Local digital marketing is the cost of entry for today’s small businesses. But, if you want to get ahead, you should master four important skills.
Major Shift in Consumer Expectations
We live in an age of constant churn. This is not necessarily detrimental, but you need a plan. People are becoming less willing to wait, so if you have a solution to their needs that is easy nearby, they need to know about it.
Consumers research before they buy. Roughly 70-80% of consumers research a product or service before they buy it.
If your product or service is not visible the moment they are searching for it, that sale is lost. Those potential customers simply will not know it is an option.
More importantly, customers want solutions that are nearby and available. No one wants to come back tomorrow or travel across town. If they know you are open, have what they need, and are around the block, you will likely get that sale.
Why Local Digital Marketing Matters to SMBs
- 70-80% of your customers or potential customers are searching for immediate solutions.
- They often choose to go to a nearby business with convenient hours and the product or service they need at a fair price.
- Mobile searchers are very valuable; 92% of them are ready to buy in realtime.
The Top4 Important Skills to Master Local Digital Marketing
Several skills could help you improve your local digital marketing. However, these four skills are more closely tied to mobile performance, which is why we chose them. They are Google My Business Management, local SEO, seamless website performance on mobile, and local advertising.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to have Google My Business Management as the top skill to master. This is mainly because of the impact Google My Business (GMB) has on your mobile search results.
It is best to illustrate this point with an example. In this example, we are searching for ‘indian restaurant yarra.’ Here are the top search results:
You will notice the call out with the map and three options. This is called the Google Local 3 pack. More on that in a second.
Without Good GMB Management, You Will Struggle for Visibility
Around 80% of all the clicks happen on the first page. The top 5 accounts for 76% of the total search volume. This is why GMB and local listing management is so important.
How the Google Local 3 Pack Works
The top 3 listings for a geographical area are selected and highlighted as shown below:
You will notice a couple of points. First, they all have what is called ‘aggregate ratings,’ the star system. They all have images, pricing, and a few facts to help a searcher make a choice.
When one of these three is selected, their GMB page shows on the screen like this:
You may think that you only need to manage GMB, which is the end of listing management. While GMB is very important, it is only one metric that Google uses to determine legitimacy.
Listing management is challenging because it is so repetitive. The most important thing in listing management is ensuring consistency of your Name, Address, and Phone number. Whether you do it or pay someone to do it for you, you should always double-check to see if your NAP is up to date.
In addition, you should also add your business to our unique location-based marketing platform Top4. Using this unique propriety technology of ours, we manage all of your local digital marketing and social media strategies with a focus on localising content, managing online reputation and ads for multi-location businesses and franchises. Top4 integrates and works hand-in-hand with Google, Google Maps, and Social Media Platforms to improve and strengthen your business online.
2. Focus on Local Digital Marketing
Local SEO is important so that you rank high enough to enter the coveted Google 3 Pack. It is not easy to land in a top 3 spot, but if you focus your energy on a couple of keywords in the right locations, you will start to see results.
Start with a Keyword (KW) Strategy
It is challenging to cover a topic as complicated as keyword strategy in part of a post, but I will try to cover the steps to understanding what you can do.
Think Like Your Customer
The first step is to try to think about how your customer might search for your business. We can always start with the obvious, but sometimes there are hidden gems that you and your competition locally haven’t considered.
One technique we recommend is asking, “how would you search for us?” We ask customers to write down 3 to 5 different ways they might try. It is sometimes surprising to see what comes up.
Once you have your list of words, you could go to Google Keyword Planner.
After you sign in or create your Adwords account, you will want to select ‘discover new keywords.’ You can use your site URL or use a keyword. Either way can be useful.
As a general rule of thumb, if this is your first time, try to find the keywords with the lowest competition and the highest search volume.
In this example, we could choose all of them. However, we need to briefly touch on domain authority, which is a bit like your credibility level on the web. Remember, if you are new or your current web traffic is low, it is unlikely that the credibility level will be high.
In fact, most small businesses should target keywords under 1,000 searches per month. The good news is that with local search, that’s more than possible.
3. Seamless Website Performance on Mobile
Seamless performance requires a truly responsive web design. While many themes will claim to be fully responsive, not all of them are. Themes, by their nature, are very code-heavy. Therefore, mobile page speeds can be a real challenge.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a great tool to measure page performance. There are several other page speed tools available, such as GTMetrix. I’ve found that Google is the toughest grader, and if you can perform well there, then you are in good shape.
This is an example of what a Google PageSpeed Result looks like:
4. Local Advertising
This is probably one of the toughest skills to learn of the four. There are so many advertising options available that it is understandable to become overwhelmed.
Since our scope is local digital advertising, predominately on mobile, it gets a little easier. Before we can get into the actions, we need to discuss what is called the sales funnel.
Actually, the sales funnel assumes a linear path from point A to point B, while nothing in the digital world is linear. But, it is a good model for a basic understanding of key concepts.
As we discussed earlier, our mobile searcher is between the consideration and purchase phase or the middle to bottom of the marketing funnel.
Advertising can be much more targeted when you are trying to reach the bottom of the funnel. We tend to use paid search in these circumstances. The great news is that we already have the keywords from our keyword strategy, and we can use the advertisers’ audience features to segment those ‘in-market.’
To find out how we can help you with your Website + Marketing, using our unique location marketing platform called Top4, get in touch today www.top4marketing.com.au
Looking to build customer loyalty through social media? Don’t forget to add your business to Top4.com.au
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