We are experts at helping small/mid-sized Local businesses & professionals get better results from their online marketing efforts by utilising effective and proven, local search based Internet marketing strategies and tactics. ~ Maya Mendoza, Founder of Milagro Fusion Marketing
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We all know that over the past couple of years, as more people turn to Google to search for local services and products, traditional marketing and advertising has become less and less effective .
These days if you want to attract more customers, and increase revenue for your existing customers – and your business already has a physical, brick and mortar location, or a postal or zip code from where you do business – you will need to establish a local “presence” on the Internet.
The only problem is that most small business owners don’t fully understand what that means, what establishing a local “presence” on the Internet will bring to their business and why implementing a local marketing strategy is so important to their bottom line.
The result is that many businesses are missing out on the fantastic opportunity that local marketing brings them to build their business, simply because they are confused about where to start and what to do.
In this page we have done our best to explain what local marketing is (and what it is not). What the benefits are for a brick and mortar business such as a high street florist, Dental Practice, hair and beauty salon, garage and auto repair shop, and how to get started.
The first thing to understand is how shopping for a service or product has become an internet based activity:
When it comes to attracting new customers through the door, Local Marking techniques win hands down. Here’s why.
- 97% of consumers are searching for local businesses online.
- Searchers decide which local business to spend their money with by the businesses they find on the Internet.
- 37% of online users associate appearance at the top of search results with a company’s leadership within its industry or category.
- 43% of all searches on Google are related to searches for local businesses.
- 80% of consumers say they research a product or service online and then make their purchase offline from a local business.
- 62% of consumers say they search online for trading hours and directions before visiting a local business.
- 82% of people performing an online local search, follow up via an online inquiry, phone call or visit to an offline local business.
- 54% of businesses can cut advertising costs by dropping print advertising and adopting mobile marketing methods
- SMS texting and push messages (via an app) is a highly effective way to remind people about their appointments and avoid no-shows
- Business that contact customers with special offers and /or give loyalty points can expect a 30% / 60% increase in repeat business.
So what exactly is Local Marketing and why is it so powerful at generating new business?
Let’s face it, if you own a local business most, if not all of your business is going to come from people within, or a few miles out of your neighborhood.
If you want more business you need more, and regular customers from your immediate locale (a radius of about 5 miles). Without them your revenues fall and your income dries up.
The answer to getting more customers lies in Local Online Marketing:
- Local Online Marketing is designed to help companies who serve a local client base target and attract new customers and clients geographically.
- It is generally focused on promoting a product or service within a specific location and the surrounding areas (usually 5 – 20 mile radius)
If you want more customers in 2013, the single most important thing any local business can do is have a Google+ Local (Google Places) listing. The caveat here is that the listing needs to be set up correctly and be fully optimized.
You can read more about how to get up and optimize a Google+ Local listing further on in this article.
How marketing used to work
In the old days we all relied on the Yellow Pages when we needed a plumber, dentist, hairdresser, vet or all night pharmacy.
These days consumers have just about abandoned print directories in favour of the internet.
You can pretty much guarantee that they will search for the local and professional services they need via Google from their computers, smart phone and mobile devices.
After all isn’t that what you would do?
Knowing that, it should not surprise you to hear that a survey carried out this year showed that 87% of UK consumers and approximately 80% of USA consumers will use online media when researching products and services.
In addition to using web based search, many customers actively use and participate on review sites.
This means that they are both posting reviews, and reading other people’s recommendations about a product or service before they buy.
What do prospective customers want?
You will know from your own experience of shopping for a product, or deciding on a restaurant, what information people want to find before they decide to buy.
People tend to spend money with, and frequent a businesses that:
- They can check out on a website
- Shows up in Google listings
- Have up to date reviews in G+, and Trip Advisor
- That their friends talk abuot in Facebook and Forusquare
- Will load fast, and be easy to resd on a mobile device
What happens when people cant find you online?
We both know that if your business doesn’t show up in a prominent search positing, and has no, or few reviews, you are almost certain to lose that business to your competition who does – that’s true, even if their product or service is of lesser quality than the one you offer!
Any business that lacks a good, locally optimized internet presence via Google+ Local and Google Mobile in 2013, is rejecting the potential for more business and therefore feeding their competition~ Maya Mendoza, Founder of Milagro Fusion Marketing
As a business owner, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s only the younger generation that use the web in this way.
Most of your customers are used to mobile technology and apps, and your prospects will look for social comments and check out the ratings and performance a business or product while on the move.
In fact nearly all consumers now make use of popular sites like Google+, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Facebook & Amazon via their smart phone before they make the decision to buy.
Gaining positive reviews is now a vital success strategy
But that is not all you need to consider.
Your online reputation matters too, and there are an ever growing number of reasons to monitor it. It’s all too easy to become a victim of deliberate malicious reviews and bad press.
Therefore it’s important to understand how to safeguard your brand , and know the specific credibility building activities that protect you from the fall out from negative comments and bad publicity.
The best approach is to safeguard your reputation is to establish your own on-line voice (web presence).
You can easily do this via a well thought out marketing strategy that includes:
- A well designed SEO optimized website
- A blog supplied with useful and engaging content
- Utilsing the right social media channels for your business
- These include Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Youtube & Pintrest
- Claiming and configuring your Google+ Local page
This is an important strategy not only for connecting to your brand with your prospects, but also to boost your search engine rankings.
It is very easy to claim your own free Google+ Local listing and set up your G+ social media business accounts
What is not easy is configuring and optimisation your Google+ Local listing with the correct (and researched) information to gain search rankings and boost traffic that goes to your money site or store.
A comprehensive listing in which every detail is addressed precisely as Google likes it, will rank higher than one that is incorrectly set up.
Once the details are completed, search engines rankings improve almost immediately.
The same challenge and benefits apply to both setting up your G+ business page, and creating a professional, informative G+ social business account that shows your business and products in their best light.
When it comes to marketing, I’m sure you’ll agree that knowledge and hands on experience matter.
As we said earlier, marketing is more complicated now than ever before. There are more marketing tactics available than most people know what to do with. What’s more, they keep changing.
Here at Milagro Fusion Marketing we have over 7 years experience as marketing consultants and service providers. We are experts at planning and delivering all aspects of online marketing and website development.
We have distilled that vast experience into a compilation of business building, high-growth marketing and reputation building services.
What our experience has shown us
We understand that an average, bundled, one-size solution may not fit with your business needs. Therefore we have put together flexible packages that will deliver what you need at a fair and balanced price.
We specialise in helping you to select the right tactics and create the right marketing line-up that ensures a return on your investment.
Want to know more?
Your next steps:
TAKE advantage of our Free website SEO Clinic and 30 minute consultation.
READ the 200 reasons why you are NOT RANKING well on Google (or Google Local)
CHECK out our Google+ Local listing services
CONTACT us and request a call back