Running your own local business is rewarding, exciting & motivating. It can also be a huge time sucker in the sense that you often engage in too much DIY activity. One of those activities is marketing. It either falls to the way side or like many local businesses, you delegate to your web programmer who is not interested or lacks the skills to be effective.
Whether you are managing a restaurant, medical practice, automotive shop or law firm, digital marketing for a local business is critical to its branding, revenue and ultimately success. Well you are in luck because we are going to provide you with three digital marketing activities that every small business should do in 2016.
Go big, Go mobile or go bankrupt
Many local businesses websites were built 3-5 years ago. They may have had a mobile "retrofit" recently but that may not be enough to be mobile device compatible. In the last few years a technology called “responsive design" has emerged. This is a programming technique that builds your website so that it checks the size of the device before it loads images and content. This way you only build one website and its works for desktop, tablet & mobile. The antiquated strategy was to build two separate sites, one for desktop (abc-hotel.com) and one for mobile (m.abc-hotel.com). This is no longer necessary or effective.
In 2015 Google announced they altered their search ranking algorithm to give preference to all sites that were built with responsive design. Go mobile or your site will slip in the rankings, it’s that simple. In addition 30% of all Google searches come from mobile devices.
Claim your real estate
All local business owners should be checking to see how their business looks on the in search results, this includes Google (& Bing) map results. If you have a brick and mortar business with a physical location then Google has already created a map listing. The problem is that this map listing looks like this.
You need to create a login for Google My Business and claim and verify your listing. Google will send a postcard with a PIN to verify that you have a physical address. Once verified you must update your listing with the correct contact information, location, description and photos. This is no different than your Facebook business page in fact its Google's competitor to Facebook except this is what shows on Google Maps and mobile devices when people are searching for your services. If you take away nothing else, understand that if you want to rank higher in Google, then it makes sense to use their products.
Hit Me One Time SEO Master
The third SEO digital marketing task you should perform for your business is On-Page SEO. Do this at least one time. Contact a reputable digital marketing agency and have them modify your website to make it search engine friendly. This should cost you about $800-1000 and will pay dividends in terms of organic visibility. They will talk with you about your core services and make sure you can be found online when people search on Google. SEO is a tireless beast and if you want to stay at the forefront of search results it should be done monthly. However, if you are not willing to pay for monthly services then at very least get some on-page SEO done once.
Thank You For Reading!