If you’re like many small business owners, then most of your customers are found locally. Smaller companies aren’t going to tender for contracts at the other end of the country; it’s just not worth their while. Smaller businesses understandably want to concentrate on building their profile and reputation locally, with potentially expanding further afield at a later date. So, for local shops, restaurants, beauty therapists, accountants, plumbers and a whole host of other occupations, getting listed in a local business directory is key to their success.
The best starting point for any small business owner is Google. Nearly everyone uses Google on their smartphone, tablet or laptop when looking for information or businesses locally, and if you’re business isn’t appearing on Google Maps or on the main page of search engine results, then you are definitely losing out to your competitors who are. Setting up your business profile on Google is very straightforward, and the site will walk you through the basics step by step. You have the option of adding your opening hours, website address and telephone number should you wish to do so. The process only takes 5 minutes, and is the first thing you should consider when thinking about how to make your business more visible locally.
Getting your local listing on Google is just the starting point for your local online marketing and there’s lots of other things you could be doing too. Facebook and social media profiles will help you interact with customers locally, and many businesses have great success running giveaways and competitions on social media. Facebook also have a vested interest in selling you advertising, but this can be targeted quickly to the people you have identified as being perfect for your products. Your definition of local will depend very much on where in the country you are located and which services you provide.
Although Google is the best starting point for your local marketing efforts, it shouldn’t be the end of your marketing. There are lots of other business directories around, and it makes sense to get your business listed in as many as possible with one key condition – they have to be relevant to your business and area. Some market sectors have their own special directories, and some local areas have directories just covering one town or city. Look at where your competition is featured as this should provide a good starting point.
Most marketing professionals talk about cycles – putting something in place, letting it run for a few months, then reviewing effectiveness before tweaking the strategy and then reviewing again. The same is true for your digital marketing and directory listings strategy. We can help with this at 118businessdirectory.co.uk and will work with you to come up with a range of strategies which will work the best for your business. Our additional services can include content writing, pay per click advertising campaigns, display advertising and much more.