You can reach more local customers, more affordably than your competitors with these methods.

How is your business reaching new local customers?  If you are still using traditional marketing methods such as billboards, radio, or mailers, it is time to consider these more powerful marketing options.  Traditional marketing methods can be great for dispersing your message out to the masses in your local area, but can be costly, difficult to target, and difficult to track your ROI.

Here are 6 powerful, free or low-cost marketing methods that allow for more demographic targeting and the ability to track your ROI.

1. CREATE A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LOCAL PROFILE

Google has many powerful free and low-cost tools for obtaining more local customers.  One of these is Google My Business.  This allows you to be able to create a business profile, with pictures, your address, a Google map location of your store, phone number, links to your website and hours of operation.

Your store information will show up in Google for relevant keyword phrases or when your business name is searched for.  Because it contains easy directions to your store and the store hours, it decreases the number of phone calls that are simply calling to find out your location or hours.  It also gets searchers to your website to obtain more company information.

2. CREATE A YELP LISTING

Yelp is an option very similar to Google My Business.  It allows you to be able to share your store information including location, directions, pictures, keyword-rich descriptions, phone number and store hours.  Yelp ranks well in search engines.

One of the biggest benefits of Yelp is that Apple has partnered with Yelp to display store information on Apple Maps.  If your potential customers are using their Apple devices to search for related stores, your Yelp profile can show up right in Apple Maps or within the Apple device spotlight results.  If users are using Siri to find a nearby related store, your Yelp profile can come up in the results.

Updated: Also, it is important to register your business with Apple Maps Connect to ensure your information is displaying and is accurate on Apple Maps.

3. EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES OF GOOGLE ADWORDS

Google Adwords is a great way to reach local customers with highly targeted ads in the area of your choosing.  Add your address for specific geo-targeting.  You can select to target specific demographics within a very small radius of your store.

However, it is recommended that you start off cautiously and slowly when beginning with Google Adwords.  It can take some time to get a good understanding of the marketing platform, so it is a good idea to limit your daily budget and track results very closely so you can tweak your ads for optimal results.

4. SETUP YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE

If you don’t have a Facebook profile for your business, then you should.  Facebook for business, can be a very powerful tool.  Not only can a Facebook business page help you reach more customers, it can also help you gain valuable insights into who your customer is, and feedback from your customers.

Facebook Pages also rank very well in search engines, and gets your brand in front of more potential customers.  Make sure that your Facebook Page profile has store information including location, phone number, hours of operation, keyword-rich descriptions, links to your website and links to your store’s other social media profiles.

5. CONSIDER FACEBOOK AD TARGETING

Facebook Ads have many of the same benefits of Google Adwords. You target very specific demographics in your immediate area, and get people to your website or even include directions to your store in your post.   This is a great way of reaching your customers to drive traffic to your website, grow your Facebook audience, encourage email sign-ups, or let potential customers know about store events or promotions.

6. DON’T OVERLOOK LOCAL SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

If you are using a WordPress website, we recommend installing the free Yoast SEO plugin to help enable the possibility of your website and content ranking better in search engines.  You may initially want assistance with setting up the SEO titles, descriptions and keywords for your site, but you can easily and quickly learn how to setup new pages and blog posts to make your site more search engine friendly.  For an easy tutorial on setting up the Yoast SEO plugin properly, check out this free SEO tutorial series on our site.

If you want to take your local search engine ranking a step further then I recommend the Yoast Local SEO plugin, which provides search engines with all your local information for optimal search engine results.  This a premium plugin and costs $69 per year, but it is well worth the price.

CONCLUSION

These six methods are just a brief introduction to the potential of free and low-cost digital marketing for reaching more local customers.  If you have not started embracing digital marketing strategies in your marketing efforts, I encourage you to begin implementing one or two of the above strategies over the next month and begin to monitor the progress.  I think you will find that compared to traditional marketing methods, you will finally be able to see trackable results from your campaigns and reach more local customers in no time.

NathanSignature

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