What can you do online in order to boost your local business leads or sales?
We recommend a blend of local SEO, paid social, and paid search as your base marketing. For your retargeting, we recommend a lead generation or a sales campaign (depending on your business). Here’s what I mean…
Table of Contents
Local SEO is pretty straightforward
You’ll need the following to set yourself up for success:
Most of that you might know, and yet, it’s fairly simple to really mess this up.
Google My Business should get much attention
The more you post on Google My Business (yes, you can post there too), the more robust your presence will be. You want to make sure your hours, your site, and any other information listed is up-to-date (which a surprising amount of people don’t do). So, that’s that. Let’s move on.
Getting reviews consistently
Another part of the process you likely already have set up correctly is a way to get reviews from previous customers. Just make sure your “review funnel”–AKA your method of garnering reviews–is set up in a way that is not too lax, nor too aggressive. Like the three little bears, you gotta get it just right. Also, all of this should be automated. Don’t do this manually, it takes too much time. The hardest part of local SEO is your site’s interior architecure.
Making sure you website is Local SEO-friendly
This takes some work, and lots of people simply don’t even know this is part of the process. Here’s a common scenario:
I know what you’re thinking:
What the fuck are you talking about Greg?
That’s my point exactly. You need someone who understands this shit to get in there and fix it all up because it might look wonderful, but to Google it might look grotesque and confusing. Moving on…
Paid Social Media Advertising
Don’t confuse social media with social media advertising. They are quite different. Social media is like and article you read in the Times.
Social Media Advertising is like the ads you see on the bottom of the pages. Ya see, Facebook, or Instagram, and all the others, they get users to their website by creating a social media platform.
They make money from their website by selling advertisements. And this is what I am referring to here: those advertisements.
Why is paid social better than organic social media?
Because it’s faster. Instead of building a following, coming up with media that will capture the attention of the world (are you a TV producer? Cause that’s essentially what a social media profile it: your very own TV channel), you simply create the messaging you want the world to see and pay to show those ads to your community. This is called geotargeting your ads.
Not only will you get immediately results, but it will also signal to Google that your site is important because a lot of people are visiting it, so it actually improves your SEO results de facto.
How to set up a successful paid social media advertising strategy
You’ll need a team to do this. Someone to research your idea audience (people who live in your area might be all you need), someone to write the copy (the text on all the ads), and then a graphic designer to craft the ad imagery, or for video, an animator, videographer, editor, anyone who know how to put together a finished video ad (not easy).
Then you’ll need a media buyer or basically someone who knows how to set up intricate campaigns inside of the social media platforms you’ll be advertising on, because it is not user-friendly. You’ll need someone who knows how to set your campaigns up with the ads and audience you hand off, as well as manage the campaigns–tweaking and maintaining performance.
Basically, you need someone to handle this for you, but it will pay off beautifully
Instead of trying to rank for search terms on Google, you may want to go another route. Yes, organic is possible, but what if you sell sinks? Then you’re competing with the likes of Home Depot, Lowes, and all the other big box retailers who you’ll never outrank. So what can you do? You can beat them on paid search and at the very least, make sure you come up first for sponsored results.
Why paid search advertising is so effective
When advertising on social media platforms, what makes them so useful is that you can demonstrate what your product or service is, and how it works. Google doesn’t give you that medium to show what you do, but rather it gives you something even better:
People who already know what it is they want.
Ya see Paid social is like advertising on TV. Commercials come out of nowhere–you don’t want to see them, and if they are convincing enough, you make a call perhaps. If not, you skip ahead if you can, or totally ignore it.
Search ads on the other hand are like the yellow pages (remember those?) You know exactly what you want, so you look in your local yellow pages for the best company in your area. But what if there are so many you don’t know who to choose? Well, that’s why search ads exist. You force them to see your specific messaging.
Once your base is set, you're ready to generate leads (or sales)
Going after the sale or the lead for a sale right away can often cost more than funneling the prospect to a place where they’re ready to explore doing business with you. In essence, a lead generation campaign is getting someone to request a call from you, request a quote from you, or inquire for more information.
Alternatively, if you sell products, they might be primed enough so that they don’t need to see much more; they’ve seen enough. Now they stop on in and buy what they’ve been marketed, or they simply purchase it online.
The process of lead generation or sales campaigns is beyond the scope of this post, but hopefully you have an idea for how to set up a success lead or sales funnel for your local business.