5 Local Internet Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Unlike larger companies and prominent brands, small businesses have a harder time allocating significant funds into Internet marketing services. As a result, many small businesses take on such Internet marketing initiatives in house.

Internet marketing for small businesses

Whether these duties are taken on by the business owner or a web-savvy employee, the matter of experience and resource allocation can be an issue hindering growth. However, my investing a company’s efforts in the right platforms while employing effective strategies, small businesses can successfully leverage the benefits of Internet marketing.

In this post we are going to take a look at five different platforms, strategies, and techniques that can help any small business grow its online footprint and attract new customers via the Internet.

Consistently Engage on Social Media

Social media is and will continue to be one of the most important assets for your small business. While you don’t necessarily need to be present on all social media platforms, it is vital to choose a few of the most relevant sites and stay consistently active on each.

While Facebook and Twitter are among the most common, perhaps consider including Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and other rich media channels to connect with your target audience. Think about the type of content you wish to produce and share, and how this relates to your business.

Internet marketing social media for small businesses

Even if you’re able to shoot short videos (even very brief 5 second Vine clips,) then Instagram and YouTube maybe good ways to get your business known. Further, you can experiment with new and emerging ideas like Facebook Live or sharing interesting videos on Twitter and Instagram.

In essence, cultivating a following on social media platforms will be pivotal to helping to grow your business and position your local brand in an pronounced, authoritative manner.

Claim & Verify a Google My Business Page

In the context of local search, owning a Google My Business page is absolutely essential for small businesses. When individuals search localized queries like “chiropractors in Atlanta” or “thai food near me”, Google often displays the local pack (as shown in the figure below.)

local seo internet marketing small business

Claiming and verifying a Google My Business is first step to better ensure that your business appears in the local pack as well as in Google Maps. Take the time to populate this page to 100% completion, and verify it using the phone call or postcard submission process.

Implement Basic SEO On Your Site

The next phase to better ensuring that your small business in found in local search is to apply specific local SEO techniques on your site. While many companies will outsource this work to local Internet marketing small business seocompanies and SEO specialists, there are a lot of things that can be done in house (and it’s all pretty straightforward.)

First, be sure to have your primary keyword target defined. This is often easy to pinpoint without requiring much research. For instance, an accountant’s keyword target may be “CPA Atlanta” while a pizza restaurant’s keyword may be as simple as “pizza Atlanta.”

Once this is defined, implement your keyword target on your site in the following locations: Page Title, Meta Description, and on the page copy itself. You don’t have to stuff your keyword multiple times. Instead, just mention it a once or twice where it makes sense.

Lastly, be sure to include the Name, Address, and Phone number of your business in the header or footer of your site (so that it appears on all pages.) This is a very basic yet important trust signal that Google considers when ranking sites in the local pack. It’s also best practices that most local SEO providers will agree upon.

Test The Waters With PPC Advertising

Next to SEO and ranking in the local pack and/or organic search results (yep, you can rank in both,) another potential cornerstone to your small business Internet marketing program is Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.

ppc advertising for internet marketing

Here you bid for ad positioning at the top of Google’s search results and you pay only when someone clicks your ad. Depending on what your small business offers, the cost per click can range from a few dimes to a few dollars. For instance, if you sell an inexpensive product like “vinyl records in Atlanta,” the cost per click will probably be pretty cheap. However, if you’re a plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty, then you may pay upwards to $10 for a click.

Nonetheless, it’s an immediate and highly-effective way to advertiser your business in front of individuals who are actively searching for what you have to offer. To learn more, hop on over to Google AdWords to get started. The sometimes offer new advertiser incentives that can make testing the waters more inviting.

Produce Content On the Regular

content marketing for small businessLastly, there are a number of Internet marketing benefits to be had for small businesses that regularly produce content. Not only does this give you something to share on social media, but it can also help improve your online reputation, brand image, and even your SEO efforts.

While blogging is the most conventional form of content marketing for most businesses, you can go beyond the blog post with video content or even just images to share on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Producing content on the regular can help define your small business as a local authority in more ways then one. Creating shareable content can result in more local customers becoming aware of your business and what it has to offer. This can also result in more trust signals (via Google) helping to increase your site’s authority and keyword rankings in search.

5 Google Maps SEO Tips for Local Businesses

seo google maps searchThe best practices of local SEO and Google Maps optimization are always evolving. As Google continues to unveil new algorithm updates, SEO’s and local business marketers must adapt their practices accordingly. While there are many advanced strategies that go beyond the scope of this article, below are a few Google Maps SEO tips and best practices that will stand the test of time.

Getting Listed

Getting ranked highly is heavily influenced by the amount of top directories in which your business is cited or included. For Google to rank you highly, it has to determine that your business is real. It does this by the number of citations (business listings) that your business owns throughout the web. The “citation” is simply the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your business, and Google crawls this data to compare with other listings.

Your business’s NAP should show up in greater frequency to better your chances in showing up in search engines. Further, NAP data needs to be consistent across all listings to maximize credibility and SEO value. Some optimization and marketing companies that specialize in Google Maps SEO, such as CaptivateLocal.com, provide services in citation building.

Website Optimization

To make your business presence known, your NAP should also show up on your website. SEO best practices are to include you business NAP in the footer and header section of the website so it shows up on all pages. Further, the NAP should also be indicated on the contact page.

Some businesses use Schema, or structured data markup to further optimize their site for higher Google rankings. Schema markup consists of special HTML tags to better define your sites content (a communication mechanism in a way) for major search engines (namely Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Google Maps Embed

It is also a good SEO practice to embed your business’s Google Maps listing in your website, such as on your contact page. This also helps communicate to Google the precise location of your listing and it’s usually sync with your Google My Business page.

google maps SEO breweries

Embedding is easy to do. You search for your business name in the Google map found in the search bar area located on the upper left portion of the screen. You then click the share or embed map portion to finish the process. Google has emphasized the need for businesses to establish their online presence in 3rd party websites. In the case of a change in address, you need to update these listings to adhere to your current address.

Customer Reviews

Using the latter SEO techniques in addition to earning a wealth of customer reviews is surefire way of getting Google’s attention. A Google My Business page with significantly more reviews will give greater authority compared to those not having any reviews. This practice is in line with Google’s manner of providing the public with the most relevant search result, by ranking pages with the most reviews. This is just one of many variables with local SEO, but an important one.

reviews google maps

Competitive Analysis

If you have done all the changes but still noticed that your rankings have not gone up, you may need to build more citations to push it up. There are many ways to do it and that includes studying your competitors and the search market. You need to find out where your competitors are cited. If your business is not listed, add it. Google has often used citations as a means of providing the search engine with the most relevant business citations.

Virtually every local business seeks to rank higher in Google Maps. Attaining placement in the local Google Maps search result is major marketing tool. As a result, many local business seek actionable Google Maps SEO tips and strategies to improve their search rankings.