So let’s be honest.
When it comes to Local SEO Marketing, the challenge facing your Local business is this:
What is the most effective way to connect with potential new customers for your products or service?
And you’re not spending hours searching for the best way to market your business because you enjoy it.
You understand that your business needs to survive.
And new customers and sales are your life blood!
So you invest your time and resources into the internet marketing channels you believe will work best for your local business.
Hoping that all of the work you are doing will have a positive effect on your turnover.
But what if it doesn’t?
“Its funny how things change”
What if everything you have been doing to attract new clients is based on outdated advice?
What if Google has changed the rules of the game?
What would that mean to you, a local business owner?
Would it mean that you are wasting your time and resources on online marketing strategies that no longer work?
Or worse, would it mean that while you are waiting for calls your potential clients are going elsewhere?
The bad news is:
It could mean both.
The Good news is, if done correctly, digital marketing for local businesses can produce outstanding results in terms of being found by potential customers who are ready to purchase your services and products.
The key is for you to use a strategy that will enable you to get found by people who are ready to buy.
And when the search environment changes then your strategy needs to evolve.
It’s not all bad news because a lot of web marketing methods still produce great results for a lot of businesses.
But when it comes to online marketing for Local Businesses, the rules have dramatically changed.
The impact on your Local Business marketing is huge.
And I think it would be fair to say:
“A bomb just went off”.
Most Local Business Internet Marketing Advice Is Wrong
Now I know what you are probably thinking that is quite a strong statement.
And I agree.
So how about this one :
If you use outdated Web Marketing strategies for your local business it is likely you will fail.
If you are a local business still using traditional digital marketing methods to attract new clients then I fully accept that right now you may be experiencing some negative emotions.
Or possibly may feel like punching me in the face.
So before this turns ugly, please allow me to explain:
You carefully researched your digital marketing strategy based on the best information available.
You selected the methods that you believed would give you the best possible return on your investment.
And you probably did several of the following:
Developed A Social Media Presence:
You asked questions, posted and tweeted updates and engaged with your customers, all the time being careful not to push your sales agenda.
It felt a bit like getting naked in front of a crowd of strangers. But you did it anyway, hoping to build brand awareness, create credibility and hopefully to become an authority in your niche and prove you understand your industry and customers inside out.
Built relationships with media outlets:
It used to involve getting friendly with your local newspaper journalist but you realised things had changed so you began following local influencer’s on twitter and began sharing their content and responding to their tweets. Maybe you got on their radar and they began to share your articles and press releases.
You began checking your website analytic’s:
It’s never been easier to check what’s working … and what isn’t. So you set up your analytic tools to provide you with useful reports allowing you to monitor the effectiveness of your online marketing strategies.
Re-designed your emails:
You realised that customers prefer emails that speak directly to their hopes and fears. So you worked on targeting your messages and crafting subject lines that scream “Open Me” to a large percentage of your email list.
Optimised your website:
You realised that you want to be found by customers who want what you offer. So you optimised your site with keywords selected to attract customers who are ready to purchase from you.
You put the whole thing together like a jigsaw to create a big digital picture of your business:
Your internet presence.
And you are proud of what you have achieved.
Because it wasn’t easy.
In fact, it was very hard.
But you did it.
And it's understandable that you may be slightly annoyed to discover that….
Google Dropped A Bomb On Your Internet Marketing Strategy
You may not have heard it, most Local Businesses didn’t.
Because it was very quiet.
So for those of you who missed it.
This is what it looks like:
- Over 75 % of people now find a local business by typing (or speaking) the service or product into Google
- In response to a local search, Google now displays a “Local Pack” and a location map on the first page of results.
- Over 90% of people will call or contact a business that appears on the first page of results.
- Over 45 % of people will call or contact one of the businesses that appear in the Local Pack.
Now, if you are a Local Business who felt the tremor and changed your strategy in response to the changes, congratulations! you can be happy in the knowledge that most of your competitors are still soundly asleep.
But if you are a Local Business still relying solely on traditional Online Marketing, then I’m sure you would agree:
Your Internet Marketing Strategy Just Got Blown Up!
So what can a local business do?
And the answer to that question is…
We have written a detailed Local SEO guide for those Local Businesses who wish to take advantage of the opportunities created by the Google Local Search update. Alternatively, if you don't have the time go go through the guide, you can hire an SEO consultant to get the job done professionally.
And you can start right now.
So to sum it all up:
The main purpose of Local Business Online Marketing is to attract new clients.
Most traditional web marketing strategies have focused on building an Internet presence to promote your brand and interacting with customers as well as trying to get ranked highly in organic search results.
But when it comes to gaining new customers Google has dropped a bomb on the old strategies.
And the new strategy is called Local Search.
If you keep doing things the old way then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
So now you need to have a strategy that addresses the challenges created by the Local Search update and enables new customers to find you where they are looking.
Sadly, most Local businesses are still unaware of the change and are wondering why new customers are not finding them. They are still using old methods and expecting them to work.
The good news is that more and more Local Businesses are becoming aware of the Local Search Pack and developing new Local SEO strategies in response.
And one final thing.
A good analogy for the new Local Search Pack is when new businesses are being built in a war-torn town after the old businesses have been destroyed.
The first ones to build get the best spots.
The most customers.
And make the most money.
But that’s a whole new article, And I need a coffee. 🙂