To say that customer reviews are powerful is an understatement. A few sentences in a review can have more influence on consumers than an entire website. A difference of one star—or even a half-star—can be all it takes for a shopper to choose a competitor over you.

But in order to get those sentences or that extra star, you need to ask your customers for reviews. Asking for reviews can feel awkward or self-serving, but the truth is that people generally love to share their opinions; they just don’t know the opportunity is there.

how to ask for reviews dental studio

In this guide, I’m going to cover the importance of online customer reviews and various scenarios that you can turn into opportunities to ask for reviews. Plus, I'll share some great examples of how to ask that you can adapt to your own business.

The importance of asking customers for reviews

Chances are, you can already attest to the power of customer reviews from your own shopping experiences. Think about the number of times you’ve been on the fence about making a purchase and only followed through because other customers’ glowing Google reviews gave you the confidence to do so. Or maybe you were never on the fence at all, because you knew exactly what you wanted to buy because you heard great things about it from someone you know.

The fact of the matter is, what other people have to say about your business carries more weight than what you have to say about your business, even if they are complete strangers. In fact, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

how to ask for reviews stats on the importance of reviews

Image source

If that is not enough to get you to leave your comfort zone and start collecting reviews for your own business, here are some more online review stats that might give you the boost you need:

  • Consumers are willing. In December of 2019, a BrightLocal study showed that 76% of those who are asked to leave reviews go on to do so, and that this was a 70% increase from the prior year.
  • Consumers find reviews to be helpful. In a study conducted by Podium, 93% of consumers said that online reviews for local businesses are as helpful as product reviews on sites like Amazon.
  • Consumers seek out reviews. According to Google, mobile searches for “reviews” have increased by 35%, and searches for “best” have increased by 80%.
how to ask for reviews the importance of reviews

Only 18% of consumers say they don’t read online reviews. That means 82% of your audience can be influenced by reviews written about your business.

How to ask customers for reviews

There are just as many ways to ask customers for reviews as there are communication mediums within your business and marketing efforts. These include:

  • In person
  • Over the phone (or via text)
  • Through your website (ideally, a reviews page)
  • Via email (email blast, personal email, company email, email signatures)
  • Via social media (direct message or post)
  • Via thank you pages
  • On receipts/invoices

We’ll be covering all of these and more in this post, but remember that you don’t have to stick with just one method of asking customers for reviews. In fact, you should have a few strategies running at once to ensure a steady stream of feedback is coming in about your business. Multiple and recent reviews help earn you more trust from customers and also help your business to rank higher in search results.

How to ask for a review in person

Asking for a review in person can be intimidating, but it is the most effective approach. If the opportunity presents itself, seize it!

Ask in response to praise

The easiest scenario would be that of a customer who approaches you with unsolicited praise. In this case, express your appreciation for their taking the time to provide the feedback, and then make the suggestion. For example:

Happy customer: [singing your praises]

You: That is so great to hear. We really try our best to [do what you’re being praised for]. And thank you so much for taking the time to provide your feedback.

Customer: For sure, thank you for providing such great service!

You: You know, those kinds of comments really help prospective customers to feel more confident in choosing us. If you wouldn’t mind writing what you just said in a quick review on [platform of your choice], that would be awesome.

Create opportunities with conversation

You don’t have to wait for a customer to come to you to ask them for a review. More often than not you’ll need to strike up a conversation with them that will provide the opportunity. You can do so by asking questions about their experience with your store, services, or products upon checkout. Good questions include:

  • Did you find everything you were looking for today?
  • Is this your first time [using the product you’re about to purchase]?
  • How is that [product you’re purchasing]? I’ve tried [a similar product] but I have yet to try this one for myself.
  • How was your experience in our store today?
how to ask for reviews the importance of reviews

In-person review requests are the most popular method. (Note: As we will mention later in this post, we do not recommend asking in exchange for a discount, cash, or free gifts/services.)

Don’t force it

Important: Don’t ask for a review upon a customer’s first positive remark about your business. This will render your conversation ingenuine and you will come off as not caring about their experience but rather just about getting the review. Reviews improve your reputation, but you won’t get any (and your reputation will plummet) if you don’t ask in the right manner.

Instead, get a read on the customer. If their response is short and indicative that they don’t feel like talking, don’t force it. If they respond positively and offer more information or feedback, continue the conversation. As it comes to a close, ask them for the review. For example:

“Well hey, thanks for the feedback. We love sharing that kind of stuff with potential customers so they can feel more confident about choosing us. If you’re comfortable with it, it’d be awesome if you could share any of what you said to me in an online review.”

How to ask clients for reviews over the phone

If you own or operate a business that is customer support-heavy, you and your employees can find plenty of opportunities to ask clients for reviews over the phone. But choose who you’re asking wisely. If you’ve just helped a client through a long or difficult problem, it’s probably not best to ask them for a review.

However, if you have a self-proclaimed satisfied customer (ideally if they express gratitude for your help), this is a great time to ask for a review.

“I’m glad we were able to help you today and we so appreciate your business. We would love it if you shared this experience on [link to the online review platform of your choice]. Seeing glowing reviews from existing customers makes others more comfortable knowing they’ll get the support they need should an issue with our services arise.”

You’ll make your customer feel appreciated and valued which not only increases customer loyalty but will also increase the chances of them actually giving you that review.

Examples of asking for reviews via email

Using email to ask for reviews is a solid approach for businesses. First of all, it’s still a great channel for communicating with your customers: 91% of consumers open their email on a daily basis, and 58% of consumers check their email before doing anything else online. Second, you can include the link to the review platform right in the email and even test out different formats and language. Here are three approaches and examples of using email to ask customers for reviews.

Email blast

This is an email that would go out to your customer list. You may want to do one broad email or segment it out as you see fit. This type of email could be as short and simple as a 1-10 scale rating, or it could include some brief copy. 

Review request email example #1

Hey everyone!

Positive reviews from awesome customers like you help others to feel confident about choosing [business name] too. Could you take 60 seconds to go to [link to review platform] and share your happy experiences?

We will be forever grateful. Thank you in advance for helping us out!

Review request email example #2

Hey everyone,

Did you know that the number of [business name] fans has doubled in this year alone? We must be doing something right! Let us know what keeps you coming back for more. This enables us to continue providing the best experience possible for you, and helps others understand how [ business name] can make their life easier.

Review request example #3

Dear [first name]

Thank you for your recent purchase. We hope you love it! If you do, would you consider posting an online review? This helps us to continue providing great products and helps potential buyers to make confident decisions.

Thank you in advance for your review and for being a preferred customer.

how to ask for reviews email blast

Even a simple 1-10 rating could work for an email blast. Image Source

Personalized email

Nothing can make a customer feel quite as appreciated as when they receive a personal email from the business owner. Choose a handful of loyal customers who have done a great deal of business with you, or customers with whom you’re hoping to cultivate lasting relationships, and send them a personal note thanking them for their business and asking for the review. 

how to ask for reviews personal email

Organization-wide email

Involve your employees in the process. Stress the importance of customer reviews to your staff and ask that they send personal emails to customers. Let them know that they would be personally contributing to the growth of your organization and they’ll feel empowered to participate in the initiative.

Note: Be sure to keep email correspondence short and sweet. People are busy and you’re already asking them to take the time to write a review—don’t make them read a two-page letter about it! 

How to ask for reviews in a purchase confirmation

Whether the purchase confirmation is an email or thank you page, asking for a review immediately might seem too soon, since the customer most likely hasn’t had the chance to try out your product or service just yet. However, they can still provide feedback on what it was like to navigate your website, interact with your staff and/or sales team, and go through the purchase process—three very important factors that consumers take into account when considering a business. And this is when the process is fresh on their mind. Also, for many customers, it may not be their first purchase, so if this is their third time purchasing a product from you (or the same product), they might be more inclined to give their positive feedback.

Here are two short and sweet ways to request reviews or feedback in your after-purchase thank you pages:

“Thank you for your purchase! If you enjoyed your shopping experience, tell us (and others) about it!”

“Thank you for your purchase! If you are happy with your [new product], please take a minute to review it here [link to review platform].”

If you are able to go with a branded and designed email, you can gain some inspiration from these brands:

how to ask for reviews review request email

Chewy’s email is a great example of providing the actual items the customer purchased and a link to review each. And I particularly like this one by Biscutteers because they include others’ reviews. This helps give customers a starting point so they’re not starting from scratch, while also boosting their own reputation

how to ask for a review post purchase

How to ask for a review after a download complete

If your business offers downloadable content or tools, this is another opportunity to get reviews. Audience members or customers who frequently download your content are clearly those who trust your business’s expertise and products. They may not leave a review upon their first download, but as they continue using your free resources they may feel inclined to express their appreciation for your useful information and guidance. In this case, your thank you page might have a review request, such as:

“If you find our information to be helpful, write a review! Reviews help us to not only improve our products and services but also to let others know that we care about delivering the best quality.”

“Could others benefit from [business, product, or service name]? Let them know by writing a review!”

If you offer downloadable content or tools, you could include a review request in your landing page or thank you page as with this example:

how to ask for reviews content download

How to ask for reviews from vendors

If you do a lot of B2B work, consider your vendors and partners for reviews. Other business owners understand the value of a review, and leaving one on their website or listing may be enough to get one from them without even asking.

However, there are opportunities to ask for reviews from them as well. If you find yourself in a meeting with a client or a business partner, don’t be afraid to simply say,

“Mr. Smith, I really have enjoyed working with you on this project and value your insight. Would you be willing to share your experience with our company by contributing a short review for our testimonial page?”

Or 

“Positive feedback from not just customers, but also the partners we work with really helps us to continue attracting more great customers and partners such as yourself. If you wouldn’t mind leaving a review, we would really appreciate that.”

Examples of asking for reviews on your website

You can include a CTA to leave a review in various places on your website, but many businesses benefit from having a dedicated reviews or testimonials page accessible via their main navigation (as this is one of the first things a prospective customer seeks out when considering a business).

One way to do this is to simply have a page that provides links to each of the platforms for which you have listings, such as the example below:

how to ask for reviews review request page

Another approach, which I would recommend, is including existing reviews on the page in addition to the CTA to leave a review, such as with the example below:

how to ask for reviews with CTA included

Many content management systems have a plugin or script that allows you to aggregate your reviews from other platforms into a feed on this page. But you can also add them manually. Either way, it is best to have the reviews appear on the page in text form (as opposed to screenshot or image). This is because reviews are often packed with important keywords that can boost your SEO, but Google won’t pick up on these words if they’re in image form.

Additional ways to ask for a review

There are lots of creative ways to ask for reviews for your business. Here are a few more that you can have some fun with.

Include a card in your product packaging: With a design tool like Canva, you can easily create little cards that encourage reviews. The card can say something like:

  • “Did you enjoy working with us? Leave a review!”
  • "How did we do? Let us know by leaving a review at [link]!”
  • “Got feedback? We’d love to hear it! You can leave us a review at [link].”
how to ask for reviews business card

Image source

You can also create thank you cards with the same tool.

Request reviews via text messages or social media: Asking for reviews in either of these manners is effective because like email, you can include the link to the review platform right in the text  

Add a review option to your chatbot: The great thing about using a chatbot is that you can basically set up a survey right within the chat—and set up filtering such that only your customers can leave them.

How not to ask for reviews

While you are encouraged to ask for reviews, there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. Here are some approaches you should avoid.

Incentivizing with gifts or discounts: You should not, under any circumstances, offer a discount or free gift in exchange for leaving reviews. This is against the terms and conditions of many review platforms like Yelp and Google, and can lead to a high volume of low-quality or star-only reviews (with no explanation). The purpose of reviews is not primarily to benefit the business but to empower prospective customers to make informed decisions. However, something like this would be perfectly suitable:

how to ask for reviews donate to charity

Buying reviews. Again, this policy is in place to keep review platforms honest and accurate.

Asking apologetically. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews. People (as mentioned above, 67% of people) are generally willing to leave reviews. People like being heard, and will be extra willing to lend their voice to a company they feel has met their expectations, as a way of returning the favor. Plus, you are empowering them to give other consumers just like them the confidence to make an informed decision 

Forgetting to follow up: Don’t forget to respond to reviews. First off, this is a way of acknowledging and expressing appreciation for the customer’ taking the time to do so. Second, this can help you to build customer relationships and retain more of them. Finally, it shows the rest of the public that you are attentive to the voices of your customers. Responding also builds engagement and activity on your listing, which Google takes into account when ranking business listings.

So what is the best way to ask customers for reviews?

There are many ways to ask for reviews, but the most effective method and/or platform will be different for each business. As mentioned above, your best bet is to have a few strategies in place at once, and to experiment within particular methods to find out which one(s) work best for you! Just remember these key takeaways:

  • Reviews aren’t selfish; they empower your customers to help other consumers make smart and confident decisions.
  • Be genuine and don’t force it.
  • Make it as easy as possible for the customer to leave a review (including using short, easy-to-remember links for printed materials).
  • Remember that customers are willing to leave reviews.
  • Respond to reviews, good and bad!

A steady stream of good-quality reviews is essential for your reputation, ranking, and ultimately even your revenue. So follow these tips and get a review strategy in place asap!

It's long been known that what customers have to say about your business carries more weight than what you have to say about your business, no matter how great your services or how genuine your messaging may be. And knowing how much value consumers place into customer reviews, Google has factored them into its local ranking algorithm—not just the quantity, but the quality of those reviews.

get more google reviews google business listing

So Google reviews impact your ability to acquire new customers not only through your reputation but also through your rank. And that's why we're going to cover 16 effective strategies you can put into place to get a steady stream of positive Google reviews coming in about your business. We'll cover:

  • The importance and impact of Google reviews specifically.
  • The best and most efficient ways to get more Google reviews.
  • Examples of these strategies with sample text so that you're not starting from scratch.

So if you're looking to boost your reputation, rank, and ultimately your revenue, keep reading for these Google review pro tips. 

The benefits of more Google business reviews

A Google review may be a quick and simple process, but the benefits are ongoing. The more people you can get to leave a Google review for your business, the more you’ll be able to accomplish in the way of business objectives. If you’re not yet placing emphasis on Google business reviews, now’s the time to change that and prioritize it in your local marketing strategy. Here are some facts and online review stats to back this up:

  • More reviews, more leads
    Did you know that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? Building up your reviews builds up the likelihood that a Google searcher will engage with your business upon finding it.
  • More positive reviews, more purchases
    Consumers research and read reviews before making purchase decisions. In fact, they read a minimum of 10 reviews before feeling confident in making a decision. The more Google customer reviews you have, the more likely a purchase is to be made.
  • Higher reviews, higher rank
    Google rewards businesses that have frequent and positive reviews. They are a definite local SEO ranking factor, as confirmed by Google itself.
get more google reviews reviews influence local rank

Source: Google

  • Lots of reviews, lower costs
    There are no fees to leave reviews or to respond to them. Positive endorsements for your business on your Business Profile serve as free Google advertising for your business on the world's most trusted platform.

The initial requirements for obtaining Google reviews

A very important thing to note here is that in order to get Google reviews, a few things need to be in place:

  1. You need to know Google's policies
    You must follow Google’s Terms of Service when soliciting reviews. This means you should not offer any rewards and should ask your customers whether they seem to have had a positive or negative experience.
  2. Your business needs to be a "Place" on Google Maps.
    This will give you a Google Business Profile on which customers can leave reviews.
  3. You need to have your Google Business Profile verified.
    Creating a listing on Google Maps (which automatically creates a Business Profile) does not give you control over that listing. You need to create a Google My Business account and verify ownership of your Business Profile through that account.

The steps to create a Google Maps listing and verify it through Google My Business are here.

These steps are crucial because not only are they prerequisites to the strategies below, but they also allow you to respond to and manage the reviews you'll be getting once you've implemented the tactics in this post!

How to get more Google reviews

Alright, now that you know the impact of Google reviews on your reputation and ranking, and have the verified Business Profile through which to manage them, it's time to get more of 'em. These 17 strategies below will help you to do just that.

1. First, know the process

It takes about a minute for a customer to write a Google review. Easy enough, right? Well, there's a process to get there. The customer has to:

  1. Open up Google Maps
  2. Search for your business 
  3. Click on it to pull up your Google Business Profile
  4. Scroll down to the reviews section in your profile
  5. Click write a review

Customer: You have been amazing. How can I leave you a review?

Would you rather have to say:

A Google review would be great! Just search for us on Google Maps and when you pull up our listing, scroll down to the review section and there will be a button there to write a review.

Or

A Google review would be great! Just go to our website and there's a link right there to do it.

2. Create a Google review link for your business

Your customer has to go online to write the review, regardless, so create a review shortcut link and put it on your website.

Go to your Google My Business account, click the Home tab, and find the "Get your first review" (or "Get more reviews") card. Click "Share review form" and copy the link to your clipboard. 

get more google reviews: google review shortcut link creation

You'll see this:

review link shortcut in google my business

Now you can use that link to have a review call to action on your website that takes customers right to the review form in one step.

3. Shorten your review shortcut

For your website and other online methods of asking for reviews, this Google review shortcut link is perfect. But what about offline methods? Customize the link so that you can put it on business cards, flyers, brochures, and the like. With bitly.com, you can shorten and customize your review link.

  1. Create a free account on bitly
  2. Click create
  3. Paste in your link
  4. Customze the back-half
how to get more google reviews shorten review link

Okay, now that you've got a nice and clean review shortcut link, it's time to look at various ways to present this link to customers to get more Google reviews for your local business.

4. Link out to your Google review page from your website

If a customer wants to leave a review for your business, the first place they're probably going to look is your website. Provide a clear and clutter-free call to action that is intuitively easy to find, as with the example below:

In this example, clicking on "here" takes the user directly to the review section of the home inspector's Google Business Profile which lives in the SERP.

get more google reviews link to business profile from website

5. Create a reviews page on your website

While the above method works, an even better one is to dedicate a full website page to Google reviews (or reviews in general), accessible from your main navigation menu. The page should contain both a CTA to write a review but also include existing reviews. These not only encourage prospects to become a customer, but also give that added inspiration for an existing customer to leave a review.

You can populate your reviews page via screenshots, but ideally, you want them to be in text form. The reason for this is that reviews are often keyword-rich, so including them on your website in a way that Google's crawlers can "read" makes for a great small business SEO strategy.

That being said, you may want to come up with a template where you can copy and paste the text in. There are also platforms and plug-ins that allow you to aggregate your Google reviews onto your website automatically.

get more google reviews embed reviews on website

6. Include a Google review CTA in your footer

In addition to a designated reviews page on your website, you may also want to include it in your website footer. The below example uses icons, but anchor text will do just fine.

how to get more google reviews review CTA in footer

7. Create “leave us a review” cards

This is an offline method of getting more Google reviews, for which your shortcut link from #3 comes in handy. Have physical cards made up that says something to the effect of:

"Review Us on Google! Your Google review helps others who need our services to find our business. Plus, your feedback equips us to continue serving you best. Take a minute to rate and review us at bit.ly/WordStreamreview. Thank you!"

how to get more google reviews create a card

8. Ask for Google reviews in person

Having a good conversation with a customer in your store? Just finished a solid support call in which the customer felt eternally grateful? In your interactions with clients, there are many opportunities to ask for Google reviews. Here are some scenarios and examples of asking for reviews:

  • "I’m so glad to hear how happy you are with our business. Hey, if you wanted to leave that in a Google review, you’d help a lot more people like yourself to find us.
  • “This feedback is super helpful. You know what would be awesome is if you shared that feedback online for other customers to see.”
  • “I’m so happy we could help you. If you wouldn’t mind sharing a sentence or two in a Google review, that would help us a ton.”

And then you have that compact little card that has the link on it, or a link to your review page on your website that makes it easy peasy for them.

9. Emphasize to customers how quick and easy it is

So by now, you know how easy it is to leave a Google review, but your customers may not. Plus, review writer's block is a thing. An exuberant or long-time customer may have a hard time distilling everything they love about your business into one review. And then there are those who have a hard time articulating what's on their mind. So when you're encouraging a review, it might be helpful to:

  • Tell them they can leave a star rating without writing anything (if applicable).
  • Remind them that if they do write, the review need only be one or two sentences.
  • Use terminology like “leave a review” or “drop a quick review” instead of “write a review,” as it might feel less cumbersome.
how to get more google reviews leave us a review

10. Run a Google review email campaign

Whether via personalized messages or a larger blanket campaign, email marketing is another effective way to get more Google business reviews. Just be clear in your ask—don’t try to sugar coat it, beat around the bush, or coerce customers into leaving a review. There’s nothing wrong with asking them to do something that will help other future customers make informed decisions. Plus, when you have happy customers, you’d be surprised at how willing they are to write a review. As long as the process is clear and you make it fast and easy to do, you're likely to get warm responses to your request.

Fact: 86% of consumers are willing to write a review.

11. Include Google review opportunities in surveys

Asking your customers for their feedback lets them know that you value what they have to say and have their best interests in mind. If you've gotten someone to fill out a poll or survey, they're already in the proper mindset. See if you can take advantage of their momentum by asking them to review your business on Google while they're at it.

    12. Ask for Google reviews on social media

    Social media platforms are great for conversational marketing and transparency. Post a screenshot of your best review and ask your customers to leave their own feedback (including your clean and simple Google review shortcut link). Remind your followers that this is an opportunity for them to introduce someone else just like them to the benefits they experience from working with your business.

    Platforms like Facebook have their own review system, so keep this in mind when reaching out in this regard.

    get more google reviews post on facebook

    13. Get Google reviews from vendors and partners

    Vendors and partners may not be customers, but they can attest to what it's like to work with you on a regular basis. They also might be more willing to leave a Google business review if you write one for their business first.

    14. Respond to your existing Google reviews

    When you respond to your customers’ Google reviews, you are letting new potential reviewers know that you listen to customer feedback and that it’s worth their time to write their own review. There are two ways in which responding to reviews can get you more reviews.

    • Positive reviews: Being specific, timely, and grateful in your responses to positive reviews will beget more positive reviews.
    • Negative reviews: Responding promptly and politely to negative reviews and actually resolving the issue can oftentimes result in the conversion of a negative review into a positive one.

    Among consumers that read reviews, 97% read businesses’ responses to reviews.

    15. Create a review instruction video

    Even with a shortcut link, some customers might still be more likely to write a review if they see what the process looks like. In this case, creating a quick video on how to leave a Google review for your business may be just what you need. And with today's tools and technology, DIY at-home marketing videos are easier than ever. Here's an example from a home security supplier:

    16. Include your Google review link in your email signature

    Adding a link to review your business on Google in your email signature is a great way to ask for more Google reviews without actually asking! Something like:

    • Have we helped you? Help others to find us by leaving a Google Review!
    • Happy with [Business Name]? Leave a review here.
    • Let others know about [Business Name].

    This can be particularly effective if you communicate on a daily basis with clients via email.

    Examples of asking for Google customer reviews

    Coming up with the words to actually ask for a Google review can sometimes be hard, so here are some basic phrases you can use for starting points or inspiration:

    • Reviews on Google help us to help more people like you. When you have a minute, please share your feedback about our business!
    • Got a minute to review us on Google? We’d love to get your feedback.
    • Thank you for choosing our business! Let us know how we're doing by dropping us a quick Google review!
    • We appreciate your input! Help us continue providing the best service by posting a review on Google.
    • Leave us a quick review on Google! This helps people who need our help to find us.

    How to leave Google reviews (without the shortcut link)

    While your shortcut link turns writing Google reviews into a one-step process, it's still good to know the steps just to have all of your bases covered. Plus, you may want to leave reviews for other local businesses in your community that may not have the shortcut link. So here's how to do it:

    How to leave a Google review on mobile

    1. Go to the Google Maps app
    2. Search for the business name
    3. Tap on the listing
    4. Tap the “Reviews” tab in the listing.
    5. You’ll see a “Rate and review” section where you can give the business a star rating. Once you select the star rating, you’ll have the option to write a review about the experience.
    how to get more google reviews leave review mobile

    How to leave a Google review on desktop

    1. Go to Google.com/maps
    2. Search for the business name
    3. Click the listing
    4. Scroll down to “Review summary”
    5. Click on “Write a review”

    Alternatively, you can click on the star rating directly below the business’s listing title. This will take you directly to the review pane, which has an option to write a review.

    For either of these methods, you will be asked to rate the business from one to five stars. You can add comments or even images of the location and offerings (provided they abide by Google's review posting guidelines). Then, to publish, you'll simply need to click “Post.” 

    Make Google business reviews a habit

    The fact is, consumers trust what other consumers have to say. In fact, many people feel that reviews posted by strangers are just as reliable as personal recommendations. Use that to your advantage. Make a habit of asking your customers to review your business on Google. As long as you make it as easy as possible to do, you are likely to get more Google business reviews showing up on your listing and therefore reaping all of the ranking, reputation, and revenue benefits it has to offer. To sum it all up, here are the 16 strategies:

    1. Make sure you have a verified Google Business Profile
    2. Know the process to leave a review.
    3. Create a Google review shortcut link.
    4. Customize your shortcut link.
    5. Have a reviews page on your website.
    6. Include a Google review CTA in your footer.
    7. Create "leave us a review" cards.
    8. Ask in person.
    9. Emphasize how easy it is.
    10. Run a Google review email campaign.
    11. Include review opportunities in surveys.
    12. Ask your social media followers to review your business.
    13. Request reviews via social media posts.
    14. Include your review link in your email signature.
    15. Respond to existing reviews.
    16. Create an explainer video.

    The prospect of managing paid search marketing can oftentimes feel overwhelming, particularly for local business owners who have a multitude of other responsibilities to worry about. Keeping up with rapidly shifting industry requirements through a pandemic alongside the demanding day-to-day can leave many entrepreneurs too exhausted or stretched thin to start learning how to fully navigate these platforms all by themselves.

    google ads for local business local google ad

    In this post, I will provide some tips on how to build a paid search strategy on Google that will cater to your local business needs. I will cover:

    • Pro tips for your Google Ads account structure, ad extensions, and landing pages.
    • Tools for the most effective conversion tracking, keyword research, and targeting.
    • Additional methods of ensuring the highest return on your Google Ads investment.

    Whether you've tried running Google Ads before, are considering running a campaign for the first time, or are an agency looking to serve a local client, you'll come away from this post equipped with the knowledge, tools, and best practices to achieve sucess.

    10 secrets to successful Google Ads for local businesses 

    When executed properly, local advertising on Google can be a highly effective means of attracting nearby customers and driving your local business goals. So let's get into the tips to help you do just that.

    1. Try a SKAG-based account structure

    It’s important for any advertiser to fully understand in their mind the “why” when it comes to investing in paid marketing channels. It may seem like common sense to many on the surface, but it is very often that I come across businesses who feel like they have to run ads or should without any clearly defined result. The answer to this question, whether it is for one campaign or many, is critical when it comes to how you go about structuring your account.

    For many local businesses, the concept of driving more foot traffic or online orders may be the primary driving force to getting started, but those goals need to be refined even further. If you are willing to invest in targeted keywords, you should have specific goals tied to those ad groups. I prefer to structure accounts based on the single keyword Ad Group strategy or “SKAG”. This allows me to create highly specified campaigns and keyword ad groups that can be refined by match type. Here is a visualization of what this would look like:

    google ads for local business campaign structure

    When running a paid search campaign for locally-driven queries, this account structure works well because it can allow you to be very specific with the terms you are targeting and the ads that are being served to those groups. As with any business running PPC ads, relevance is key. For example, if you operate a local pizza shop, you could have a campaign structure that looks like this:

    Campaign: Pizza

                Ad Group: Pizza Near Me

                            Keywords: “pizza near me”

                                                [pizza near me]

                                                +pizza +near +me

    2. Use Google Tag Manager to track your conversions

    One of the more difficult (but most important) aspects of paid advertising relies on your ability to track conversions. For those who are new to the beautiful world of digital marketing, conversions are the desired actions that you want people to take after they click through on your ad. For example, if I have an ad that directs a user to a web page with a sign-up form on it, and they submit their information, that would count as a conversion. For businesses like restaurants or flower shops, this would be the completion of an order or reservation.

    For those with limited web development experience, the process of setting these up can be rather troublesome. The easiest way to create conversion events is to install Google Tag Manager throughout your business’s website. Tag Manager will allow you to quickly create the events you want in the places you want.

    google ads for local business tag setup

    For example, if you want to drive orders for food, you will want to create a conversion action on the order confirmation page. Some advanced options for a business like this would be to assign conversion values for purchases. So for example, you can pass back the cart value to Google so when someone places an order you can ascertain the return on investment from your advertising. This added layer of complexity will allow you to understand over time what your most profitable campaigns are; and you can have confidence in where you allocate budget over time based on average conversion rates.

    3. Set up call extensions

    It’s safe to assume that the vast majority of local businesses would want to provide a number to call, particularly in paid ads. It’s quite easy to set up call extensions within your ads. Select the campaign you want to add the call extension to and then select “Ads and Extensions” on the left-hand menu:

    google ads for local business call extensions

    Select “Extensions” then the plus sign on the right.

    From there you’ll want to select “Call Extension”

    google ads for local business call extension selection

    From there you will be able to add your business phone number to your ads. This acts as an “extension” to your ads, so a secondary option for individuals to click through on if they wish to call vs visiting your website:

     google ads for local business add call extension

    You also have the ability to set a schedule for the call extension that reflects your business’s hours. If your business is closed, then you can choose to have the extension be hidden during that time.

    4. Refine your targeting

    Targeting is one of three core considerations when coming up with any paid strategyFor local businesses especially, targeting is key as you will want to reach an audience as close to the location(s) of your business as possible. To make changes to location settings, select the campaign you wish to edit, then on the left-hand menu select “Locations:”

    google ads for local business targeting option

    Under “Targeted” you can select specific regions you would like to target, or radiuses:

    google ads for local business targeting location or radius

    You have the option to target a region directly or target by radius. So if you have multiple brick & mortar locations, you can establish a specified mile radius around these locations in order to drive search traffic within an operable distance. One thing to take note of when setting up the locations for your campaign is that there is an option that Google isn’t necessarily up-front about. If you select your campaign and then select the campaign settings, you will see the target locations:

    google ads for local business target locations

    Expand “Locations” so you can see the targeting details:

    google ads for local business targeting details

    From there you will want to expand “Location Options” and select “People in or regularly in your targeted locations.” This will ensure that you are only targeting individuals who are physically searching within the radius you specify.

    5. Align your offer with targeted queries and core advertising goals

    Many marketers struggle with the decision as to which promotion they want to run their paid advertising against. Luckily for local businesses, the search queries you choose to target can guide your promotional decision. For example, if you are targeting the keyword “pizza near me” you are obviously going to want to drive the traffic to a page where users can order pizza. If you are targeting “flower shops near me,” you will most likely want to drive traffic to your homepage where there is a plethora of supporting information and social proof. However, that same business could target “roses for sale near me” and direct traffic to a page specifically for ordering roses.

    When it comes to deciding which promotions to use or keywords to bid on, my suggestion would be to circle back to your central goal for running ads—to generate revenue. There are a couple of ways to determine how you’re going to maximize revenue with search ads:

    1. Which product or service do you generate the most revenue from organically?
    2. What does the monthly search volume look like for the search terms related to the products or services you sell? Additionally, what does the competition and average cost per click look like for these terms?

    6. Use keyword research tools 

    There are a variety of keyword research tools out there that you can pay for, but you also have the option to use free keyword tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to get a general sense of what the search volume looks like for your desired search terms as well as some other insightful information. To access the Keyword Planner, select the “Tools and Settings” icon in the upper right-hand corner of your Google Ads interface. Then select “Keyword Planner” from the menu:

    google ads for local business keyword planner

    There you can enter the keyword you would like to forecast:

    google ads for local business keyword planner search volume and forecasts

    Once you enter, you will be brought to a page where you can edit the location(s) that you’d like to see the keyword volume for:

    google ads for local business keyword planner location

    7. Leverage Google Trends

    You also have the ability to view Google search trends to understand how the current conditions of the pandemic are affecting the volume and frequency of certain search queries. To do that, simply go to https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US

    Once there, you can type in the query you’re looking for data on as well as the location:

    google ads for local business google trends for keyword planning

    Given the search terms and location I have used in the example above, you can see that outdoor dining search queries peaked in July and have begun to tail off as we approach winter in Massachusetts.

    8. Make sure your website is properly organized and optimized

    These qualities make paid search for local businesses particularly efficient if their website is organized properly. The key here is the website itself. Many local businesses may have put minimal effort into their digital site in the past but with the current pandemic, there is no better time to upgrade the quality of it. A large majority of users are searching for local businesses via their smartphones. A massive advantage in the paid search realm is having mobile-optimized landing pages —whether they are a part of your site or separate, unlinked pages. The mobile navigation is key not only from a conversion aspect but also from a Quality Score aspect. If your landing page is clean and easy to navigate, Google will give you an added edge in relation to your competitors bidding on the same keywords.

    9. Deliver exceptional service

    Attracting new customers is one thing, but attracting new, repeat customers is another, and can be achieved from properly optimized Google Ads campaigns. With a fully optimized campaign, you will net greater profit over time from single conversions if your business is great at what it does. Regardless of your approach, there is always a plethora of opportunities awaiting your business as a result of local search queries.

    10. Consider outsourcing

    It may seem overwhelming to start managing paid search ads on Google, particularly if you haven’t done so in the past. Depending on your financial situation, there is always the option to outsource this management. This option may be fruitful in the long run, especially if you just need assistance getting everything set up. You can always learn paid search over time without getting bogged down in the moment to try to drive revenue. There are many agencies and individuals out there who would be willing to aid in the setting up or optimizing of your account. Once an optimal campaign structure, conversion tracking, and promotional strategy is established, you have the ability to scale your ads' profitably and provide extra revenue outside of your standard word-of-mouth foot traffic or organic online orders.

    Try these Google Ads optimizations for local businesses

    To get the best results and the biggest return on your investment with Google Ads for your local business, follow these 10 tips:

    1. Try a SKAG-based account structure
    2. Use Google Tag Manager to track your conversions
    3. Set up call extensions
    4. Refine your targeting
    5. Align your offer with targeted queries and core advertising goals
    6. Use keyword research tools
    7. Leverage Google Trends
    8. Make sure your website is properly organized and mobile-optimized
    9. Deliver exceptional service
    10. Consider outsourcing

    You already know that having a presence on Google is a must—especially for local businesses. You may also know that there are three entities you can optimize to show up higher in Google’s search results: your website, your paid ads, and your Google business listing.

    What you may be less certain of, however, is exactly what that looks like. Google may be one of the world’s most trusted brands, but that doesn’t make it any less mysterious. Plus, it’s always evolving. So how can you stay relevant in search?

    what is google my business business profile in maps fresh n clean dry cleaning

    We’re going to take a look at four important trends for Google search, with particular attention to trends in local search, to help you understand the direction Google is headed:

    • Zero-click searches
    • Quality-based results
    • “Near me” searches
    • Visual local results

    For each trend, we’ll include specific action items to take in response, so you can continue to get found and attract customers online in 2021 and beyond. And in this process, you will come to find that your Google Business Profile just may be the most important one of all.

    #1: “Zero-Click” Searches

    If you haven’t already noticed, Google search results pages have drastically changed over the past decade. They’re no longer just a list of 10 websites, but a mixed-media, interactive page with answer boxes, local map listings, information cards, accordion menus, and more. Google is increasingly providing searchers with the information they need without having to click past the results page. This is especially true for consumers searching local businesses, thanks to Google My Business.

    Your Google My Business listing appears on Google Maps and the local results of Google Search. A complete profile will display the information a consumer needs in order to make a decision about your business—and even contact you—without visiting your website. That’s what we mean when we talk about zero-click searches: more and more often, people who perform a Google search find everything they need without actually needing to click a result.

    zero click search results data

    Via Sparktoro

    It’s partly for this reason that “Godfather of local search” Mike Blumenthal calls Google your new homepage.

    What you need to do

    To ensure Google connects your business with nearby consumers seeking what you have to offer, you absolutely need to get listed.

    Create a Google My Business profile

    To create a Google My Business profile, go to Google.com/business and create an account.

    Claim your listing

    In order to have control over your profile, you need to claim your listing. To do this, search for your business name on Google Maps. If your business appears, select “claim this business” and follow the instructions. If your business doesn’t appear, you’ll need to add your business as a place first and then follow the steps.

    Provide all of your information

    You’ll eventually want to fill out all fields of your profile, but for now you can just cover the basics like contact information and category. Your category is especially important, as it allows consumers to find your business without knowing your business name. Feel free also to select multiple relevant categories, as this is a best practice.

    #2: Quality-Based Results

    Back in the good old days (15 or so years ago), Google ranked web pages based largely on the text of the page. This enabled low-quality pages that were simply stuffed with that keyword to rank in results. Now, Google’s algorithm is more robust, factoring in security, performance, user engagement, and other factors. This enables it to identify and reward pages that deliver high-quality content through the best user experience.

    The same is true for Google My Business profiles. Google won’t rank your listing in results simply because it matches the zip code. It looks for listings that are accurate, active, and acted on by searchers.

    What you need to do

    The key takeaway here is that Google My Business is not  a “set it and forget it” platform. It’s an account that needs regular maintenance. Here are the sections you need to maintain, and how to do so:

    Keep your information accurate

    Trust is the name of the game with Google. Update your contact information as needed and verify holiday hours accordingly. Also, make sure your information is consistent with other listings across the web. Mismatches that cause Google to raise an eyebrow can hurt your rank.

    how to use Google my business provide information homesmith services llc.png

    Post regularly

    An active presence signals to Google that your business is alive and thriving, and gives Google it more confidence to send its searchers to you. Make use of GMB’s social posting feature and keep searchers up to date on events, promotions, announcements, and new offerings. Posts expire every seven days so you really have to keep up with this one.

    Update your photo library

    Keep your photo reel fresh with new pictures each week. Include pictures of your staff, the different products or services you offer, and happy customers (with their permission).

    Earn reviews

    One 5-star review from 2013 is not going to cut it! Consumers trust and rely on what fellow consumers have to say about a business. Google knows this and rewards businesses that have a healthy review presence. To get more reviews, it’s simple: ask for them.

    get more google reviews how to leave a review

    It may feel awkward, but the truth is, customers are happy to write them; they just need a prompt. Ask via email, explaining that their input helps other home buyers to make informed decisions. Or, if a client is thanking you in person, express that you’d really appreciate it if they could write a review with what they just said.

    Respond to reviews

    Responding to reviews is another way to show Google that you’re active and attentive. Your responses also give prospects important information. They indicate that you care about customer feedback, and also provide an opportunity to express your personality and what you’re like to communicate with.

    Answer questions

    Your Google My Business profile has a Q&A section. Not only should you answer the questions that come up here, but you should also seed this section yourself to provide pertinent information ahead of your customers.

    #3: “Near Me” Searches

    Take a look at this chart for “near me” searches on Google over the past 5 years.

    near searches on google

    Data source: Google.com/trends

    While “for me” searches have shown growth rates of 60%, “near me” searches have reached 900% growth.

    People today are performing more “near me” searches as opposed to inputting their zip code or location because they expect Google to detect their location.

    What you need to do

    Google will actually do the work in detecting a user’s location and finding businesses that dominate that location; but you need to do the work in being one of the businesses Google finds that is prominent in that location. This can be especially difficult if you’re a service-based business without one specific location—such as home inspectors, interior designers, repair businesses, and other home services. If this is the case for your business, here’s what you need to do:

    Set to service area business

    Make sure you’re set to “Service Area Business” in your Google My Business account. This is for businesses that don’t have one static location, but serve customers at their locations. When you check off this status, you can specify which areas you serve. This is especially useful if you serve some, but not all, locations outside of your radius.

    Publish location-specific services pages

    Rather than having one services page on your website, publish separate pages for each of the main neighborhoods you serve. Include photos, testimonials, inspection codes and policies specific to that area. This will fill your page with keywords pertaining to that area and signal to Google your prevalence there.

    Include keywords in your listing

    Make sure your business description and photo captions contain location-specific keywords. For example, “We are a full-service inspection group serving customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area since 2006.”

    #4: Visual Search Results

    Aforementioned local expert Mike Blumenthal has found that images from GMB profiles are starting to appear in local search results. If you search “wedding dresses wilmington”, you can see it yourself. Google displays a photo of a dress from the business’s Google profile right in the result.

    local search image results

    Furthermore, it changes the feature photo displayed for the listing depending on the term that was searched.

    This feature is currently retail-focused, but Google’s advances in image reading indicate that it will eventually have more widespread application. For example, Google is starting to show the ability to understand what is going on in a picture—such as a person inspecting a home—even if it isn’t tagged with a text descriptor.

    What you need to do

    Use specific images

    Add images to your website and Google My Business listing that are highly specific to every service you provide. Wherever possible, describe the service being provided and where. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and ensure success as Google incorporates images into local results.

    Nix the stock photos

    Make sure your photos are original photos. This will enable you to get as specific and relevant as possible. Plus, when consumers can see the actual people that will be going into their homes, they can establish trust more quickly.

    A great local listing will take you far

    Google has many facets, but these are the four key trends you can be sure are worth catering your local marketing strategy to. To ensure you’re getting maximum visibility in Google search:

    1. Create a Google My Business account as a Service Area Business.
    2. Maintain an active presence through posts, photos, reviews, and responses.
    3. Emphasize your local presence through targeted website pages.
    4. Use real, service-specific photos

    Google may always be changing, but its goal remains the same: to provide searchers with reliable information, fast. The above steps will guide you in building out a Google profile in line with these values. This way, algorithm changes and updates will serve to your advantage and require little to no work on your part. In other words, stay focused on your customers and Google will always be on your side.

    Local business owners know digital marketing is critical. Unfortunately, many don't sustain growth because they cannot maintain consistency or because they run out of ideas. The good news is, effective digital marketing is a beautiful mix of search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, content marketing, social media advertising, and more—and with ever-changing trends, there are always ways to come up with new ideas.

    local marketing ideas near me search ad

    Yet as a business owner, it can be hard to come up with those new ideas. That's why we've created this guide, which will cover local marketing suggestions and tips in four overarching categories:

    1. Local Facebook and Google advertising
    2. Local listings and review sites
    3. Local SEO
    4. Social media marketing
    5. Email marketing
    6. Community-based marketing

    Some of these strategies are tried and true, while others may be new to you (rhyme not intentional, but we’ll go with it). The point is, there is something in here for everyone, whether you’re a rookie local marketer or a more seasoned and savvy specialist.

    Effective local marketing ideas: advertising

    Small businesses often have a small budget, so it might seem strange to have this as the first and foremost grouping of local marketing ideas. The truth is, thanks to the advanced targeting capabilities of online ads, they are a cost-effective way to get qualified exposure for your lcoal business. The key is to do it right. here are X ideas and suggestions to use it to get a solid ROI on your advertising spend.

    1. Run Google Ads

    Google, one of the foremost search engines in the world, allows you to target potential customers in your local area specifically with pay-per-click ads. With this platform, you can run the classic search engine result Google Ad, Google Service Ads, Google Shopping Ads, and more.

    effective local marketing ideas run google ads

    A higher volume of inquiries and increased sales are just two of many benefits of running Google Ads. A well-thought-out ad strategy can also yield long-term results that are less tangible, such as improved brand awareness and brand recognition, which often leads to referrals and sales down the road.To learn more, check out:

    2. Set up detailed radius location targeting in Google Ads

    Below is a simple explanation of Google Ads radius targeting.

    local marketing ideas location targeting for google ads

    You might think you can set the target 2-5 miles around your store and then kick back...but not so fast! Taking advantage of the radius targeting feature along with location bid adjustments is what will turn your Google Ads from doing well to, well, crushing it. Here's how to set up radius targeting in Google Ads:

    Step 1: Create your locations

    Let's say you own a coffee shop in Irvine, CA, and let's say that consumers are only willing to drive up to five miles to visit the store.

    1. Go to settings at the campaign level > all settings > edit locations > advanced search > radius targeting.
    2. Type in your address and select search.
    3. Add locations for a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 mile radius.

    This is what the targeting map should look like when you are finished:

    local marketing ideas radius targeting google ads

    You know you are doing something right when your targeting is, in fact, a target.

    Step 2: Collect data

    The most important part of this Google Ads optimization strategy is using data to make your decisions. Now that the locations are placed in the campaign, you must give them time to collect clicks and more importantly, conversion data. Once your data reaches a significant level, you will then be able to perform the formula in step three and enter bid adjustments.

    Step 3: Set location bid adjustments

    A location bid adjustment is the percentage you would like to adjust your bids for a given location. You can set lower bids with negative numbers or raise bids with positive numbers.

    To input these location bid adjustments, go to campaign settings > locations tab. Here you will see all of the radius locations that were just created in step one along with their performance data. You will notice a bid adjustment column (you will be using that one).

     

    Here is the formula that you should use to create your bid adjustments for each location:

    Location Conversion Rate / Average Conversion Rate - 1 = Bid Adjustment

    Bid adjustment formula:

    Location Conversion Rate / Average Conversion Rate - 1 = Bid Adjustment

    An important thing to note is that bid adjustments will layer for a location within another location/locations. For example, ads showing in the 1-mile radius will have the 2, 3, 4, and 5-mile radius bid adjustments added up. Here is an example of what actual bid adjustments will look like vs. the original adjustments that you will get from the formula above.

    • Formula Bid Adjustments: 1 mile: 50%, 2 mile 35%, 3 mile 20%, 4 mile 10%, 5 mile 0%
    • Actual Bid Adjustments: 1 mile: 15%, 2 mile 15%, 3 mile 10%, 4 mile 10%, 5 mile 0%

    No conversion data? First off, shame on you! The best thing you can do is go with the assumption that the further someone is from your store, the less likely they are to visit. With that, don’t set a bid adjustment for your 1-mile radius, and gradually scale negative bid adjustments for 2, 3, 4 and 5 miles.

    3. Run local Facebook Ads

    Running local Facebook ads in conjunction with Google Ads will even further facilitate sustained growth for your small business. Not ony can social media ads increase sales; they can also increase consumers' familiarity with your business over time. As they scroll through their feeds and perform searches on Google and see your business more and more, when the time comes that they need yourr services, your business is likely to be the one they call. 

    effective local marketing ideas local facebook ads

    Now, you're not alone if you are asking yourself (or your agency) “Do you really believe our target market is on Facebook?” The answer is YES. Whether you are B2B or B2C, you are still advertising to people and frankly, people love consuming content on Facebook. In case you aren’t convinced yet, here are 25+ facts as to why you need to start advertising on Facebook. Below are the various objectives for advertising on Facebook. Website Clicks, Brand Awareness, and Local Awareness Ads are your best bet. 

    effective local marketing ideas promote your content on facebook

    4. Show approximate distance from store in your mobile social ads

    As a local business, you have an advantage over national chains: They cannot, at scale, create hyper-local ads for each of their locations. Here are some tips to help your mobile ad copy successfully generate leads for your local business:

    • Use Google Search Console to find new ad group opportunities based on what’s driving search impressions.
    • Try including your Zip Code in the ad headline.
    • Talk about distance to your location.
    • Localize call outs and extensions.
    effective local marketing ideas show approximate distance in your ads

    5. Build custom landing pages for every campaign

    Countless local businesses throw money down the drain by not tracking conversions or building local landing pages. Ideally, each of your Google Ads campaigns should have a simple flow chart:

    Click Ad > Go to Relevant Landing Page > Convert

    Each of your Google Ads campaigns should follow this simple flow chart:

    Click Ad > Go to Relevant Landing Page > Convert

    The key tips to keep in mind when developing a landing page for a local audience are:

    • Include only one clear call to action.
    • Use a descriptive hero image that compliments your value proposition.
    • Answer your audience's top questions to help them feel confident in moving forward.
    • Make sure your contact number is click-to-call.
    • Use sticky menus to keep important information and the CTA visible at all times.
    • Test, test, test your local landing pages.

    Here’s an example of a landing page that follows the above guidelines:

    effective local marketing ideas build custom landing pages for every campaign

    6. Use remarketing to generate reviews

    Receiving and responding to reviews is one of the best things you can do for your business. Customers love you! Unfortunately, their memory can be poor and sometimes they just don’t remember to leave you those coveted 5-star reviews. Here is how to use rmarketing to generate more reviews.

    effective local marketing ideas use remarketing to generate reviews
    1. Set up a confirmation or thank you page page when people fill out a form or complete an event in your Google Analytics (GA).
    2. Add a remarketing tracking code to your confirmation page and set up the list in GA so that you can tag customers who visit that URL.
    3. Then you can create a simple display ad that says “Love us? Leave us a Review on Google! (Or the platform of your choice).

    7. Try third-person ad copy instead of talking about yourself

    Ever wonder how you can cut through the noise among other Google Ads? Try talking in the third person. We have experimented and seen higher CTR’s in ad copy that contains language that speaks to the customer in the third person. Here are some examples:

    • “We Hired Them To Do Our AC and It Was Perfect.”
    • “They Truly Are OC’s Best Plumber”
    • “I Am a Raving Fan After Their Customer Service. You Need to Try Them.”

    By using language like this, your ad will immediately stand out from the competition and you can start to build up your CTR’s.

    Our process is simple: Go to your Yelp or Google My Business account, read reviews from customers, copy and use in your Google Ads copy; and as always, test and re-test!

    8. Leverage call-only ads

    If you are a local service business driving sales through phone calls, and if landing pages aren't really your thing (even though they should be...)then call-only ads could be a lifesaver.

    effective local marketing ideas leverage call-only ads

    Call-only ads allow you to completely avoid the need for a landing page or a “leaky funnel.” If you do not have money for an ad team or custom landing pages, then call-only ads give you a way to advertise directly to your customer with a singular focus: customers and leads calling you.

    Be wary though: you will get calls that are not entirely qualified, so make sure to leverage amazing ad copy that clearly allows your target market to self-identify with your offer. Here are some examples:

    effective local marketing ideas leverage call-only ads examples

    9. Test store-front images in your display and retargeting ads

    Big picture, if you are a local business that thrives on foot traffic you want to start to create a correlation between your online presence and your physical location. You want to stand out in your advertising environment so that consumers, when driving or walking by your location, will think "Hey, I’ve seen that place before.” While copy like “Swing By Today” is catchy and needed, nothing ties the physical and the virtual together like a photo of your actual location.

    Effective local marketing ideas: listings 

    Online review sites and local business directories sites such as Yelp, Merchant Circle, and Google My Business enable people to identify and learn about businesses in a specific area. Customers use these sites to find businesses where they live, where they are visiting, and to review good service. In order to use review sites and directories for your local online marketing, you need to get listed, encourage reviews, and monitor your listing. Here’s the breakdown:

    10. Get listed

    When creating your listing on these sites, be as detailed as possible, and make sure your information is consistent across listings. You want people to be able to use these sites to not only discover your business, but also to learn about, engage with, and become a customer of your business. If it is difficult for people to get to your website, find your address, or call you from your online directory listing, then you are likely missing out on new customers. 

    11. Prioritize your Google business listing, in particular

    Every year, Google improves its local search capabilities more and more. Consumers rely on this search engine to find businesses close to them. If you want to get found by customers in your local area, you need to make sure you’re showing up on Google Maps results as well as the local results section of Google Search. How do you do that? With a Google Business Profile, which is the official term for a Google business listing. This free listing will not only give you greater visibility in local search, but it will also help you to obtain more customers. This is because the listing contains everything a consumer needs in order to make a decision about and even engage with your business.

    Your free Google business listing contains everything a consumer needs in order to make a decision about and even engage with your business.

    12. Select your category

    How important are listing categories, you might ask? They are critical—and here’s why. For one, if you advertise on Yelp, the queries that your ads show up for are determined by the categories you choose.

    effective local marketing ideas local seo categories

    Furthermore, where your listing ranks organically on Google is also influenced by your Yelp categories. For example, in the image below, Alternative Divorce Solutions was able to move up to the number one result in a Yelp search for “divorce mediation” simply by listing their business under “Divorce & Family Law” as a category.

    The importance of this spans outside of Yelp though! Look at the number one organic result in Google (under local results, which we'll get to next) for “divorce mediation”:

    effective local marketing ideas categories divorce mediation

    Yep, it’s Yelp. But if you're included in that list, you're on the first page of Google. So, by simply getting your Yelp categories correct you can start to immediately impact your lead volume.

    This also means that if you pay for ads and don’t want to advertise on certain keywords, removing categories is critical as well. (Think of this like negative keywords.)

    13. Optimize your Google listing with a Google My Business account

    Choosing a category is important for any listing, but especially your Google Business Profile. It's also one of several optimizations you should do to improve the efficacy of your Google listing. Just as with ads and websites, Google ranks Business Profiles according to their relevancy to the search term and overall quality. This means that by optimizing your Business Profile, you can rank higher in local search, show up for more search terms, stand out from competitors, and even win more customers. To optimize your Google Business Profile, create a Google My Business account so you can access and manage the information in your listing. All of the attractive information you supply in your account dashboard will then populate in your Business Profile to boost its quality—and therefore your visibility in local search.

    14. Monitor and maintain your directory listings

    Once you set up your directory listings, you can sit back and relax, right? Well, not quite. If there are any changes in your business, even as small as a suite number, you’ll need to update your listing. If people obtain inaccurate or out-of-date information about your business, they will not be able engage with it, and may even lose trust in your business. It’s also important to monitor your listings to respond to comments and reviews from customers. It’s a good idea to occasionally Google your business to make sure your listing is accurate.

    15. Encourage reviews

    In addition to accessing your website and contacting you, potential customers will also use what other people say in order to learn about your business. If your business shows up in a directory and there are no reviews, they are likely to turn to a competitor who has reviews. Optimize your local online marketing by asking customers to write good online reviews for these directories and make it easy for them to do so. Check out our examples of personally asking for a reviews here.

    16. Avoid "not recommended" reviews and Yelp filters

    While it is essential to have a review strategy, there are some nuances around reviews to pay attention to for different platforms. For example, on Yelp, nothing is more irritating than reviews you rightfully earned going to the “not recommended” category or getting filtered out entirely. To save you time and pain, local marketing expert Mike Blumethal has a tactic to avoid this:

    • Do not send clients a direct link to your page. Yelp can see this and detect that you are asking for a review. Instead, have them type "[your business name] Yelp" into Google so they can arrive at the page organically.
    effective local marketing ideas directive consulting yelp
    • Do not send email blasts to large groups asking for reviews (a large injection of reviews raises alerts).
    • Do not have clients review the company from your place of business (gets filtered if reviews are coming from the same IP address).
    • Do not send invites through the "Find Friends" feature. Identify them with the feature then reach out on Facebook or email (personally) to ask for a review.
    effective local marketing ideas find customers active on yelp to avoid filters

    Effective local marketing ideas: local SEO

    Listings are one of the fundamentals of local SEO, which is a set of practices to help your business rank higher for local searches on Google and other search engines. Let's cover a few more local SEO tactics that can help you gain exposure for your local business to the right audience.

    17. Create service area hubs and individual location pages to boost rankings

    As a service-based business, you should have a unique service page for each of the core neighborhoods you serve. This way you can customize each page for the qualities, services, and traits specific to that location and each page will have a chance to rank organically for search queries like [your serivce] in [your location].

    In addition, having the location-based pages in your top navigation, as with the example below, can improve your internal linking structure, which Google likes, which can in turn improve your rank. It also helps users to find the location most applicable to them more easily.

    effective local marketing ideas service area hub pages

    18. Add relevant local info to your location pages using Wikipedia

    Crafting killer local pages is more of an art than a science. Beyond clarity and design, the relevance of the content on your page is hugely important. A great way to establish this relevance is by linking out.

    Linking out to relevant local information is crucial in Google’s understanding of what you are associated with locally. To come up with ideas, we search: “city name + wikipedia” to come up with locally relevant ideas and talk about it in our page.

    effective local marketing ideas add relevant local information to wikipedia

    Here’s the basic template we follow:

    1. Keyword + city in title
    2. Talk about your history in the city and things you’ve been involved with in the community: link out.
    3. Talk about relevant partners or associated businesses. If you are a plumber talk about the different suppliers you use in the area. If you are a coffee shop talk about the places you buy your beans from.
    4. Talk about things that are relevant to what you do in your area. If you are a national lawyer, talk about the laws that are unique to that state. Here’s an example.

    The key is that your page is useful, relevant, and builds a local bond with your searcher.

    Local marketing ideas: social media

    19. Promote your latest customer reviews on Facebook

    Here’s a juicy stat from a BrightLocal consumer survey: 92% of consumers now read online reviews.

    92% of consumers now read online reviews.

    We already know our customers want to read reviews. The key is to make these customer reviews more accessible, and a great way to do this is by incorporating them into your advertising. By leveraging Facebook advertising, you can quickly spread brand awareness and show off your stellar local reputation.

    Here’s an example of a Facebook ad featuring a customer testimonial:

    effective local marketing ideas promote reviews on facebook

    If you are struggling to get your images approved by Facebook, use this tool to test them. Then you can use this tool from Buffer for customizing your image and adding the text overlay.

    20. Run a contest or giveaway

    A lot of things may change, but one remains the same: people love free stuff! Therefore, a great way to attract locals to your business is to run a contest or giveaway. You could promote it through social media, email, your website, or even the local paper or a nearby radio station. To get people through your doors, you might even require in-store pickup or redemption. For example, you could use this model: “The first [number] customers to stop by today will get a free [product or service]!”

    21. Automate your social media to join in on conversations in your shop

    Staying up-to-date with your customers’ conversations on social media can be tough if you run a local business with foot traffic.. To help you out, we came up with a way to automate social media for you.

    Automate your social media to join in on conversations in your shop

    We made it simple for non-programmers like us and it only takes a Zapier and Twitter account to set it up.

    The idea is that if someone in your location tweets something with your brand or your product’s name in it that your own Twitter account can respond to them with a variety of responses. For full details on automating social media, click here!

    22. Use Facebook events

    Whenever you have an event, create a Facebook event for it and send out invitations. Hosting an event and making a Facebook event or even an ad for it will increase your event’s and business’s visibility and will help get more people interested in attending.

    23. Post in Facebook Groups

    Another way to use Facebook to get local customers is with Facebook Groups. Search Facebook for local groups including business networking groups, industry related groups, or even parent or yard sale groups!  Joining groups that your target market is in and posting your content in them makes group members more likely to engage with your business. Just be careful not to only post your content. Show interest in others' content, promote articles by other sources, and engage in two-way conversation.

    24. Use location tags

    Social media is a great way to create a buzz about your business. In order to get local customers, use a location tag when posting. A location tag puts your business on the map, making it easier for local customers to find your business on Facebook or Instagram. Click here to learn how to add a location on Instagram or Facebook.

    25. Use local hashtags

    An easy tool that you can use to attract more local customers is by using hashtags in addition to location tags on social media. When used correctly, you can engage local customers with your social media accounts and make your business more likely to be found by users browsing around. Use local hashtags for your city, state, or town. People searching and using local hashtags will be more likely to find your business this way.

    In order to optimize your social media accounts for SEO, be sure to include your business’s name, website, and short description about what you do in your social media profiles. In terms of gaining local customers, adding your location on every social platform you use can help your business become even more visible to those in the area. Your location is just another keyword people can search for to put your business on the map.

    26. Connect with local influencers

    Do you know a blogger or local influencer in your geographic or niche community whom people trust? Get to know that person or group of people and offer them a free service or product. Getting someone with strong local influence to try your business means that they might endorse your product to their followers.

    Effective local marketing ideas: in the community

    Chances are, your small business is primarily, if not entirely, dependent on the support and patronage of your community. That being the case, you need to pay special attention to its members, investing in marketing that will bring them together, benefit them, and build trust.

    27. Become a local sponsor

    Could you sponsor a local sports team, hold a fundraiser for a local youth club or support some other project or organization? Doing so would put your business on the radars of people who are involved with (or at least aware of) those projects and organizations. This might just lead to more business for you.

    28. Do some volunteer work in your local community

    What if you’re not quite in a position to become a sponsor? You can still do some volunteer work within your community. No matter where you’re based, there’s surely something helpful you can do. You might consider helping out at local non-profit or charity event. This will give you the opportunity to meet and interact with locals and may also move the organizations you help to promote your business in some way.

     

    29. Attend local farmer's markets and trade shows

    In many towns and cities across the country, community events are happening weekly. If your business is located in a metropolitan area, there are often craft and trade shows going on near you, too. Sign up for events you think your target audience will attend, and promote your business at these functions to the attendees. Local events draw local crowds, which can help your business gain more customers in the area. Be friendly, offer incentives for interacting with you and your business, and meet as many potential customers as you can.

    30. Form a local partnership

    Make it a practice to network with local business owners. As you do, you’ll learn about their products and services, as well as their core values, mission, and customer base. If you find that their businesses complement yours and you’re targeting a similar demographic, a partnership might be worth considering.

    You can then think of creative ways to promote one another’s businesses. This can be an effective way to go because you’ll have the credibility and good reputation of your partners working in your favor. Plus, their “vote of confidence” will give consumers all the more reason to trust and do business with you.

    Local partnerships will have the credibility and good reputation of your partners working in your favor.

    31. Join your local Chamber of Commerce

    There are many resources available today for local business owners. Have you considered registering with your local chamber of commerce?  A chamber of commerce is one of many a sort of business network with a focus on furthering the interests of local businesses.

    Regardless of whether you’ve heard of or considered joining this type of organization before now, one fact remains. You should register as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on any opportunities available to you as a member.

    32. Build guides for local activities & promote them

    What a great way to do local content! Instead of just creating content that talks about yourself or is “for keywords,” start building useful, location-basedguides. The example below is from a coffee shop, which helps to build their brand and help them be a part of their community.

    effective local marketing ideas local content promotion on facebook

    With small budgets (like $20) we’ve been able to use promoted posts on Facebook to get massive reach and increase brand queries associated with their primary keyword: “coffee shop irvine”. You and your team can do these exact same types of content.

    Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

    • 10+ Dog Trails in (your city/county)
    • Dates for Under $20 in (your city/county)
    • Farmers’ Markets in (your city/county) That You Need to Visit This Weekend
    • The Ultimate Guide To Craft Breweries in (your city/county)

     

    33. Newspaper ads and contributions

    Social media is huge, but that doesn’t mean that newspapers don’t still have a place in the world. If you have a local paper that people read, try advertising in it. Better yet, save the money and do something newsworthy. Tell the local paper about an event that you’re hosting and offer to provide inside access for a story! You could also ask to contribute a post useful to the community. Here are some guidelines for quality content.

    34. Flyers

    Flyers aren’t just for yard sales and finding your missing pet—they are another quick and easy local marketing strategy that can help attract more local customers. Print out as many copies as you think you’ll need and hand them out in an area with a lot of potential customers. Local supermarkets, festivals, and sporting arenas are good locations for getting your local community to learn more about your business.  

    Local marketing ideas: email marketing

    Email marketing has been around forever, and for good reason: it works. In addition to using email to converse with clients, ask for reviews, and follow up with leads, you can also use it to keep existing customers interested and nurture leads into customers. Here are some email tips for local marketing.

    35. Send locally-focused emails

    Email is an effective way to keep in touch with past customers and gain new ones, especially for local businesses. Think about how you can make your emails more attention-grabbing with local content. You might try a monthly newsletter that also includes relevant updates about the community. Or maybe deals and discounts creatively named based on location-specific themes, such as street names or other community mainstays. You could also write free guides or blog posts with a local focus and distribute those via email. For example, a nutritionist could share a blog post on “Best Health Food Stores in the Chelmsford Area”, while a real estate agent could share a guide such as  “Best Resources for Boston Home Buyers”.

    Think about how you can make your emails more attention-grabbing with local content.

    36. Offer emailed mobile coupons to track offline conversion intent

    Offline conversion tracking is a daunting task and can often rely on the dependence of micro conversions (time on site, specific page visits, etc.). Lucky for you, we have the answer to all of your offline conversion tracking pains: Emailed mobile coupons! This is a coupon that the consumer can request via email and show on their phone when it’s time to purchase at your store.

    effective local marketing ideas email mobile coupons

    Adding an emailed mobile coupon to your site is a great way to track both conversion intention and execution. You can add your paid traffic tracking script to the coupon request action to easily track purchase intention.

    If you would like to take things one step further, build a custom landing page for this emailed mobile coupon and only show it to your paid traffic. That way, you can attribute all of your in-store transactions using the coupon to your paid efforts.

    More local marketing ideas

    37. Encourage word-of-mouth marketing

    Word of mouth is also a highly effective local marketing tactic. The best thing you can do to promote word-of-mouth in your local area, of course, is to provide outstanding customer service. You should also be proactive by asking for reviews, in person, via email, or on social media.  One last idea is to package a solid offer up in a shareable email or social media post. If your audience members feel that someone they know could benefit as well, they’ll be happy to forward along to family and friends, increasing your business’s local exposure.

    38. Distribute business cards, brochures, and flyers

    Though we live in an online world, printed material is still widely successful with local marketing. Make sure your collateral is eye-catching, clearly explains briefly what you do or offer, and contains all necessary contact information. You can then set them out at your physical location, pass them out to potential customers and partners, or leave them in popular local go-to’s such as coffee shops.

    These, too, will keep your business top of mind and may also end up in the hands of potential customers you previously hadn’t reached.

    39. Offer referral incentives

    Kill two birds with one stone by offering referral incentives such as discounts and other coveted perks. Not only do they keep past customers coming back to you, but they also reel in new ones. Need we mention that these new customers—the family, friends and professional connections of current buyers—may also refer you, increasing your reach even more? This is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding local marketing tactics you could use!

    effective local marketing ideas referral program

    40. Create a “Get Directions” page and set views as a micro-conversion

    If you are a local business, it can be difficult to tell if your online efforts are driving offline conversions. To help make your life easier, simply set your “get directions” page or tab as a destination URL goal in Google Analytics. With this type of data, you can build a somewhat reliable attribution model for your paid efforts.

    More ideally, however, we recommend comparing advertising channel spends with overall revenue growth. So, when we spent $1,000 on Yelp compared to $500, how much more revenue did we make? Was it worth it? Start to notice trends and you can see where your dollar yields the greatest increase in marginal returns.

    effective local marketing ideas create a get directions page

    41. Create seasonal content

    There are tons (and I mean tons) of observances and awareness causes that are allotted to specific months of the year. There's Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, National Compliment Day, Financial Literacy Month, and the list goes on. These themes and observances give you the opportunity to add a touch of philanthropy, festiveness, and fun into your marketing content. Even better, you can really build a sense of community, which is huge for local businesses. Here are some monthly marketing ideas (with plenty more to come):

    The goal with all these local marketing ideas is that you are able to cut through the noise and stand out from your competitors. These creative advertising and marketing ideas should be tested and either put to rest or elevated into the hall of fame. Feel free to share your own local marketing ideas in the comments below, and optimize on!

    It’s a tough time to be a small business to say the least, especially if you’re operating with a physical location. However, tough times allow those who are willing to adjust the capacity to flourish while their competition falls behind. If you’re a local business looking to start offering more online sale opportunities for your customers amidst additional lockdowns and draconian mandates, you’ll want to know where to start.

    ecommerce tools for local businesses

    There are several options available to give your website ecommerce capabilities. In this post, I’ll walk you through some tips on how to establish ecommerce tools on your website so that while your physical location may be closed to the general population, you still have the opportunity to flourish digitally.

    Simple digital soutions for local businesses

    If you don't currently have a website then this section is for you. If you do have a website but are looking for an easier alternative to manage and design, this section is also for you. In recent years there has been a boom in automating once arduous and frustrating digital processes, one of those being the creation and maintenance of websites. In the past, you would have either had to hire a web developer to build you a site or you had to learn how to do so yourself through mind-numbing platforms like WordPress. In short, it was a pain to quickly build a website by yourself. Fast forward to 2020 and you can easily build your own basic website in a night. Additionally, all of these “do it yourself” platforms provide ecommerce solutions that are in many ways better than standalone platforms and plugins.

    ecommerce tools for local business simple solutions

    1. Squarespace 

    Squarespace was one of the first website builders to truly make the process simple and accessible to the general populous of entrepreneurs and content creators. Squarespace users have the ability to choose a template style most aligned with their business or personal use and subsequently use drag and drop elements to quickly create a slick and professional website. You can purchase a domain through Squarespace or transfer a pre-existing domain through the site.

    ecommerce tools for local business squarepace

    Squarespace also has integrations specifically for businesses looking to sell their products online. You have the ability to take online payments via Stripe, PayPal, and accept in-person payments with Square hardware. Those purchasing products from your site will be able to browse and add items to their cart as they would with any other online retailer. Squarespace also provides numerous customization options such as limited availability alerts and the ability to create customer surveys or share a gifting message. Squarespace’s tax tools make compliance simple with the ability to set local tax rates for countries and regions, tax-inclusive pricing, and automated sales tax filing. 

    ecommerce tools for local business squarespace 2

    2. Wix

    A direct competitor to Squarespace, Wix provides businesses and individuals with a similar drag-and-drop experience. Like Squarespace, you have the ability to choose from a number of themes and layouts that you believe align best with your business brand and from there customize them to your liking. Wix also has an ecommerce platform completely devoted to entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to sell their products digitally.

    It appears that Wix has invested a little bit more into their ecommerce capabilities than Squarespace as their marketing copy and positioning has placed them in competition with platforms like Shopify. They clearly have a desire to be your one-stop-shop for web services as well as your online store. With Wix Payments, you can manage all of your business transactions and accept secure online payments all from one dashboard. In comparison to Squarespace, it looks as though Wix has the more robust ecommerce platform overall.

    ecommerce tools for local business wix

    Although many of these tools made it easier than ever to build a website by yourself, there is always the option to outsource the creation to a professional. The biggest factor that many professionals will have an upper hand with is the aspect of conversion optimization. There are a number of small details and nuances to web and landing page building that if leveraged correctly can increase the probability that users will purchase from you.

    Conversion optimization may have a substantial, long-term, net positive on your business profitability that (if the right professional is chosen) will offset any costs for creating the website over time.

    ecommerce tools for local business wix 2

    Some of these details include how the site navigation is oriented, the persuasive language used, the way that your shopping cart element is optimized, as well as overall aesthetic appeal. 

    Ecommerce-specific platforms for local businesses

    There are a number of platforms you can use to build an ecommerce website/online store that can make the process of selling your product digitally much easier. The website builders I have mentioned above have integrations that allow for a small operation to successfully navigate the online sales process. However, some businesses may want the extra bells and whistles that come along with a full-fledged ecommerce-specific web tool. Here are some of the best options to consider if you want to take that route:

    3. Shopify

    One of the largest and most widely adopted, Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows you to set up an online store and sell products. This description is deceptively broad, however, because Shopify allows you to do so many things associated with online sales that place it above and beyond many competitors in the market.

    ecommerce tools for local business shopify

    Similar to Squarespace and Wix, you can purchase a web domain through Shopify, select themes, brand and customize your store, in addition to a plethora of marketing and SEO tools at your disposal. I would recommend Shopify to businesses who are serious about transitioning a large portion of their operations online. For those who run small local shops, it may make more sense to go with the less elaborate options, however. You can manage inventory, payments, and shipping in addition to a variety of cart and customer experience options.

    If you already have a website, you can integrate Shopify by using their “Buy Button.” Buy Buttons can show product pictures, descriptions, and prices, all while letting customers purchase products without leaving the website. Alternatively, you can link your online Shopify store through your website’s navigation, all while having the customizable options to maintain your brand.

    4. WooCommerce

    For those whose site is built on WordPress, WooCommerce offers a customizable, open-source ecommerce platform. WordPress gives website builders a lot of versatility when it comes to the plethora of plugins available. WooCommerce is for those who are looking for the customizability and versatility to build their own online store specific to their needs. Given that WordPress typically isn’t a desirable option for those who are on the inexperienced side of building websites, I would recommend some of the more simpler and user-friendly options.

    ecommerce tools for local business woocommerce

    5. Big Commerce

    Similar to Shopify, Big Commerce gives businesses a wide variety of tools and flexibility in creating an online shopping experience for their customers. Their feature set includes a drag-and-drop page builder solution, theme customization, checkout customization, mobile optimization, as well as a WordPress integration.

    ecommerce tools for local business big commerce

    6. Toast for restaurants

    Given that the restaurant industry was arguably hit the hardest by the COVID-19 impact. Many local restaurant owners need to start thinking digitally amidst looming lockdowns and further restrictions on in-person services. One of the restaurant-specific companies out there doing a lot to help the restaurant industry is Toast.

     

    ecommerce tools for local business toast

     

    If you own or operate a restaurant you may be familiar with Toast’s robust point-of-sale technology. However, given the ever-evolving industry conditions, many restaurants are seeing a lot of their revenue through online orders. Toast has streamlined this process for restaurants by offering their Digital Online Ordering suite. This tool allows restaurants to take orders directly from customers without having to rely on the commissions of alternative services. Customize your digital brand and presence with a mobile-optimized experience your customers will love while your staff spends less time on the phone. For more information on Toast’s digital ordering platform see here.

    Choosing the right platform for your local business

    Although almost anyone can navigate the internet with ease, building (or extending) your business online can be challenging, particularly if you don’t have a lot of experience in the web development realm. There are countless tools out there to use but choosing the right one comes down to your unique business needs as well as the complexity and extensiveness you wish to grow your ecommerce presence.

    If you are a small local business just looking to offer online ordering of products, then I would suggest using some of the simpler, more user-friendly web options. If you are looking to devote your business operations to convert digitally, or be primarily digitally-focused, then I would recommend going with the more robust platforms.

    As technology progresses, more and more simple-to-use website and ecommerce platforms have arisen. Almost anyone can go online and create a digital marketplace. The key to success is to make that marketplace conducive to your customer’s needs and as easy for them to purchase from you as possible.

    Internet marketing can assist you to streamline and synergize your strategies, offer you valuable data to recognize the things that work, making existence simpler for you personally within the lengthy run—that is, once everything is to establish. What is “everything?” Exactly what does getting “set up” even seem like?

    free local marketing resources—woman on laptop

    For local companies who frequently do not have a passionate marketing specialist, this is often especially overwhelming. You have to purchase the best marketing channels in order to save money and time. But do you not likewise need money and time to understand which channels is worth considering?

    Yes, you need to do need time. But no, you do not always need money. Actually, we’ve curated seven free marketing sources geared particularly for local companies. Better still, we’ve selected a number of mediums to match different learning styles and time limitations. Here’s what we have:

    1. Online learning hub (by LOCALiQ)
    2. Modular video course (by Digital Garage)
    3. Online lecture series (by Udemy)
    4. Annual survey report (by BrightLocal)
    5. Podcast (by Marketing Solutions for Local Companies)
    6. Educational tool (by WordStream)
    7. YouTube funnel (by Hubspot)

    From Search engine optimization and PPC to lifestyle tips and career growth, each resource offers something different so that you can obtain understanding and confidence to develop your company as well as your skillset. 

    Let’s join in.

    1. Online learning hub: LOCALiQ’s Marketing Lab

    • Centered on strategies, planning, budgeting, and knowledge.
    • Great for individuals who're searching to place structure around their marketing.
    • 3 comprehensive labs (and counting), 19 courses.
    • Visit Local Marketing Lab.

    Simplification and empowerment is the specific game for LOCALiQ, and they’ve got their Marketing Lab to reinforce that. This free educational hub is ideal for business proprietors and marketers searching to arm themselves with effective local marketing strategies, test out new ideas, or perhaps so that you can make informed decisions when outsourcing. And getting labored with more than 300,000 local companies across the nation, you are able to be assured they are fully aware their stuff.

    free local marketing resources—localiq marketing lab

    What we should like the majority of about Local Marketing Lab is the fact that it doesn't only cover the very best local marketing strategies, it takes you through establishing a intend to place them into action. This is essential to get your marketing ways of interact like a cohesive system that drives consistent, measurable growth. We love the abundance of visuals, data, and key takeaways through the content.

    Presently, you will find three labs: Local Marketing 101, Local Search engine optimization, and native PPC. When a person finishes together, you’ll have discovered about:

    • Over 13 different local marketing strategies, setting short- and lengthy-term marketing goals, tracking your ability to succeed, and setting a financial budget.
    • Running in your area targeted compensated ads—which includes keywords, match types, budgeting, squeeze pages, and ad copy.
    • Effective local SEO—not just the things to do but additionally what metrics is going to be useful for refining your strategy.

    Having a obvious knowledge of local marketing strategies in addition to a method to track and measure success, you will be empowered to bolster your presence in your neighborhood, check out new strategies with full confidence, and eventually drive more leads and purchasers.

      2. Video course: Google’s Digital Garage

      • Centered on low-cost search engine marketing
      • 3 hrs, 4 modules
      • Great for local companies having a tight budget
      • Visit course

      Google’s Digital Garage provides an array of free courses that will help you increase your business, advance inside your career, or simply brush up on your digital skills.

      While Digital Garage includes a "Fundamentals of Internet Marketing" course that is included with an accreditation, it’s an astonishing 40 hrs of your energy. That is why we’ve opted for smaller sized, simpler course that focuses mainly on probably the most main reasons of promoting your company today: search.

      The “Make Sure Customers Help You Find Online” course, as suggested by its name, is about focusing on how search engines like google work and increasing the discoverability of the business through them. Although it covers some compensated and occasional-cost methods to promote your business on search engines like google in your area, its primary focus is on free internet search engine optimization (Search engine optimization)—making it an excellent course for local companies on a tight budget.

      free local marketing resources—google digital garage

      What you’ll learn with this particular course:

      • How search engines like google work, the main difference between organic and compensated search, and the way to use Search Console.
      • Fundamentals of the Search engine optimization strategy, including on-page and off-page tactics. 
      • Using compensated ads, local ads, and mobile marketing to achieve your objectives.

      Google's formula is definitely evolving with updates and changes, however the core fundamentals of utilizing search to create your company more visible are pretty timeless—with an emphasis on expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T). Use this program to place your business’s best feet forward around the SERP and employ the strength of search to attain your sales and marketing goals.

      3. Udemy lecture series: Internet Marketing for the Local Company Made Simple

      • Centered on communicating about and authenticating your company.
      • Great for local,community-centric companies with a few budget.
      • 26 lectures, 4.5 hrs.
      • Visit course.

      There's a couple of explanations why this Udemy course has made their email list. First, because it's kind of more tactical, walking you thru the setup process for the website, social networking profiles, email, and compensated ad platforms. Second, since it covers targeting, messaging, and positioning, that is crucial for local companies.

      Third, because it features a lesson on offline marketing. For local companies particularly, non-digital advertising techniques continue to be essential, given that they enable you to strengthen ties together with your community and attract loyal customers.

      free local marketing resources—udemy

      Sign up for Internet Marketing for Local Companies Made Simple so that you can find out about:

      • Communicating regarding your business together with your core story, elevator pitch, and different selling proposition.
      • Having your first email, PPC, and social networking campaigns ready to go.
      • Creating a presence with and strengthening ties for your community.

      Simply establishing webpages, ads, emails, profiles, and listings in isolation isn't enough today. You need to craft all of them with authentic, targeted messaging so you attract ideal people to your company.

      4. Research report: BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey

      • Centered on testimonials and status building.
      • Great for local companies searching to outshine their competitors.
      • 18-minute read.
      • Visit report.

      Are you aware that online reviews are some of the top ranking factors for local Search engine optimization? Hardly a big surprise whenever you consider the way you look for a service or product near to you. You switch for your go-to site like Google, Yelp, or Facebook. You select the greatest ranking results first, and you do a comparison to find out which one to choose. Apart from cost and closeness, you compare the quality and quantity of reviews some other clients have remaining concerning the business.

      Getting a powerful and regular flow of reviews arriving regarding your business transmits signals to Google along with other search engines like google that your company is active and reliable. And a mixture of good and bad reviews isn’t bad either—it implies that your company is not to cover.

      But building your status isn’t nearly supplying great service that generates reviews. You have to request them, respond, grow from them, and understand them because they connect with consumer trends.

      free local marketing resources—brightlocal consumer survey

      For this reason we’ve incorporated BrightLocal’s annual Local Consumer Review Survey on the list. It's not only full of charts and knowledge from the study across several review sites like Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and much more, it includes key takeaways in the figures and offers tangible methods to apply these to your status management strategy. In 2010 report, you’ll learn:

      • Customer review trends from the year before (2020).
      • The outcome of COVID-19 on local companies and consumer behavior.
      • What review readers worry about.
      • How to inquire about, react to, and write testimonials.

      Using the data and insights out of this report, you are able to make certain you’re acquiring maximum visibility on local internet search this season and you get selected above your close competitors.

      5. Podcast: Marketing Solutions for Local Companies

      • Centered on local, service-based companies.
      • Ideal for entrepreneurs thinking about emerging topics and lifestyle tips.
      • 20-half hour episodes.
      • Visit podcast.

      This can be a podcast located by Frank Demming, Chief executive officer of the organization with similar name. While there are numerous small company marketing podcasts available, you’re more likely to locate them fond of small, digitally-focused agencies and tech startups. This podcast focuses particularly on traditional local businesses—law firms, dentists, chiropractors, spas, Heating and cooling companies, do it yourself companies, and much more.

      free local marketing resources—marketing solutions for small business podcast

      In Marketing Solutions for Local Companies, Demming runs FAQs and it has guest loudspeakers on topics like social networking, compensated ads, Search engine optimization, mobile marketing, business proprietor lifestyle, website, and copywriting, to mention a couple of. Also, he covers some pretty unique topics (nostalgia marketing, for instance).

      I do not what you think, however when I uncover a brand new podcast and contains 300+ episodes, I recieve overwhelmed with how to start. This podcast began in Feb of 2020, so it features a finite quantity of episodes to hear, and you may also be certain you’re getting advice highly relevant to today’s business landscape and social climate.

      6. Educational tool: WordStream’s Google My Company Grader

      Using the pandemic causing lots of people to remain near to home and support local companies, becoming visible on local internet search is much more important than ever before. And there's one key, free, and frequently underutilized facet of local Search engine optimization: Google My Company.

      Your Google is frequently known as your next homepage. Why? Just because a consumer can uncover, find out about, and interact together with your business on the SERP, without extending its love to your site. But it is not only a matter of adding your company name, address, website, and telephone number. There are a variety of sections inside your profile that should be completed and enhanced to be able to appear greater in local internet search results. And in addition it will get confusing since your Google listing is really another entity out of your Google My Company account, although the 2 are connected.

      free local marketing resources—wordstream google my business grader

      That is why our free Google My Company Grader is about this listing of local marketing sources. Within a minute, this free tool offers an overall score in addition to a detailed assessment in four key areas that change up the rank of the Google. The report highlights not just what’s missing in each one of the four key areas, but additionally why individuals components are essential and just what you ought to do in order to enhance your score.

      Using the Google My Company Grader, you are able to turn your Google business listing right into a free marketing strategy that draws your probably customers.

      7. YouTube funnel: HubSpot’s “How-To” series

      • Centered on both strategies and tactics across a variety of tools.
      • Great for the main one-man (or lady) show with virtually no time.
      • 58 (and counting) short, standalone videos.
      • Visit funnel.

      While HubSpot offers an array of online for free courses, we know that if you are a nearby business proprietor, you will possibly not have 3 or 4 hrs to invest. You might not know precisely which strategy you need to find out about. You may even not possess the sources to pay attention to anyone strategy at the moment. That is why we’ve incorporated their “How to” YouTube funnel as a change-up.

      free local marketing resources—hubspot how-to youtube series

      This funnel features short, digestible clips on various topics and tools highly relevant to business proprietors and marketers. You can study about everything from social networking and blogging to leadership and Powerpoint. New clips are added regularly, so you can be certain the information is current for that latest trends and tools. And since the videos are short and never associated with anyone course or theme, you are able to sprinkle them in during your day.

      You do not understand what you do not know, so how will you understand what to look for? Allow the information come your way by registering to this funnel and finding new ideas and topics you might want to further explore.

      Begin using these marketing sources to develop the local business

      Regardless of whether you improve by studying, watching, listening, reviewing data, or running audits, there are many free tools out exist for you increase your business, stay on the top of trends, and expand your set of skills. Let’s complete having a recap from the free sources we covered within this publish:

      1. LOCALiQ’s Marketing Lab
      2. Google’s Digital Garage
      3. Udemy’s Internet Marketing for the Local Company Made Simple
      4. BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Report
      5. Marketing Solutions for Local Companies podcast
      6. WordStream’s Google My Company Grader tool
      7. HubSpot’s “How-Tos” YouTube funnel

      Start growing your understanding, your status, as well as your local presence now!

      Your Google business listing (known by Google as your Business Profile) is a free listing you can create to help get your business found in more local searches, rank higher than your competitors, and get chosen by more customers. However, it’s not just a set it and forget it listing. If you want to stay at the top of results, you need to optimize and maintain your listing, just as you would with your website.

      how to create and verify google my business account google my business dashboard

      So how do you make changes to your Google business listing to keep it up to date and SEO-friendly? That’s what we’ll answer in this post. We’ll cover:

      • How to list and claim your business on Google in the first place.
      • How to edit, update, and make changes to your contact information, hours, attributes, and more.
      • When and why update your Google listing, plus more FAQs.

      How do I list my business on Google in the first place?

      This post covers why you should update your Google business listing, when to make these updates, and covers the steps for common edits and changes such as hours, phone number, categories, and attributes. However, you may first be wondering how to list your business on Google in the first place. You also can’t make edits and updates to your listing unless you have claimed it. So before we begin, we’re going to cover how to list your business on Google and how to claim your business on Google. All of this is done through your Google My Business account.

      Here’s how to create a Google listing, which you will need to claim before making any changes or updates.

      For more detailed instructions on creating and claiming your Google business listing, head here.

      1. Create a Google account
      2. Search for your business on Google Maps
      3. If your business shows up, no action is needed, your listing has been created
      4. If your business does not show up, click “add a place”
      5. Fill in your information, click “submit”
      6. Check your email
      how to create and verify google my business account add missing place the token shop

      How do I claim my Google listing?

      As mentioned above, you need to claim your listing before you want to make edits, updates, or changes. Here’s how to claim your listing once it’s been created:

      1. Search for your business in Google Maps
      2. Select your business
      3. Select “Claim this business”
      4. If you created the listing, you can click “claim” and get instant access to your profile
      5. If you did not create the listing, you will have to verify ownership through postcard, phone call, or email
      how to create and verify your google my business account own this business arnos cleaners claim through maps

      How do I edit, update, and make changes to my Google business listing?

      The sections below will go into more detail on specific edits and updates you may want to make, but most of them require the same initial steps. These include:

      1. Log into your Google My Business account (go to google.com/business and make sure you’re logged into the Google account you created for your business).
      2. Select “Info”
      3. Select the section you want to edit
      4. Select the pencil icon to add or edit
      5. Make your edits
      6. Select “Apply”
      how to edit and update your google business listing info

      How long does it take Google to change my listing information?

      Some changes to your Google My Business listing are automatic, while others, especially those that involve removing information, can take up to 60 days. Google crawls the web regularly to update its index, but it’s got a lot of material to go through! Keep in mind also that some of the information on your Google My Business listing cannot be edited, updated, or removed, as it comes from other sources.

      Why update my Google business listing?

      As mentioned above, updates and changes are among the essential Google My Business optimizations you can make to rank higher in local searches. The more active you are on the platform, the more signals you send to Google that your listing is accurate and trustworthy. The more Google trusts you, the higher you will rank on Google Maps and the local section of Google search. With a higher rank, you can enjoy the following benefits:

      Get discovered

      This benefit has to do with editing your category in Google My Business.  By choosing a category, you enable your business to get discovered by people who are searching for the product or service you offer rather than your specific business name (think about how many customers don’t yet know you exist). This is especially helpful for businesses whose name doesn’t imply their offering. For example, “Sam’s Auto Repair” is pretty straightforward, but “Happy Trails” could be a dog walking service, hiking tour company, or a bike path paving company. Categorizing your business’s Google listing is an easy way to get more of the right people to learn that you exist.

      Further your reach

      When you were a kid and you had a lemonade stand, where did you set it up? Not in the backyard or in the house, but on the street. Why? Because that’s where people are. The same concept holds true for businesses today. If you want to be seen, you need to be where people are; and today, people are online.

      In fact, according to Google, 84% of consumers use their computer or tablet to search for local businesses online, and 88% use their smartphone. By creating and maintaining your Google business listing, you can ensure that your business reaches as many consumers as possible where they are spending a lot of their time.

      Drive leads

      Unlike your lemonade stand from childhood, people are not just driving by—they’re actively searching for businesses like yours. They’re on Google Maps and Google Search, searching for products and services near them and doing research to compare businesses. In order to get found by the people who have the intent to buy from you, you’ve got to update your Google listing.

      what is google my business business profile in maps fresh n clean dry cleaning

      Attract customers

      According to the same study above, 34% of consumers who find a business through local search on their computer or tablet end up at its physical location, and the rate is even higher (50%) for those who search on mobile phones. In addition, 18% of local searches lead to a purchase within a day, versus only 7% of non-local searches. This means that the more your business stands out online, the more likely it is that a customer will make a purchase within a day of searching for your business. The data shows that something as simple as a Google listing update can increase traffic to your store and boost sales.

      Improve your SEO

      Many people are intimidated by SEO (search engine optimization), but SEO can be done in bite-sized pieces. One of the easiest ways to improve your local SEO is to update your Google listing and make sure the information in the rest of your listings is identical to that of your Google listing.

      Google is constantly crawling the internet for updated information in order to provide the most accurate and reliable search results. The more consistent your contact information is across the web, the more favor you'll win in Google's eyes. 

      Boost exposure

      Search engines are not the only tool people use to find products and services they need. There are hundreds of apps and directories out there today that are more specifically directing people to the right destination for them. However, these platforms build their databases by crawling the web and relying on larger search engines to gather this information, such as Google. As a result, many of the listings in these smaller but more commonly used directories contain information that has trickled down through Google business listings. Update your Google listing to make sure that the hundreds of other applications out there will be populated with the right information and can multiply your reach.

      Having a Google business listing will do nothing to benefit your business unless it is accurate, consistent, and up to date. Do your job of maintaining your business listing so that Google can do its job of helping to get your business found by the people looking for it. More information for more people means growth for your business and more happy customers!

      When should I update my Google business listing?

      There are many different circumstances that will call for you to update or make edits to your Google business listing. Below are just a few.

      Business moving or relocation

      If you’re moving the location of your business, word of mouth will inform some, but not all. Announcing your move on social media will inform more, but not for long, as the posts will eventually get buried under new ones. In order to prevent the loss of existing customers and to promote the increase of new customers, update your Google business listing to ensure a seamless transition.

      Existing customers and community members may be aware of your new location, but what about future customers and community members? They won’t know to visit your old location to find your new location. You don’t even exist to them yet! This is why it’s crucial to update your business listing with any and all changes to your information as soon as possible. Even the smallest changes need to be reported, such as to a different suite or floor within the same building. Accuracy is crucial in getting online listings and search engines to benefit your business.

      Multiple business locations

      Having multiple locations can be confusing for search engines and people. Make sure that you update and verify each individual listing within your Google account to contain information specific to that location.

      how to edit and update your google business listing multiple business locations

      Image source

      Inaccurate business information

      Just as a complete and accurate listing can drive traffic to your website and store, an inaccurate or incomplete listing can drive customers away. Yikes! Regardless of how the inaccuracies occurred, consumers will automatically attribute them to deficiencies or incompetencies on your part. Be sure to stay on top of your listing and fix any erroneous information that may appear.

      No website

      Google uses your website and online listings to gauge your credibility and determine how high it can rank you in results. Having a website is a must, but if you do not have one, you can at least perfect your Google My Business profile so that consumers can learn about your business via search results pages.

      How to change your business hours on Google

      Consumers like to quickly check Google to ensure a business is open before they plan their visit. Don’t risk losing business simply because your hours are not listed.

      Google may have added the hours, but it’s a good idea to double-check and confirm them. Incorrect hours can easily lead to unhappy customers. To add or edit hours of operation:

      • Log into your Google My Business account
      • Select Info
      • Look for the clock icon
      • Click on the pencil icon to add or edit
      • Add hours for every day of the week
      • Click Apply
      how to edit and update your google business listing hours

      How to update your phone number on Google

      Your phone number is an important component of your business profile. Consumers may have questions before deciding to visit your business. Plus, many are searching on mobile phones. Making a quick call is much easier when your phone number is included directly on your Google listing. Don’t risk losing customers that don’t want to search around for this information. To add, edit, or update your phone number on Google:

      • Log into your Google My Business account
      • Choose Info
      • Look for the phone icon and click on the pencil icon to edit
      • Add the phone number
      • Click Apply
      how to edit and update your google business listing phone

      How to add and update Google My Business categories

      The industry and service categories you choose on Google are critical to ensuring the right customers are finding your business in Google Search and Maps. To add, update, or edit your categories in Google My Business:

      • Log into your Google My Business account
      • Choose Info
      • Edit the category information that is listed under the business name
      • Select an accurate primary category, and add any additional categories that apply
      • Click Apply
      how to edit and update your google business listing category

      Tips for selecting your Google My Business categories

      • More categories increase your chances of being included in search results. However, it’s important to only choose additional categories if these accurately describe your business.
      • The primary category you choose should be the one that best describes your business. This ensures that your business can be included in both specific and broad searches. For example, when you choose the category “Indian Restaurant” your business can be included in searches for “indian restaurant” and “restaurant”.
      • The categories you select also determine some of the additional features that Google makes available in the listing, especially attributes. Attributes can further help you get more exposure when these get matched to consumer searches.

      How to edit attributes in your Google business listing

      Attributes are the smaller details about your business that highlight your best or most important features, distinguish you from competitors, and help customers decide whether to choose you. They show up below your business description and give customers a better idea of specific offerings, payment options, accommodations, and more. There are different groups of attributes based on the category of your business falls. For example:

      • Hair salons: takes walk-ins, accepts credit cards
      • Restaurants: outdoor seating, gluten-free options, casual atmosphere
      • Dry cleaners: drive-through, tailoring services

      The more information you provide to Google, the better Google can match you to relevant searches in Google Search and on Google Maps. Some attributes automatically appear based on feedback from customers, while others you will select manually.

      To edit the attributes in your Google My Business Listing via desktop:

      • Log into your Google My Business account
      • Choose Info
      • Look for Add attributes next to the tag icon and click on the pencil to edit
      • Review and select attributes for your business
      • Attributes that have not been set are shown with a “+” symbol

      Important: Click or tap twice if an attribute does not apply.

      how to edit and update your google business listing attributes

      To edit the attributes in your Google My Business Listing via mobile

      • Go to the Google My Business mobile app
      • Tap Profile, then Edit
      • In the Attributes section, tap Edit
      • Update your attributes then tap Apply

      Information you cannot change

      There are some sections in your Google My Business profile that you can’t change. For example, you cannot edit or remove reviews or review snippets. You also cannot edit the editorial summary of your business, which is created by Google’s writers. You also cannot edit the keywords that appear next to your business. Google purposely mixes information you supply with information that your customers and third parties supply, to give a full picture of your business. If you do find that any of the information beyond your control is inaccurate, contact Google to let them know.

      Each year, once we take more time on the devices and on the run, our search intent more and more gets to be more local. Google is aware of this very well also it is constantly on the give advertisers new tools to focus on local users, ad extensions to exhibit location and affiliate locations, and the ways to measure in-store visits spurred from your actions around the SERP.

      But because we be associated with our phones, Google recognizes that even when we’re searching more in your area, we’re spending much more amount of time in apps than browsers or search engines like google.

      google adwords display location extensions

      Image via Business Insider

      Given how relatively very little time local audiences spend positively searching in the search engines for the choices, Google just released a means for Google Display Network advertisers to cater their ads to local users over the sites and apps they visit.

      Are thinking about creating designer-quality display ads within a few minutes? Try our free Smart Ads Creator.

      Google’s new Display Location Extensions behave much like the place extensions we have seen around the SERP by showing the local business address below your ad. Interested users can pick to click on the location extension to obtain driving directions to the nearest shopping center or click on to your website to find out more.

      display location extensions how-to

      How to setup (or Opt From) Display Location Extensions

      Location extensions around the Display network are produced exactly the same way as location extensions around the search network. First, produce a Google My Company take into account your company. Once you’ve verified your address, hrs, and telephone number, link your Google Ads (AdWords) account for your Google My Company account.

      After that, developing a location extension is as simple as striking the big red +Extension button inside the Ad Extension tab of Google Ads. Location extensions could be produced in the account, campaign, or ad group level. Should you use a location extension towards the account level in order to a presentation campaign, your display ads are qualified to exhibit these details to local users.

      However, not every image ad formats can have location extensions. Only text ads, responsive ads, and 300 x 250 image ads can have display location extensions now.

      Should you not take care of Google altering the way your display ads look, it's very easy to opt from showing these extensions inside your display campaigns. Simply evaluate the ad extensions put on your display campaigns. If you’ve formerly set extra time to operate in the account level, it's important to change it out to operate only within selected campaigns to avoid it from showing inside your display ads.

      Whether you’re a master at Google Display campaigns or you have been putting it aside for some time, these new ad formats are extra enticing for local advertisers searching to grow their achieve past the SERP!

      UPDATE: New Local Extension Display Ad Format

      Like several ad extensions, display location extensions might not show constantly. This is often frustrating, particularly to advertisers who care more about driving store visits than web site traffic. Fortunately, if that’s your focus, Google also offers a brand new ad type for you personally – Location extension display ads!

      These location extension ads will invariably show where you are details and may instantly be resized to suit ad spaces 320 x 480, 336 x 280, 300 x 250, and 320 x 50 ad sizes. Allowing the new location extension ad format could be produced within an existing GDN campaign using the ad gallery.

      local extension display ad format in adwords

      After that, the place extension ad format sits underneath the “General purpose ads” and sits in the far right.

      location extension ad type

      All display location extensions stick to the same simple ad format and could be instantly resized to suit different ad sizes.

      display location extension specs

      As well as in 2 short minutes, creating your brand-new ad is simple!

      display location extension ad example

      Savvy local advertisers can opt for the dedicated location extension format inside a separate display campaign, just targeting their local market – so that you can dedicate additional budget to driving feet visitors to your company.

      Much towards the relief of virtually everybody, SoLoMo – a crude portmanteau of Social Local Mobile, but certainly one of probably the most godawful marketing buzzwords around – unsuccessful to trap on and end up part of digital marketing’s already insufferable lexicon.

      13 of the best local marketing tips ever

      However, that does not imply that local internet search also fell through the wayside. Contrary, it’s become much more crucial of computer was a few years ago, specifically for brick-and-mortar companies wishing they are driving more feet visitors to their store.

      That will help you increase your local visibility, we’ll be searching back in the 13 best local marketing tips we’ve ever printed. Many are highly specific while some function as much more of a generalized guide, but when you’re attempting to achieve new clients in your town, grab an espresso and browse on.

      Note: If you are searching for Search engine optimization tips specific to COVID-19, take a look at our post 13 Search engine optimization Techniques for SMBs During COVID-19.

      1. Create Custom Squeeze Pages for every Campaign

      Our first tip is considered the most important, but it is also one which frequently elicits audible groans from already overworked marketers.

      Local marketing tips unique landing page

      One particualr unique website landing page that comes with an advertisement

      for legal counsel for LLCs

      Relevance is essential to the prosperity of a in your area focused campaign, meaning reusing generic or excessively broad squeeze pages might cost you conversions. Per our suggested PPC guidelines, creating unique, highly relevant squeeze pages for every campaign is among the how to improve your conversions. Yes, there is a greater upfront overhead when it comes to time, but lounging the research in this manner will pay off big further lower the street.

      2. Use Facebook Ad Targeting to your benefit

      Facebook Ads’ finest strength – besides its obscenely large global users list, obviously – may be the granularity that advertisers can target their ads.

      Local marketing tips Facebook targeting options

      Facebook offers advertisers a really outstanding selection of targeting parameters

      Facebook enables advertisers to focus on their ads using virtually every facet of an individual's existence being an advertising parameter, including demographic data for example age, existence occasions like marriage or getting a young child, their degree of education or approximate earnings, plus much more. These parameters may then be coupled with location targeting, refining potential audiences even more.

      Apart from becoming a cautionary tale about how exactly many details we voluntarily surrender online, this degree of granularity is exactly what enables Facebook to provide advertisers an amazing amount of control of each campaign.

      However, although Facebook’s targeting choices are very effective, it’s remember this that being too selective together with your audience targeting options could cause diminishing your audience to the stage it might be harmful, so tread carefully.

      3. Use Call-Only Ads inside your Campaigns

      Unique, highly relevant squeeze pages would be the cornerstone of numerous ad campaigns (once we established in tip #1), but squeeze pages could be a double-edged sword they could be a effective tool, but they may also be one of the “leakiest” stages from the funnel.

      Local marketing tips Facebook Call Only ads

       

      Probably the most great ways to eliminate the potential of losing conversions to some website landing page and take advantage of mobile traffic is by using Call-Only campaigns. This ad format will come in both AdWords and Facebook, and enables advertisers to bypass squeeze pages entirely by providing users a “Call Now” button within their ads, which lets users call your company directly by hitting an advertisement.

      This selection could be hugely valuable to advertisers wishing for connecting directly with potential customers. Why ask prospects to complete a web form whenever they can literally speak with you within a few moments of seeing your ad?

      4. Create In your area Focused Content

      Everyone knows that Submissions are Good, but it’s amazing how couple of in your area focused companies don’t make use of content like a online marketing strategy. It’s understandable for a lot of small-business proprietors, you will find barely enough hrs within the day-to really run their business, not to mention launch and sustain an extensive content advertising campaign, however for individuals who are able to handle the additional work, it might really repay.

      Local marketing tips local content

      Local content – it’s what’s for supper.

      Creating in your area focused content is a superb method to both improve your visibility to potential customers and establish your company like a reliable voice locally. With regards to choosing which kinds of content you need to produce, consider it in the outlook during your clients. What exactly are their most typical questions? What facets of your service may need complementary content? Exist possibilities for periodic content

      5. Use Ad Extensions to maximise Visibility

      When AdWords first launched in 2000, the ads users saw alongside their search engine results were…a little rudimentary. Today, advertisers can engage in numerous features and ad formats to enhance their visibility, and ad extensions are some of the best ways to do this.

      Local marketing tips Display Location extensions

      There's two ad extensions particularly that may be very effective for local internet search marketing:

      • Display Location extensions
      • Promotion extensions

      Display Location extensions allow advertisers to – you suspected it – display their business’ location in their PPC ads, which resembles the instance image above.

      Users who see ads with Display Location extensions can click the address within the ad to get directions for an advertiser’s store, which is a superb method to drive feet traffic. In addition to which makes it pretty simple for potential customers to locate your store, this extension could also offer local internet search marketers a competitive advantage even when an adversary store is closer, getting one-click directions available could tempt potential customers to patronize your business.

      Promotion extensions are some of the newest inclusions in AdWords’ already extended listing of ad extensions. This ad extension enables advertisers to include time-sensitive purports to their PPC ads, as seen below:

      Local marketing tips AdWords promotion extensions

      This is often a powerfully persuasive accessory for your ads, especially if you’re targeting high-commercial intent keywords or branded terms for popular products. Talking about time-sensitive…

      6. Write Ads That Highlight Time-Sensitive Offers

      Although AdWords’ Promotion extensions can be quite effective, no ad extension can replace unique, relevant ad copy, and that's why you might want to consider creating unique ad copy for time-sensitive sales and promotions.

      Local marketing tips unique ad copy

      Again, this might be more work than counting on more automated solutions for example Dynamic Keyword Insertion, however it can definitely repay. Mixing Promotion extensions with unique ad copy that emphasizes time-sensitive offers can be quite persuasive to would-be customers.

      7. Make the most of AdWords’ Geotargeting Options

      Probably the most effective tools at marketers’ disposal with regards to local internet search is geotargeting.

      While ecommerce companies likely aren’t very worried about where their clients can be found, exactly the same can't be stated for local retailers and companies having a predominantly local focus. Fortunately, AdWords makes it simple to maximise visibility in specific areas through its geotargeting options.

      Local marketing tips AdWords geotargeting

      Geotargeting isn’t just helpful for companies operating from an actual store or location. It is also well suited for individuals and firms that operate across wider regions, for example plumbers who serve customers in a number of states, for instance.

      8. Use Ad Scheduling to mirror Your Company Hrs

      Additionally to geotargeting, ad scheduling (also referred to as dayparting) is really a effective tool that affords advertisers a lot more control of when their ads are displayed to users.

      Local marketing tips dayparting AdWords

      Say you have a pizza parlor and wish to drive increased traffic for your store. In case your ads were displayed to searchers whatsoever occasions of day, you can finish up wasting cash on clicks which will never convert. However, by selecting specific home windows of your time where your ads could be proven to prospective hungry customers, you are able to increase your visibility and your ad budget in check.

      Mixing dayparting with geotargeting is definitely an incredibly effective method to focus your marketing efforts on specific areas at specific occasions – victory-win for local advertisers.

      9. Set Location-Based Bid Adjustments

      Another technique will increase your visibility in local internet search is to apply location-based bid adjustments.

      Local marketing tips location bid adjustments

      Location-based bid adjustments allow advertisers to bid greater on certain keywords in specific areas, for example individual metropolitan areas, states, or perhaps postal codes. Which means that advertisers can prioritize putting in a bid on keywords that are more inclined to drive conversions.

      For instance, a pizza parlor may bid less on more generic search phrases for example “family pizza restaurants” but bid more about more specific terms for example “family pizza restaurants Buffalo”.

      Although location-based bid adjustments have been in existence in AdWords for a long time, before the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns, advertisers were made to create entirely separate campaigns when they desired to adjust bids according to specific locations. Today, location-based bid adjustments are extremely simple to apply.

      10. Include Directions and Store Hrs in your Website

      That one may appear just like a no-brainer, however it never ceases to amaze me how hard many companies reach find their damned address online.

      Local marketing tips address directions webpage contact us page

      Clearly, it’s imperative that you optimize your website for mobile. It’s just like important, however, to understand that unless of course you are making your company as simple to find as you possibly can, you’re passing up on untold possibilities to draw in new clients.

      Because of so many methods to create sophisticated websites with no coding understanding for example Squarespace and other alike hosting companies, there’s virtually no excuse because of not as well as your address along with a Google Maps widget to help individuals help you find.

      11. Promote Positive Testimonials Using Your Social Channels

      Alongside word-of-mouth recommendations, social proof is considered the most persuasive elements you are able to leverage when promoting your company.

      Local marketing tips Facebook reviews

      The proliferation of review sites for example Yelp and also the ubiquity of testimonials imply that customers – satisfied or otherwise – expect so that you can gush and/or vent about how exactly great/awful you're. If your clients adore you, why don't you take full advantage of your business’ fans by requesting reviews and promoting the positive customer comments in your social channels?

      Many small companies leverage this method to great effect, particularly on Facebook. If your customer leaves a gushing message about how exactly much they love your company, build relationships them and gain in exposure your clients' needs this feedback. You do not always want to use positive customer comments because the grounds for ad creative, either – it’s just like viable to include testimonials to your organic social content.

      12. Be Sure That Your Google Business Profile is Current

      Google My Company is really a free but incredibly effective tool for local companies. Your Google business listing (also known as your company Profile) appears on the internet Maps, from our portion of Google Search results, as well as on the best-side Understanding Panel of Search. Developing a Google is simple, but does not provide you with control of that listing. You need to produce a Google My Company account so that you can access and optimize your listing. All the additional information regarding your company that you provide in your Google My Company dashboard will populate inside your Business Profile, which makes it more appealing to customers and more prone to rank in results. You’ll also require a Google My Company account if you wish to use Location extensions as pointed out above.

      Local marketing tips Google My Business listing example

      Claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile through your Google My Company account is completely crucial for marketers centered on local internet search. Besides this help make your business simpler to locate, it offers searchers a lot more details about your organization and possibilities to interact along with you right inside the SERP.

      13. Test Local Internet Search Ads included in Wider Campaigns

      We’ve covered lots of ground, but there’s one further tip you might want to try, that is using Local Internet Search Ads in your wider advertising strategy.

      Local Internet Search Ads were introduced this past year in an effort to further develop Google Maps like a commercial platform for advertisers. These ads can be displayed on Google Maps (both web-based and application searches), in addition to Expanded Maps is a result of Google.com. They have prominent “Call” and “Directions” buttons, and therefore it’s practically easy for prospects to or help you find from the Maps search.

      Local marketing tips Local Search ads

      It could appear similar to overkill to check Local Internet Search Ads additionally to some of the steps outlined above, but instead of consider it by doing this, rather consider it as being covering all of your bases your company ought to be as simple to find as you possibly can, whether from your organic consequence of a normal search, a PPC or compensated social ad, from your personal website, or included in a Google Maps search. The greater steps you are taking to maximise your visibility, the higher the potential Return on investment is going to be.

      Here are a few sources you will probably find helpful for more studying on local marketing: