Local Digital Marketing: Why It Is Important and How to Get Started
Every business today needs to be online. Even small, local businesses must have an online presence or they will miss out on a significant number of potential customers that might be looking for what the business offers. Local digital marketing can increase a business’s customer base, lead to higher revenues, and help the business continue to grow. You want your business to be successful, so take a little time to learn more about local digital marketing and how much it can do for your business.
The Local Landscape – Local Matters
Each month, billions of local searches are conducted. Google searches that include “near me” have increased to 34 times what they were four years ago. Even though many transactions are still happening in local stores, an online presence is needed to help as many customers as possible find the business and decide to stop by the storefront.
Right now, around 85% of all transactions are still in local stores. However, people are finding out about local stores by searching online. Nearly ¾ of those who conduct a local search on their smartphone will visit a related business in 24 hours or less, and more than 25% of those searches are going to lead to a purchase.
Consumer Behaviour of Today
Consumers today have much higher expectations, want immediate action, and are more likely to act on a stimulus when they’re motivated. They’re more likely to make spur of the moment decisions based on what they see and are generally more loyal to what they need at that moment instead of brands. The average person today checks their phone 150 times during the day and spends 177 minutes on their phone each day. Each time they’re on their phone, they spend an average of 70 seconds online.
In the past, everything was based on physical locations. Some businesses had websites, but they generally just told potential customers where to find the local store and didn’t offer much to the customer. Decision-making was based on foot traffic to the physical location and ignored the website if the business had one.
Today, digital marketing drives offline sales. Store traffic declined between 2010 and 2014, and consumers are now spending around 2 times the value of each store visit from 2010 to 2014. Consumers rely on internet searches to help them find local businesses, even if they’ll visit the store in person, and check out websites for more information before they decide to visit the store.
Why Turn to Digital Marketing?
Local digital marketing helps local businesses reach more customers, grow their revenue, and create new jobs. It helps the business grow significantly and can help a business be far more successful compared to a business that does not have a digital footprint.
In the last year, businesses who used digital marketing effectively were almost 3 times more likely to increase the number of calls they received, increase their leads, and increase their sales compared to businesses without a web presence. The top 20% of small businesses that used digital marketing sourced 43% of their customer base from another region or overseas during the last year, leading to a much bigger potential market for the business.
During the last year, small to medium-sized businesses that used digital marketing were able to see revenue growth that was nearly 4 times as high as businesses without a digital presence. The top 20% of businesses using digital marketing earned nearly 2 times the revenue per employee as other businesses.
Learn how Evergreen can help you create and execute a Digital Marketing plan.
Learn to Grow Your Business with Google
With all of the benefits of a digital presence and local digital marketing, you’ll want to start working on getting your business online today. Starting with Google lets you easily get your business online and start working on the main components for a digital presence. You’ll get the beginnings of a digital marketing plan created so you can then focus on boosting your marketing plan and reaching out to more customers.
Three basic steps can help you get started so you’ll be on the way to creating a much bigger internet presence and toward boosting your digital marketing so it’s as effective as possible. To get started, you’ll want to create a business listing, build a website, and start advertising so you can find even more customers for your business. This doesn’t need to take a ton of time to do, but you will want to focus on each step so you can ensure you’ll entice more customers with your new business listing, website, and ads.
Create a Business Listing
The first step is to create a business listing with Google My Business. This is often the first thing a customer will see when they search for a local business like yours. You’ll want to connect with them on Google maps by keeping your information current. This includes your address, hours, and other vital business info that your customers are going to look for before they decide to give you a try. In fact, 40% of local business searches want to find the hours of operation for the business, so keeping this updated ensures your customers find the information they’re looking for.
Add photos to your business listing to bring your business to life. Add unique photos of your store, products, team members, and anything else that’s relevant for your business. Photos encourage people to learn more about a business and businesses with photos in their listing tend to get 42% more requests for directions. Make sure you include your phone number as well since those who are searching on a mobile device can click one button to be connected with your business.
Your Google reviews will be connected with your business listing, so make sure you stay on top of this as well. You’ll be able to build brand loyalty by responding to online reviews. It’s possible to be notified when customers write a review, which lets you reply with your point of view, offer solutions to problems, answer questions or just say thank you to the customers.
Google business listings also offer insights reports which let you see what’s working and what you might want to change. It helps you see how your listing impacts your business, find out how searchers find you, how they interact with your listing, and what time of the day or week you typically have customers looking for your business. You’ll be able to see if customers are calling for more information, requesting directions to your store, or visiting your website to find the information they need.
Build a Great Website
Building a great website is crucial to local digital marketing success. Many of your potential customers are going to want to view your website before they decide to visit your local store. More than 40% of people comparing businesses online will look for websites to help them decide and the website is the top-clicked element on the Google business listings.
However, you don’t need to spend a ton of money to create an intricate website complete with e-commerce options. Instead, start with a basic website designed by a professional. A basic website won’t be too expensive yet will be well-built and include everything that’s necessary to draw in consumers and help them become customers. A properly built website will be able to grow with your business in the future if necessary.
Make sure to register your own domain name for the website. Then, make sure you have attractive, consistent graphics, simple navigation, a site search, and well-written, readable text. You’ll likely want to include useful tools as well. Use the information from your business listing to start your website, then customize it with photos, business details, and more. Be sure to include anything you think your customers might look for before purchasing something from your business and make sure it’s easy for them to find what they’re looking for.
Need a new website, or updates to your current site? Check out our website design and development services.
Start Advertising to Find More Customers
To be there when the customer needs you, start using Google ads. They’re perfect for local businesses as well as for a much wider reach. Make sure to create ads that target local customers and different ads for a wider audience. Connect to Google My Business to show address info with ads and try callout extensions to highlight special offers and track conversations, including phone calls.
You’ll also want to tap into micro-moments by targeting ads to the customer’s buying stage. Carefully choose keywords that are going to match the moment. Then, make sure you connect with customers further. Use display network to connect after the search is over, remarketing to target people who have visited your website, and demographics to bid for more people who are going to match your typical customer profile.
We can help you get your business on Google today with Google Ads.
Get Started with Local Digital Marketing
Local digital marketing and creating a local online presence can have a huge impact on your business, leading to rapid growth, increased revenue, and a much larger customer base. Get started working on your business’s digital presence using the three basic steps outlined here to begin getting all of the benefits of being connected to your customers online.
Ready to start? Evergreen Digital Marketing can help you. Call us today to get the help you need in your local digital marketing efforts.
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