7 Must-Have Local Online Marketing Tactics
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Today, consumers are searching locally for products and services. Forty-six percent of all Google searches are linked to something local. Therefore, you need a local online marketing strategy to meet consumers where they’re searching and shopping.
In this blog post, we’ll share seven local online marketing tactics to help you improve online visibility, gain more local customers, and increase your revenue.
SOCi serves over 600 multi-location brands, and we’ve used these tactics to boost our clients’ sales. Let’s dive in!
What is Local Online Marketing?
Local online marketing is a strategy to target consumers within a designated geographic radius of your local businesses.
Local online marketing, sometimes called local digital marketing or localized marketing, includes local SEO (search engine optimization), local social media efforts, and more.
These tactics, if utilized correctly, will improve:
- Local targeting
- Engagement and conversions
- Online reputation and brand awareness
- Customer loyalty
The 7 Best Local Online Marketing Strategies
Now that you understand the value of local online marketing, let’s dive into specific localized marketing tactics that have a high ROI.
1. Manage Your Local Listings
A significant aspect of local online marketing is local SEO or local search optimization. We mentioned earlier that nearly half of all searches are related to something local. Therefore, you must optimize your website and local businesses to appear in these local search results.
To appear in local search results, you must first claim all your local listings. Local listings are online profiles of your local stores. They include essential business information consumers seek and are on local directories or search engines like Google, Apple Maps, and Yelp. Here’s a local Yelp listing example:
Claiming Local Listings
It’s essential that you claim all of your listings across all major directories and ensure each listing has accurate business information.
If a single business location has discrepancies or contradicting information, you will confuse consumers and search engines. These inaccuracies often lead to poor user experience (UX) and decreased search rankings.
De-duping Local Listings
When claiming your local listings, you also want to ensure duplicate listings don’t exist. Sometimes, search engines inadvertently create duplicate listings, which again confuses consumers.
2. Optimize Your Google Business Profiles
We’ve defined local listings and explained the need to claim them and remove duplicates. Now you’ll learn how to optimize your local listings so they can rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
The most crucial local listing is your Google Business Profiles (GBP). Google owns 93 percent of the search engine market share worldwide, making it essential to appear on Google Search and Maps for locally relevant queries. Below you’ll find an example of Jersey Mike’s Subs’ local listings on Google.
Here’s a list of information you should include on your GBPs. Note that you should include some of this information on other listings. However, the info varies by what each local directory allows you to include.
- Name, address, phone number (NAP)
- Operating hours, especially during major events or holidays
- Products and services your local store offers
- Links to your website and social media profiles
- High-quality images and videos
- Business categories
- Examples: virtual appointments, pickup, women-owned, wheelchair accessible seating
- Google Q&A
- Google Posts
Including this information on your GBPs and updating it regularly or when changes occur will increase the likelihood your Profiles will rank in the coveted local pack (sometimes called the Google 3-Pack).
Our research found GBPs in the local pack receive 126 percent more traffic and 93 percent more actions (calls, website clicks, and driving directions) than those ranked 4-10.
For more detailed information on how to optimize your GBPs and other local SEO strategies, download our The Top 10 Things You Should Be Doing in Local SEO Now guide.
3. Create Local Pages
Another local online marketing tactic impacting local SEO is producing and optimizing local pages. Local pages, or local landing pages, are profiles of your local stores online.
They’re similar to local listings — and should contain much of the same information — but they live on your website. This allows you to have complete control over your local pages. Here’s an example of a local page:
Local pages can also help with local search rankings. However, they primarily serve as a way for consumers to find more information about your local store and easily purchase goods or services.
Here are a few ways to optimize your local pages:
Business information: Include the essential business information we discussed in the local listings section. The information on your local pages must match the information on their associated local listings.
Images and reviews: Showcase high-quality photos or videos of your products and services. You should also highlight positive reviews from customers.
Calls-to-action (CTAs): Deploy CTAs that help move consumers down the sales funnel. These can be “order now” or “get directions” buttons. CTAs can also link to current promotions or sales.
Lastly, we recommend that your local listings link to your local pages. A local consumer will click on a website link to learn more about a local store or to make a purchase.
4. Utilize a Store Locator
A store locator is a specific webpage with a map and list of all your local stores or dealers that sell your products. Store locators often link out to your local pages. Below you’ll find an example of Nékter Juice Bar’s store locator:
Similar to local listings and local pages, store locators help move website visitors through the customer journey. They make it easier for consumers to find your locations and purchase online or in-person from your stores.
They’re also beneficial for manufacturing marketers who don’t have their own stores but want to show customers which local dealers sell their products.
5. Be Active on Local Social Media
As a marketer, you’re likely very familiar with social media and its extensive role in digital marketing, but do you know how effective local social media is?
We found that localized social content receives 12x the engagement rate of more non-localized content. Furthermore, for multi-location brands, 72 percent of user engagements on Facebook happen on local Facebook pages and not corporate ones.
With local social, each business has an associated social page — like a local Facebook page. Then, each local page posts localized social content for its followers.
To get the most out of your local social strategy, we recommend publishing interactive and engaging content, such as:
User-generated content (UGC): UGC is content created by loyal customers or fans. Eight in ten consumers say UGC highly impacts their purchase decisions.
Videos: Videos on Facebook, such as short reels, have twice the correlation with engagement as posts with photos.
Quizzes and polls: Interactive posts such as quizzes and polls encourage engagement from followers and help you connect with them.
Remember, the majority of your content should be localized. For instance, a property management company (PMC) can ask followers to list their favorite local restaurants. Similarly, an insurance company can showcase its local expertise in a live Q&A video.
For additional ways to improve your local social strategy, download our Localized Social Content Guide.
6. Publish Local Social Ads
If you need to broaden your reach, consider running local social media ads. Social media ad spending in the U.S. will reach approximately 72.33 billion dollars in 2023.
One reason many multi-location marketers take advantage of social advertising is its ability to attract new customers and keep current customers engaged with your brand.
For multi-location marketers to be most effective, they must invest in local social ads. Most major social media platforms allow some form of geotargeting or geofencing. Geofencing targets an audience in a specific area, using a radius around a map pin or relying on a list of zip codes, cities, or states.
Read our blog post on social advertising for more details on targeting local audiences on different platforms.
7. Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
Last, but not least, we recommend ensuring you have a mobile-friendly website. Today, more than three-quarters of U.S. adults buy products online using smartphones. For younger adults (ages 18 to 49), mobile purchasing increases to 91 percent.
In addition, many consumers use mobile phones to search for local businesses. In fact, from 2013 to 2018, “open” + “now” + “near me” increased by more than 200 percent in mobile searches.
If your locator, local pages, and other aspects of your website aren’t mobile-friendly, you’re creating a poor UX and likely losing potential customers. We recommend doing the following to help ensure mobile-friendliness:
- Select a responsive design: A responsive design ensures your website and layouts adapt to varying screen sizes.
- Compress images: Optimize your images by compressing and reducing their file size to create a faster website loading time.
- Test your website: Most importantly, test your website on different mobile or tablet devices and browsers. Testing your website can help to ensure everything is functioning properly.
You can also read our article on optimizing store locators for mobile for other mobile-friendly tips.
Choosing a Local Online Marketing Partner
As you can see, there are several local online marketing strategies to help you get more brand awareness and customers. Although it’s important, implementing these local online marketing tactics can be challenging for multi-location businesses with 100s or 1,000s of individual locations.
This is where SOCi can help! SOCi is the marketing platform for multi-location brands. We’ve built our listings, reviews, local pages, locator, social, and social advertising solutions to improve your localized marketing at scale. Our products work cohesively to improve your local social media presence, local search rankings, and your online reputation.
Request a demo today to learn how SOCi is reshaping how multi-location businesses achieve local online marketing success.