The following is a guest post by Jason Walberg. His bio is at the end of the article.
When you’re trying to build your reputation and customer base as a small business, the right kind of online marketing plan makes a huge difference.
Typically, small businesses invest in timeless strategies that offer long-term results, like:
- Content optimization
- Google Local Page
- Keyword optimization – title, description and URL structure
- Citations and links
- Social signals
While these basic strategies are great, you need to step up your game in order to attract more consumers from the local area and keep pace with growing competition. How can you do that? The answer is simple – get a little more creative with your marketing and promotion plan.
Check out these 9 creative strategies that can boost your local business:
- Get in the news and get noticed – Well-written pages with authoritative links are better-noticed by search engines. Post factual content that is pertinent, and link back to the source for authority. You can find news and details about court cases on an attorney’s blogs, or even create some controversy yourself.
- Nomination links for contests – Chambers of commerce and smaller local newspapers often conduct local business awards. Apart from greater visibility, you gain recognition as a trustworthy local brand. If you don’t bag the ‘Best of’ spot, ‘Top 10’ type of awards can also get you noticed.
- Cash in the green value of your business – Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about the environment, so if your business is in any way environment-friendly, cash in on it. You could always introduce something that helps out the environment, and gives you a few more eco-friendly links.
- Communicate through community events – Community events are a great way to build links, since your webpage will be linked on all the event pages. There are other advantages too – for instance, this is a great way to interact with local customers and gain fame as an organization that supports local causes.
- Become a sponsor or donate to local clubs and organizations – There are a number of clubs that probably have a chapter focused on your locale, and maybe even a dedicated website. Sponsoring events will get you a few more links. That’s not all, popular local-level organizations are a great way to find new customers too.
- Links from wholesalers and manufacturers – While this is often overlooked, retail businesses or sales organizations can improve their online presence by getting listed on manufacturers’ websites. However, be sure to check that you’ve actually been added on their pages and documents.
- Influence ‘people with influence’, i.e. local influencers – If you want the crème-de-la-crème of links, you need to build relationships that matter. It’s going to be tough, but the results are well worth it. Local news and government websites, or (if you can pull it off) even your competitors, can all be great sources.
- Leverage your business relationships – Look around at other local companies who work in the same industry or sector as your own business. A number of complementary businesses might, in some cases, give you links for your websites. Referring your business to others can make sense from this standpoint.
- Create and promote local resources – Using your links to send out good signals locally and showcasing your expertise are always an advantage. Building local resource pages and managing them the right way can improve your search-engine listing and attract many potential links.
Jason Walberg is Marketing Director at Power To Be Found, a Phoenix based Digital Marketing Agency. He is responsible for coordinating and implementing SEO & SMO strategies for clients. He is goal oriented, possess exceptional attention to detail, and has outstanding interpersonal skills. He received his Master’s in Education Technology from Pepperdine University after getting his undergraduate degree from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga.