Want to promote your business locally? Here are some quick and easy wins to ensure people in your area know about your business.
1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Mobile internet traffic now makes up over half of global online traffic, so your site needs to look good on mobile.
This becomes even more important if you’re the kind of business that people look for when they’re on the move – a bar or restaurant, for example.
If you don’t already have a website that looks good on mobile, you can use GoDaddy’s Website Builder to get one quickly and easily.
2. Get on Google My Business
Google My Business is like a social network for businesses, and if you’re not on there you’re missing out.
Why? Because the information displayed on Google Maps is drawn from Google My Business, so it’s an important way to get your business found by people in your area.
You can find out more about the importance of Google My Business in this guide.
Important note: It’s important that the details of your business’s name, address and telephone number are exactly the same everywhere they appear on the web. This includes your website, your Google My Business page and any other social networks or directories your business is on. This is because search engines use this information to identify your business and its location to help them decide when it should be shown to users in search results.
3. Get on other business-related social networks
Google dominates search, so getting on Google My Places should be your priority. But one you’ve done that, you can set up profiles on other social networks if you haven’t already done so.
Bing Places for Business is one you should consider, as that’s where Bing Maps draws its data from.
Facebook is also a popular destination for people searching for local businesses, so you should consider setting up a page for your business if you haven’t already done so.
4. Get listed on relevant business directories
There are hundreds of business directories around, but you should be careful about which ones you register your business on.
Focus on well-known general directories, such as Yell, and relevant industry-specific directories.
5. Monitor your reviews
Most of the sites we’ve talked about already allow customers to review your site, and it’s important that you keep an eye on what people say in them.
Not only will it let you identify areas of your business that you could improve, you’ll also be able to interact with people who had a bad experience so you can, where possible, make things right.
That last point is particularly important as people know that no business is perfect, so if they’re reading your reviews to get a feel of what kind of service you offer, seeing you trying to put things right for unhappy customers will give them added confidence.
You can encourage people to leave reviews, but don’t offer an incentive as this may breach a review site’s terms of service.
6. Team up with other local businesses
Forming a group of businesses that can refer potential customers to each other is a great way to promote yourself.
You can also consider joining a formal organization such as your local chamber of commerce.
7. Get involved in community events
Getting involved with local events is a great way to get your name out there.
You could consider sponsoring a local football team, or donating your services for free to a local charity.
Getting involved with a local cause that you feel passionately about will let you give something back to the community, and will have the added bonus of promoting your business.
8. Make connections with local journalists
Local papers and local businesses both want to reach the same people, so it makes sense for you to make connections with journalists working in your area.
Of course, you can always take out ads in a local paper, but there’s nothing to stop your business getting “free” coverage if you’ve done something newsworthy.
You can learn more about doing local PR for your small business in this guide.
The key to promoting your business locally is ensuring that you have a strong foundation in place.
That means before you do anything else, you should ensure your website is up to scratch, and that you’re on Google My Business.
Then you can start looking at other ways to promote your business in your local area.