4 Ways Independent Retailers Can Improve Their Local marketing Results
Independent retailers are competing with national retailers, the Internet and strong regional chains every day. And because your competitors are always seeking ways to take market share from your business, it makes sense to gain as much leverage as possible with your local marketing activities.
Because consumers are becoming more and more engaged with the Internet and social media, that means that local businesses must take steps to ensure that they appear at the top of online searches. But they must also stay on top of – and manage – the accuracy of online customer reviews while interacting with customers via social networks.
4 Tips For Improving Local Marketing Efforts
Localize your Web pages – Most people searching for a product online don’t bother looking past the first page of results. In fact, the top four results on a search page account for over 80% of the traffic for any given search term. So it’s critical to ensure your business is listed among the top results.
In many cases customers will search for a topic along with the name of their town, state postal code, so make sure that this type of information appears on most pages across your website. Just make sure that you place this information on your site in a natural way – after all search engines can punish your rankings if they think you are trying to “game” the system.
Get listed on aggregation sites and build profiles – Online directories that list local businesses and their contact information are becoming increasingly popular. Whether it is a local service, the Yellow Pages or Yellowbook, these services can help your site and your business to get listed on the front page of a search engine. When customers search locally for a business, your store’s name, address, phone number and site link will be listed in their search summary.
Google, Yahoo and Bing now encourage local businesses to provide them with detailed profile information to improve your chances of appearing toward the top of highly targeted local searches.
Track and respond to reviews – Customers who search locally for businesses often want to see what other customers have said about your business. Such reviews are becoming highly influential, and often influence whether customers do business with you.
Among the major sites that host customer comments and reviews are Yelp, Insiderpages Merchant Circle and Citysearch. These services along with others can keep you up to date on what’s being said about your business so you can address customer dissatisfaction quickly and efficiently by responding to the customer on-line – so that your customers can see how much you care.
Build an audience – No matter what you sell, there are enthusiasts who would be thrilled to share their personal expertise online with other customers. By establishing Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr or Flickr pages you can showcase your products, post promotions and ask for customer feedback and referrals. These activities can not only improve search results, but also may result in worthwhile ideas for the growth of your business.