You may not know it, but small businesses are at the middle of a revolution taking place on the web. Google, Yahoo! and MSN are all currently fighting it out to become the leading source for local information on the web.
Why? Because, searching for local businesses and services on the web is predicted to be one of the fastest growing segments of online search over the next five years.
As more and more people turn to the web to look for local information, there has never been a better opportunity for smaller business to get ahead online and benefit from undervalued advertising costs and the opportunities to get a lead on building up a great online reputation and buzz around your company.
Paid Search Marketing – Over £1 billion was spent on paid search marketing last year in the UK, though only a small percentage is spent promoting smaller local businesses. As such pay per click advertising costs for localised search terms like 'mechanic in Newcastle' remain hugely undervalued.
Using Google Adwords you can set up targeted advertising campaigns within Google’s search results to advertise your website against specific search terms. Importantly, you can geo-target adverts so that your advert will only appear to people looking within the local area so that you know that you are targeting people who live within your town. The key to online marketing is visibility and relevance so make sure that the keywords you choose for your campaign are as specific as possible to your business.
Long Tail Localised Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – SEO is the way you optimise your website to rank for keywords relevant to the subject of your website or webpage. This is a notoriously competitive industry, usually with thousands of sites competing for the same high-value keywords. For smaller localised ‘long tail’ searches, however, competition is less fierce. Take advantage of the reduced competition and hone your SEO around location based keywords, rather than aiming to rank first for generic terms like 'Plumber', concentrate on ranking highly for 'Plumber in Newcastle' or 'Plumber in NE2' where the relevance of traffic will be far greater.