Getting your small business known to the right audience is an essential part of your business growth. The competition will be doing their best to get their brand known above yours, so what can you do to make sure that people find you first?
The key there lies in the word find: most people, when looking for a retailer, service or product, look local and they are also likely to use a mobile handset to search for that they are looking for. This is the reason local SEO needs to be part of your marketing campaign.
What do we mean by local SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to getting your brand out there, and the higher you come on the search engine’s rankings, the more likely you are to be found in a search. Narrow this down to searches in your local area – and most searches do involve a local element – and you stand a much better chance. First, you need to get your business into a local online business directory, and this will be free.
What is an Online Business Directory?
Put simply an online business directory is a place to list your business, along with all information necessary and links to your website, that will be brought to the fore when someone searches locally for the product or service you are offering. Many towns have such directories that are especially for that direct area, most cities also have similar, and you’ll even find some run by community organizations in small towns via social media platforms such as Facebook.
The idea is that a local search will bring up all viable businesses in the local area that are relevant to that search. Many will be listed in the local directory, and if you’re not listed you are losing out on business. This is a free way of pushing your small business and there are others to consider including:
- Social media platforms as already mentioned offer a great opportunity for spreading the word. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all free to use and reach a lot of potential customers.
- Blogging is a great way of getting your name into websites that are relevant and also adding cache to your business by way of social trust.
- Taking part in relevant online forum discussions is a latter-day method of word of mouth and can be very lucrative if you target the right people.
However, there is no getting away from the fact that local SEO is a prime method of being in the right place to appear on searches, and the local directory is certainly a part of this. We keep mentioning local, so let’s finish by talking about why locally geographic searches are the most successful of all.
Why Local SEO is Vital
If you look at articles on online marketing trends for 2021 you’ll see that there is plenty of emphasis on targeting the right audience. The days are gone when leaflet drops were the order of the day; these days it is online ads, blogs and links in the right places. This is another reason why local searches are important in establishing smaller brands and growing businesses which rely on local custom on the whole. People who are already in a particular location will search locally. Those who are going to visit a certain area will search locally. It makes sense to ensure you are in all the free online directories possible, and that you get your name out there using the channels available for local advertisers.