5 Online Marketing Best Practices for Local Businesses

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Odds are you brought your business online to help diversify and broaden your products’ reach. But if you have a brick and mortar location where you do most of your business, going online can help your local business even more. Some best practices to keep in mind when you make the decision to go online local with your marketing plan are:

1. Have a physical location

You might be surprised with how many online stores pretend to have a physical store and use a fake address just to appear higher in search results. This is a huge mistake! Some of the biggest hits in local traffic last year came from using a fake address in their local marketing efforts. As a result of this, Google rolled out Pigeon algorithm update that focused on local search results.  Plus, what if a customer uses that address to drive to your store just to find it doesn’t exist? That’s not the best way to start a relationship with your customer, not to mention the potentially lost sale.

2. Get your store on mapping sites

So you have a physical location, now let’s get that location online! Sign up for a Google Business Page, Google Places and Yahoo Maps. You can put your physical address on a few other high quality citation sites, but don’t overdo it. Just put it on sites where you honestly believe you will help customers find your site.

3. Stay consistent with any citations or local directory listings

When signing up for online maps and citations, remember to keep them consistent! Use your correct address, your correct hours of operation and your local phone number. This counts for social media accounts as well.

4. Using location in landing pages’ tags and content

This can include your home page, contact page, about us pages, category pages and especially PPC landing pages. Below, we are using the keyword Specialty Pet Care Products as well as the location Austin, Texas in the title tag. We are also giving a neighborhood indicator by using “Hyde Park” in the meta description.

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A way to add your location into content can involve using anywhere from your exact location to your neighborhood to your entire city and state in the header tags (H1, H2) as well as regular content.

5. Pile up reviews organically

Enable reviews on your ecommerce site and get your business on reviewing sites like Facebook for Business and Yelp. Reviews not only help build dynamic content on and off your site but they also have a proven track record in increasing conversions. Remember to let them come naturally. Asking for reviews is fine as long as there is no compensation.

If you remember these local best practices moving forward, you’ll be taking the first steps to a successful local marketing campaign.

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About 

Sherri Horton is a Search Marketing Specialist at Volusion with close to 4 years of experience working in SEO, PR, and Social Media. She comes from a heavy writing and analytical background and is always looking to stay ahead of Google's next big change by helping her clients create the best website possible. When shes not working, she enjoys jet-setting around the world and catching up on her stories. She has also been known to cry at the sight of a really cute puppy.

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