If you are a small business owner, you will likely find yourself competing against large global brands – this can leave you feeling disenchanted, but this is where localized marketing plays a pivotal role.
By targeting your local community, this increases the exposure that you enjoy right on your doorstep. For example, a customer based in Chicago looking for a shoe repair service is likely to search ‘shoe repair in Chicago’ or a similar variant. If your website is correctly optimized to feature these keywords, your business will feature towards the top of page one.
As the owner of a small business, it is essential that you grab any advantage that you can take against corporations with a marketing budget worth 10x as much as your assets. Below we have listed a brief overview of what to do, and what not to do, when it comes to localized campaigns.
Do – Localized Keywords
On your business’s website, make sure to include localized keywords in your onsite content. Be careful not to stuff in and repeat keywords as this will not look natural and will do more harm than good to your SEO ranking.
A good example of this is:
Shoe Repair in Chicago
Come to We Fix Shoes if your shoes are in dire need of some TLC. We offer a professional and friendly service and look to ensure as short a wait as possible.
If you have any questions please call us on 312-878-1234 or visit our shop in Chicago.
A bad example of this is:
Shoe Repair in Chicago
Come to We Fix Shoes for shoe repair in Chicago. We offer a professional and friendly shoe repair service in Chicago and look to ensure as short a wait as possible.
If you have any questions please call us on 312-878-1234 or visit our shoe repair shop in Chicago.
As you can see, the first example uses the keywords naturally, with ‘shoe repair’, only actually featuring in the title tag. This is enough for search engines to recognise this as a key phrase, without packing in the keywords as many times as possible, as seen in the second example which is bad for SEO.Visit this website for another good example of using localized keywords.
Do not – Rely on Localized Keywords
While incorporating localized phrases is good, do not rely on this for your digital marketing strategy, especially if you do offer service further afield. As a small business it, of course, makes sense to focus on the area that you are based, but also focus some of your efforts on gradually increasing your national (or international) exposure.
Do – Work with Local Businesses
Working with other local businesses where possible is great for your brand, being seen to give back to the community, and is also great for the prospect of authoritative backlinks. Release press releases of joint projects, including links to your company, to be released on other websites – this is great for exposure and increasing your search visibility.
Do Not – Offer Link for a Link
When it comes to SEO, it is common for some webmasters to ask for a link for a link, where you give a link on your website for a link pointing back to you. Not only does this not look professional on a business website, search engines are quick to notice patterns and will pick up on this practice.
By doing this, you put your website at risk of penalties which, while reversible, can take months or years to recover from. This is time that small businesses cannot afford to lose in their digital marketing strategy.