That, believe it or not, is a genuine question, not some oblique reference to the League of Gentleman or the spooky goings on in Royston Vassie.
‘Local’ is the buzz word of the moment: for any business, local is where it’s at, and definitely on-trend. But why has it suddenly become so important? What’s so special about local marketing and how can it help to sell your products and services?
Advertising in one’s local area is nothing new. It’s been around for an eternity. Many businesses, regardless of their size, have been using it for years, whether that be through newspaper ads or a Yellow Pages listing. So, what’s changed? Why are the experts telling you that you have to make the most of local advertising when you’re already doing it? What’s changed is the internet, or the general availability and popularity of internet services. There aren’t that many who don’t have access to the internet nowadays, so it makes perfect sense to use the power and ubiquity to the benefit of your business to help it to achieve all it can.
So, all your business needs to do is get itself a website and Bob’ your uncle – they’ll be queuing around the block to buy your products?
Well, no, not quite: it might just take a little more effort than that. How many businesses have spent considerable sums on Yellow Page listings and have found that there has been little, if any, return on the investment? Quite a few, I’d wager. Just because your company name or advert is listed somewhere won’t guarantee increased turnover. The advert is just the start – call it a first step, or a foundation: your business will only see increased profits if it starts to build on this foundation.
Internet marketing is no different, whether it’s on a national or local scale.
Of course it helps if you can get your business listed on Google Places, Yahoo Local of Bing Local, but it won’t help you sell more. Remember everyone else is more than likely listed too. Likewise, there’s no point in simply having a basic website with scant information in the listings, if you then don’t put in the extra effort and use the information in the most effective and productive way. Local marketing gives you the opportunity to communicate directly with your neighbours and potential customers: it’s your opportunity to show the people in your area what you’re offering and how it’s relevant to them. But, to get the attention of your customers requires time and effort.
To get noticed your business will have look into optimising the information you put on your website, landing pages and directory listings.
You’ll have to research your market and know precisely what your potential customers are likely to look for and how they’ll search for it. If you want to get as near to the top of the local listings, you’ll need well-researched and distinctive keywords: these will help to ensure your business gets the attention it deserves, rather than languishing on a lowly page most users will never visit. Local seo really can transform the way your business performs and help you connect more directly with all those potential customers in your area.
I can almost hear the collective intake of breath now and can anticipate what you’re thinking – that’s all well and good, but how much is this going to cost me? Probably nowhere near as much as you might think. The costs are actually quite reasonable, in the light of the increased rate of return you’re likely to see. And let’s face it; you’re probably spending a lot more on a Yellow Page listing, and where has that really go you?