How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Local Business

Want to learn how to create an effective local marketing strategy for your business? Of course, you do! Why else would you be here?

Austin Powers live dangerously meme.

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What's New?

Bing is making moves; Google My Business brings new changes to review removal requests and some interesting insights about the state of marketing after the pandemic. Check out the links below for more info:

Microsoft Bing Provides More Visually Immersive Experience in Search Results - These include infographic panels, expanding carousels, in-image search, and aggregated information presented to deliver answers quickly.

Google My Business Review Removal Request Status Tool - Google My Business has launched a new tool where you can not only see the reviews for your business but also quickly report those reviews for policy violations and, even better, check the status or reviews you already reported.

10 Truths About Marketing After the Pandemic - 10 new marketing truths that reveal the confluence of strategies, operations, and technologies required to drive growth in a post-Covid-19 world.

How Ocean Spray, NFL Embed Nostalgia in TikToks to Tap 'Culture-Defining' Moments - Capitalizing on ephemeral moments can be tricky for brands to finesse, especially for those still finding their rhythm on TikTok, where user-generated videos often go viral overnight and escalate into memes or trends that marketers want to be part of.

What's Working?

Local marketing is a strategy that targets potential customers within a specific radius (typically 50 miles) of the business's physical location.

It's also known as location-based marketing, neighbourhood marketing, or local store marketing.

Local marketing can work for any brand with a physical brick-and-mortar location or any locally-based businesses that travel to a customer's location.

Let's take a look at exactly what we'll be digging into.

Graphic image of topic list with Benny Bee and honeycombs.Setting Up and Optimizing Google My Business

GMB (Google My Business) is a free local marketing tool that allows business owners and marketers to manage how their business is displayed on Google Search and Google Maps.

The first step is to create a GMB listing by either claiming your page or creating a new one and then verify it.

You must optimize your GMB listing. Google ranks on the profile's completeness, so make sure to fill out as much information as you can.

Screenshot of Honeypot GMB profile

When someone searches for products or services, the local search listings dominate the results, and those who have GMB set up and optimized with rank the highest and be shown first.

Your page's information will show in three different places: Google’s sidebar, local results, and Google maps.

Take a look at some of the amazing benefits of the free service:

local marketing strategy

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Get on it!

Google Local Campaigns

Location targeting allows you to display your brand in front of people who are most likely to visit your store.

With Google, you can do this by targeting either:

  • Entire countries.
  • Areas within a country like cities or territories.
  • A radius around your location.
  • Your Google My Business locations.

GMB allows you to promote your stores across the Google Search Network, Google Maps, YouTube, and the Display Network, matching user queries every time they are relevant to you.

local marketing strategy

Citations, NAP, and the Map Pack

A citation is a mention of your business on another website. For example, directories like Yelp.

When it comes to citations, it doesn’t have to link to you. Unlike clickable backlinks.

There are 2 major forms of citations:

  • Structured citations - a business listing located in an online database like Yellowpages.com or on a social media site like Yelp. Structured citations always include the mention of your business’ name, address, and phone number (also referred to as NAP).
  • Unstructured citations - are less formal. They’re online references to your business in articles, blogs, descriptions, captions, reviews, etc.

Two of the biggest ranking factors for your map listing are:

  • An optimally-created GMB listing.
  • Citations or mentions of your business NAP (name, address, phone number) in high-quality directories and websites.

local marketing strategy

Citations help to show your business' authenticity and credibility.

Businesses that appear at the top 3 of local searches have an average of 85 local citations.

Using Google search can help find citation sources:

  • General business listings.
  • Search for local business listings.
  • Search for your competitor's listings.

local marketing strategy

Creating an Effective Local SEO Strategy

For a local business, it can be difficult to compete with the big brands. Still, by developing a local marketing strategy, you can easily improve your local SEO performance by growing your brand's visibility.

Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:

Create Localized Content Ideas. It always comes down to how specific you can create content that's relevant to local searchers.

Integrate your CTAs into Content. The CTAs will encourage more readers to take action and check out what you are doing.

Monitor your Organic Rankings and Traffic. This is a great way to identify locations that work best to get your business found from the search.

Go Local. If you keep adding content your customers want to interact with, your rankings gradually grow, and more people find your business.

Local SEO

46% of all searches on Google are local.

If you're a local business and your SEO isn't up to date, then every time someone searches for your products or services on Google, you're missing an opportunity to drive traffic to your website.

You want to rank high in the SERPs for local searches.

Here are a few ideas on how to improve your local SEO:

  • Create a Contact Page
  • Make Phone Numbers Clickable
  • Add a Map to Your Website
  • Create Locally Targeted Content
  • Prioritize Customer Reviews
  • Build Citations on Local Search Engines, Blogs, and Local Directories

Local SEO search ranking screenshot snippet.

Using Google Ads to Promote Locally

Local campaigns are intended to help businesses give their potential customers the information they need when shopping locally.

Local campaigns streamline the process for you, making it easy to promote your business across Google Search Network, Maps, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.

When setting up your local marketing strategy, you only need to create some copy, choose some assets, set your budget, and the rest is optimized to help customers find you.

Create Specific Headlines. If you want to attract local customers, you want to highlight the benefits of being local.

Use Location or Call Extensions. Helps people find your locations by showing your address and a map or the distance to your business alongside your ads.

Increase your Bids for Mobile. Optimizing for mobile will show your ads to users searching for your business on-the-go, increasing the chances of them visiting your store.

Schedule your Ads during Opening Hours. You want to reach customers with enough time for them to visit your location.

Example of local google ads

Example of local google ads

example of local google ads

Examples of local Google ads.

Local Services Ads

Local Services Ads help your business connect with people who search for your products and services on Google.

Your ads will appear for customers within your area, and you will only be charged if you are contacted directly through the ad.

Local Services Ads work with the budget you have set for your business.

Screenshot of search showing local services ads.

Google Guaranteed

Businesses that pass a Google screening and qualification process through Local Service Ads will obtain a Google Guaranteed Badge.

If you have this badge, and your customers aren't satisfied with your product or service, Google may reimburse the customer for the amount paid for the product or service.

When customers submit a request, you have the opportunity to make things right, and Google will then decide on a resolution.

This is a great feature and will give your business authenticity. Having Google's stamp of approval tells users that your business can be trusted.

Screenshot og Google Guaranteed banner.

GMB and Content Marketing

GMB is much more than simply a directory for you business. Think of it more like another social media channel to take advantage of and implement it into your local marketing strategy.

The more content you have on your GMB profile, the better you will rank in the SERPs.

  • Fill out every section of your profile
  • Leverage query data in the GMB dashboard to discover keywords
  • Maximize the power of effective imagery
  • Use posts for continual updates like you would on Instagram and Facebook
  • In everything you do, create a cohesive and engaging experience.

Examples of gmb content posting.

That's a Wrap

There's never been a better time to invest in a local marketing strategy.

With so many people looking to buy locally and support their communities, your business must implement local marketing strategies.

If you're not already taking advantage of GMB, local SEO, location targeting, and local services ads, now is the time to get started!

People want to find and support local businesses, so make it easy for them to do so.

Operation support local logo on green background.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, comments, or stories to share, sound off in the comments below, or hit us up on our socials!


honeypot bee

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