that will help you understand what a good website does to your business and things you should keep in mind while redesigning a website:
Mobile users have surpassed desktop users
Different age groups will react differently to different content, layout and aesthetic choice (Validating the fact why good graphics are crucial to website success)
The average human attention span has declined from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds now. This is much shorter than the attention span of a goldfish ( not related directly to significance of having a website but still good to know)
Lists are better at keeping your reader focused than large paragraphs. Some people completely ignore large chunks of texts (Precisely the reason why we are maintain a list in this article)
Forms are boring, if not done correctly, they can be the biggest deterrent for the users
57% of the internet users say that they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile (Now that speaks a lot for itself).
85% of adults think that a company’s website when viewed on mobile device should be as good or better than its desktop website
To read more on the same topic you can refer this article
4) Don’t Try Too Hard To Market or Sell Your Brand
Obviously if you are in market with your product or service you want to sell it to maximum number of people. However the rules and dynamics of markets had changed considerably. These days’ people not only connect with products but also with the brands and brands don’t sell themselves, they connect. In other words, you need to focus on every step of the funnel (as mentioned in point #1 as well). We understand that it is hard to work on awareness stage when you want to concentrate on purchase but if you are thinking long term, you should not shy away from it.
So, if you have a grocery store in Orange County remember that you have a Grocery store in Orange County, in other words, you have to look at a big picture. This means that along with your store you should talk about Orange County as well. Make sure that everything in your content is not only about what all you are selling and at what price you are selling them at. Any insightful information around your local area is always going to go in your favour as it will connect people with your brand. Our history is filled with examples like these. Businesses that have gone beyond selling their product and connecting with people have won in a long run. Always remember that building brand is a process and process takes time, so invest your time in Orange County and your brand will look after your grocery store.
5) Invest in Sponsorship
This point is an extension to the previous point. How many events you have seen around you? Why not sponsor some of them.
Now, this kind of marketing practice can benefit your brand in two ways:
a) People who are organizing the event will instantly know about you and your product/services.
b) People who are participating in the event will not only acknowledge your brand but you can personally talk to them and make them aware about your services.
Trust me a lot of brand promotion events fail to bring the kind of viewership what this sponsorship can bring. You can introduce coupons, discounts and other such attractive offers to get people interested in your brand. If you don’t to invest in sponsorship you can hire graphic designers on freelance basis and get them to design some cool graphics around those events to catch the attention of the users. Why not talk about a baseball game or an upcoming summer blockbusters, make sure that you are aware of what people around you are talking around, sense the opportunity and capitalize on it.
6) Video Marketing was big, is big and is only getting bigger everyday
This phenomenon of promoting your business with a video is tried and tested with great results. Lot of small to medium scale brands have notched up their sales using video marketing. Having a video about a business is not only about making a standalone video describing what business does but it goes beyond. You need to plan out a proper content strategy and have to be consistent with you efforts.
As talked above, you cannot be pushy with your content. Not everything in your content should be only about “selling your service or a product”. You need to find a perfect balance in crafting your video strategy.
What makes this strategy even more fun is that you don’t to be an expert to smash out a video every week? In fact you can start your channel You Tube and record your video using your smart phone and can gradually add on that. Another thing that most successful vloggers (term used for bloggers who blog using video) do is that they don’t create content, rather they simply document. Trust us, this is the most simple and powerful content strategy that is rocking the Social media platforms these days. This strategy allows businesses to bring out their human side in front of their customers. It increases the engagement rate and is very beneficial in the longer run. All the big and important social media channels encourage businesses and users to upload video and offer them wider reach than the static contents.
Here are some interesting facts about Video marketing that will help you understand why it is so imperative to have a good Video content strategy for your business.
1) Businesses using video grow company revenue 49% faster, year-over-year, that organizations without
2) Forrester research found that video increases the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times.
3) Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%; real estate listings that include a video receive 403% more inquiries than those without
4) After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online
5) 96% of B2B organizations use video in some capacity in their campaigns of which 73% report with positive results to their ROI
If you think that these numbers are crazy, just look into these figures and you will know what we are talking about here:
1) On daily basis more than 100 million hours of video is consumed on Facebook. Yes, you read that write, 100 million
2) Video tweets are retweeted 6 times more than the photos, no wonder more and more people are putting up the content on video on these channels.
3) Whatever you have to do for your business you should do but never undermine the significance of content though a video.
Big and established brands like Amazon and Coke Cola are spending heavily on Video advertising. You don’t have to spend what these are brands are spending to make their video work but you just have to push out your content on video.
Where on one side Video is making raves, the rise of audio is on a high to. Imagine how much content an average user consumes every day and how hard it is to grab his/her attention. This is why you need to be on top of your Content planning game. Once you are sure about how you want to work with your content even podcast can be a good medium to give your local business a good exposure.
Many small local businesses have flourished using smart podcast shows. Again to air your podcast you don’t to spend much money just need to be creative. For example: If you have a flower shop in Local area, you don’t necessarily have to have a podcast about flowers all the time. You can talk about lot things that are going around your local area with which people can relate. Always understand that the whole idea of generating content on these platforms is to get in sync with your customer language. You need to match their emotions, and a good podcast will always help you do that.
Here are some numbers that you can check for yourself, why investing time Podcasting in and around your business will not be a bad idea.
1) 49% of podcast listening is done at home and 21% is done in car, now that is a big thing. This is where audio gets an edge. You can carry it with you wherever you go. Such a potent tool on local marketing.
2) 1 in 5 Americans prioritize listening to a podcast in their busy schedule, and in local market this number becomes even more sizeable.
3) Podcast listeners subscribe to an average of 6 shows
4) 75% of Americans are aware or have heard about Podcast, this number is increasing every year. It was 64% in 2018 and its already 75 with 6 more months to go
5) 12 million people listened to Podcast in 2018 for very first time. Again this is a new niche that is growing up gradually, so it makes all the more sense to capitalize on it till the time it is fresh.
Podcast is a great way of reaching the audience and making a strong connect. It is clear from the above statistics that this medium has a good audience. People are slowing but surely warming up to this channel.
Therefore, if you are in a Local Market and are want your brand name to be heard every single day, this is your platform. All you need to do is get your mic ready and speak on whatever you want to around your local market.
Local marketing is imperative. Having a good product is one thing but to sell it requires a lot of efforts till the time it becomes a brand. A good business always keeps its customer interest in mind. Just listing a store or shop online is not enough. You need to make sure that you keep updating info if and when required on those shops. As recent surveys showed that 93% of consumers say they are frustrated by incorrect info online.
Therefore, be ready to invest in lot of time, patience and energy to work out a strategy around it. The best part about these networks is that you don’t have to be a tech savvy to manage or run these platforms. There are lots of businesses in Orange County that are still not working on their Local marketing game which gives you a great opportunity to shine in. There is still a lot of time left in year 2019. A lot can be made during these 6 months if you plan and strategize your local marketing gig correctly.
You don’t have to be present on all the platforms at the same time. You can assess which platform is best suited for your business and start working on it first before you get across other platforms. There are plenty of great examples available on the internet that has achieved great success online using persistent strategies. So keep hustling till the time you start enjoying it.