After working on the digital marketing of nearly 1000 local small businesses. These are the top four things they should focus on to grow exponentially.
Small Business Digital Marketing Challenges
Two of the biggest pain points for small businesses when it comes to digital marketing is that they:
- Don’t have the knowledge
- Don’t have the time
Despite what some guru on stage told you at your last $2,500 conference, internet marketing is tough. If you think you’re doing great and don’t need to do any better, then I recommend reading this next. However, if you think you need help or could be doing better, continue reading and these tips will help explode your business’s digital footprint.
4 Steps to Dominating Your Local Market
This won’t happen over night. It’s going to take time, and probably some money. You should also know that each step will be key to building wealth for you and your family.
If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die. – Warren Buffett
These marketing tips are specific to local businesses and local franchisees. If that’s you, then take notes and then take action.
Build a Solid Website for Your Business
A solid website is one that is easy to navigate, easy for users to see what you do/sell, easy for users to contact or visit you, and loads quickly. Structurally, the site is coded with current technology of web browsers and search engines in mind.
As a small local business, your site doesn’t need to be flashy to make an impact. Simple sells. In fact, most of the fancy things business owners think they need on their site get stripped away on the mobile version (where +75% of your visitors are coming from). Why waste your hard earned money on something that doesn’t pay you a return?
Instead, focus on the things that matter:
- Photography (think about how you shop for restaurants and hotels online)
- Content & formatting
- Menu / Site navigation
- Contact / Directions
If you’re shopping around for website builders, WordPress sites (which run WP Engine hosting) rank higher compared to Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, & Go Daddy sites. I strongly recommend WordPress, and typically turn down work that involves Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly sites.
Claiming Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is one of the most valuable pieces of search engine real estate for a small business. Claiming it, correcting it, and monitoring it are key to local business success.
We use these listings every day, but often neglect them for our own businesses. Why? Google My Business listings are major revenue drivers for local businesses that pay attention and put energy into updating them.
Here’s what you need to do to make the most of your Google My Business listing(s):
- Claim your listing (it’s a quick process, but does require a Postcard/snail mail verification)
- Correct the information about your business
- Phone number
- Website URL
- Optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing
- Select correct categories
- Write a thoughtful and accurate description
- Add images
- Add your business hours
- Add payment methods accepted
Once you’ve nailed this steps down, you can move onto the next one that’s really going to drive traffic to your business.
Get Google My Business Reviews
What factors make a GMB listing rank higher than another? Generally speaking, these are most likely the top factors:
- Listing relevancy to the search (categories and description)
- User proximity to the business
- Reputation of the business
It’s believed that reviews are a heavily weighted ranking factor when it comes to Google My Business listings. This is why actively managing your reputation can pay dividends for years to come.
Having a reputation strategy not only helps your rankings, but it also:
- Improves customer support
- Improves employee training/processes
- Makes you a better business
Despite customer feedback being scary for some, it’s essential to growing your business and staying open. Make sure that growing and managing your reviews on Google are a major priority, and you will feel a significant impact across your business.
Cleaning Up Your Brand Across the Internet
I’ve mentioned this before as a strategy that multi location and franchise businesses should follow. Cleaning up your business’s presence across the internet usually requires claiming and correctly online profiles for your business. Sites like Yelp, YP.com, Yahoo Listings, and more help provide the world with correct and consistent information about your business no matter how they find you.
Some people believe that this process also helps with SEO – I believe that it helps a little, but it’s more of a brand control play in my mind.
Many of these listing sites drive significant amounts of traffic to them. They rank high on their own, and might rank higher than your own website to start out. When people search for your business or a service your business provides, claiming these listings can help provide users with the correct way to contact/find you.
Small Business SEO Success
If you’re a small business owner, these tips are sure to help you make a significant splash in your market. They are all key to helping you be found online. Reach out if you have questions or need a few extra tips on taking the next step to helping your business grow.