Investing in and building an online presence has become an essential ingredient to a successful business. Today’s customer journey is complex and spans across multiple channels, devices, and interactions. Relying on the “traditional” ways of marketing your small business could mean you’re missing out on opportunities to broaden your local reach and connect with more customers.
Without an online presence, you’re simply not going to get found by potential customers searching for the services you offer outside of a personal referral. And even then, potential customers are now taking their personal referrals online, to research and learn more about the company they’ve been referred to before they contact them.
The Local Marketing Challenge
The challenge many small businesses face is the notion of getting Google to recognize their entire service area, and not just their physical business location. In a previous article, Local SEO Visibility – Why Your Competitors Might Be Outranking You, we discussed this concept by looking at an example of a State Farm Insurance agency branch’s online presence.
Your business has a physical address that includes your city based on the U.S. Postal Service. Google also has its own geographic definition of your city. That’s where the challenge arises because these two “geographic definitions” could differ, and do in most cases.
Thankfully, there are a number of local marketing tactics that you can leverage to broaden your reach by sending “signals” to Google and other search engines that notifies them of where your service area is so they can show your business in those local search results accordingly.
7 Local Marketing Tactics to Broaden Your Local Reach
From making a few changes to your website to getting more reviews and publishing content, you can make an immediate impact on your local reach by strategically investing in your marketing and advertising. These tactics include:
- Optimize your Google My Business listing for location
- Add local schema and structured data to your website
- Get reviews across your service area
- Run Google Ads and Google Local Service Ads with location-specific targeting
- Publish and share geo-tagged content across your online presence
- Register with organizations like BBB and Chamber of Commerce
- Join local online communities
Let’s dive into each of these.
1) Optimize your Google My Business listing for location
Within your Google My Business listing, you have the option to define your service areas. This is the number one and most effective tactic to optimize your online presence and broaden your local reach. You have the option to add in cities by name or zip code. Add in any and all markets you hope to be visible in.
2) Add local schema and structured data to your website
You’ll want to do the same location-optimizations on your website as you did your Google My Business listing. That way, the two complement each other and provide a strong foundation for your online presence. When you add local schema and structured data into the coding of your website, paired with creating location pages on your website, you’re essentially telling Google exactly where you serve customers.
3) Get reviews across your service area
Each time a person reviews your business, it adds to the credibility of your reputation and acts as a location signal. The more customers that review your business, and the more photos they upload and share on Google, for example, the more “signals” you’re sending to Google that yes, you service this particular area and have proof to back that statement up.
4) Run Google Ads and Google Local Service Ads with location-specific targeting
If you haven’t already, optimizing your paid ads to target ideal customers within your specific markets is the key to keeping costs low while generating high-quality leads. Through extensions and Local Service Ads, you’re able to define the exact markets you want your ads to appear in.
5) Publish and share geo-tagged content across your online presence
I hope you’re seeing a trend here. You ultimately want to build in as many “location signals” as you can to your online presence, and there’s no better way to do that on a massive scale than by publishing and sharing content. Start by adding in Alt-text and meta descriptions to your photos and videos when you upload and publish them to your website. Take that same content and share it across your social media and business listings. The more channels you can invest in like Facebook, Nextdoor, Houzz, Instagram, etc, and maintain an active presence on, the better your online presence will be for it.
6) Register with organizations like BBB and Chamber of Commerce
If you can, find any organizations and directories that you can get your business listed on that have built-in location parameters. These can serve as location signals that have high domain authority in Google’s “eyes” and help to build your online reputation.
7) Join local online communities
Are there any online communities specific to your local area that you could join? Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, and Nextdoor neighborhoods are all great starting places.
Expand Your Small Business Into New Geographic Locations with Marketing Automation Software
It’s one thing to understand conceptionally how Google determines your online visibility. It’s quite another to take action and drive effective and positive change in building your online presence. While it’s easy to quickly optimize your Google My Business listing to help broaden your local reach, it’s time-consuming and skill-intensive to consistently create new content, manage business listings, focus on online reviews and optimize your website and paid ads.
That’s where a company like Surefire Local can help. Through our platform and guidance, you and your marketing team can become local marketing pros overnight.
The Surefire Local Marketing Platform is the industry’s most complete all-in-one local marketing platform, giving you complete control of all your major marketing channels so you can easily know exactly where new customers come from and how much it costs you.
Most importantly, Surefire Local’s team of Digital Marketing Strategists are on your team, unlike an agency relationship. Together, you’ll learn how to leverage the most powerful digital marketing toolset and meet regularly with your strategist who’ll share professional thoughts on what is happening and how you can improve your results. If you need help, we got you. If you’d like to take the ropes and lead the charge, we got you.
Request a demo today to learn more!