Internet Marketing for Local Businesses: An Overview

Internet marketing is that of our time. No other method of advertising has proved to reach customers more quickly and turn more leads into sales. It is that simple. However, the fundamentals of this process are by no means easy. When implemented correctly, the value of internet marketing for gaining business on a local level can be astounding.

Saying the economy is not great is an understatement; we have seen untold numbers of small business owners closing up shop because they aren’t bringing in enough income to even meet their expenses. This is happening across the board, and it seems the road to recovery is going to be a long one. If you own a business, you owe it to yourself to invest in internet marketing. Here are some helpful ideas for making it work for you.

Local focus is the key:

  • Make your website mobile and user-friendly
  • Mark your spot on the Google map
  • SEO your site
  • Create a Twitter and Facebook page (and other social media profiles)
  • Get listed in local directories

If you don’t already have a website; then consider this as a reason why your business is failing. Get one already, and make sure it is optimized for local searchers. You can do this simply by editing some important information on your pages. If you have more than one website, be sure to change everything accordingly. Many companies like to build pages for the various locations they perform their services in. If this is the case for you, remember to target customers in those specific places. Nothing is more embarrassing (or more detrimental to your profit margins) than irrelevant information.

You don’t want your customers struggling to find your contact information. Make your address, phone number, and email address clearly visible and easy to find. A well set up contact page can make a world of difference. Search engines like Google will also be more apt to position you better as a local business when they see this information on your page.

Another great way you can help your customers find your business is by marking it on Google Places. Doing this takes minutes, but will establish your position on the map everyone looks at. Sign into your Google account and find the listing. At the top right of the page there will be a link that says business owner. Click on this and enter in your information.

Social networking is not just for personal pleasure. An increasing number of local businesses are beginning to understand the power of sites like Twitter and Facebook. Being connected to your customers on a level they understand and appreciate is vital, and social networking is the best way to do this. Be sure to stay active too. A daily tweet or post will keep you and your customers in the loop.

There you have it, a few tried and true methods that will definitely get your business noticed locally. Bear in mind that while these tips can certainly increase your chances of gaining customers, they are not exhaustive by any means. A complete internet marketing strategy requires much more time and work, but will pay itself off more than you can imagine.