You simply can’t rely on customers walking through the door by chance or landing on your website automatically. Advertising is essential.
You might be working on SEO, bidding on local PPC terms, getting digital display advertising up and running, and considering above-the-line local advertising, you need to do all that you can to increase performance.
We’ve created 10 hacks that can help set you up on the right path to improving your local advertising strategy.
Ensure you carry out extensive keyword research to understand the search volume around local searches related to your business activities. This is the first step. The next is to optimise your website to compete for this local traffic.
That means spending time creating new dedicated landing pages for each of your services in every location you operate in. Your content must then be adequately optimised in line with these keywords. You have to give your audience an opportunity to find you based on the needs of their local searches.
Many local businesses will have the objective of improving footfall into their physical locations. To do this effectively your online advertising needs to work in tandem with your brick-and-mortar stores.
Consider the following. Target an audience in your local area through Geotargeting with an enticing in-store exclusive offer. Once they’ve been into your store and spent their money, serve them with additional ads via Geofencing with new offers or a reward or loyalty programme to spend either online or instore.
By running Geofencing campaigns, your business will have the ability to collect data on your customers that come into your local stores and spend their money.
From here, build out demographics about the local population, including the offers that got them into your store in the first place.
This ensures you have a detailed picture of the local audience that is interested in your products, which brings us onto our next point.
Now you know your audience, it’s time to target them effectively to ensure you’re getting as much performance as possible from your advertising.
Rule out traditional forms of local advertising and opt for Geotargeting to be safe in the knowledge that only your defined audience in your local area will see your ads, meaning there’ll be no campaign wastage.
Local SEO plays a huge part in the success of smaller businesses on a regional level. You simply need to do as much as possible to get as high up in the search results as you can. Listing your business on trusted local directories is an inexpensive and effective way of doing this.
As is listing on Google My Business. Just remember to ensure that everything is accurately up to date including your opening hours and address. No one wants to alienate potential customers through a small, but costly, admin error.
Nearly half of local businesses still haven’t claimed their free local listing. Make sure you do.
Illustrating yourself to be an authority in the local area will help build credibility and relevance around your website and business. A great way to do this is to build out the non-transactional content on your website in the form of local guides to the area.
One thing to remember, however, is to always keep these relevant to your business. These are a no-brainer for real estate agents, hotels and travel websites, but can also work well for more niche-businesses. For example, coffee shops, local sports retailers, bars and restaurants.
A local audience wants to connect with the retailers and businesses in their area.
If you have an interesting story to tell about your business, tell it. Push it out in your advertising message, talk about it on social media and use it as the focal point for your onsite content. The more you’re tied to the local community, the better your potential custom.
For retailers with a number of locations, or busy small businesses with one location, keeping up to date with social media can be difficult, timely and can sometimes take you away from other essential tasks.
However, you need to do it. We’ve already mentioned the importance of telling your story, but your customers want to know what’s going on with your business on a local level and any local offers and promotions that are running. Automation is key to keep everything up to date and your engagement levels high.
Many small businesses simply don’t have the budget for an expensive PR agency, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the power of PR. It can do wonders for brand awareness of your business in your local area.
Keep it cost-effective by inviting local media to an event, sending them a free gift or offering them a free trial in the hope you’ll get some positive press.
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