Unlocking the Local ‘Niche’ for Your Small Business

At first glance, you might think online marketing for your local area is overkill. But as many successful small business owners have learned, an online local business listing is an essential marketing tool.

In fact, with mobile devices the dominant form of personal computing, unlocking the local niche for your small business is more of an imperative than just a good idea.

Local SEO Is Critical

While it will take some time to gather momentum, local search engine optimization targeting keyword phrases specific to your business and town are a solid long-term investment. To be effective, include a keyword phrase user might be searching when you want them to find the content on your site and in your blog.

Let’s say you run a Toyota repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware. A solid keyword phrase to rank on would be “Wilmington Toyota repair”.

Leverage Location Targeting

Services like AdWords, Facebook Ads and Yahoo Local Listings enable you to target your advertising directly to the markets in which you have the most interest. This produces a far better return on your marketing investment than the “shotgun” approach of splattering your efforts all over the place.

Local Niche for Small Business

Geo-Specific Landing Pages

If you’re located in an area with many contiguous municipalities, it’s a good idea to create a landing page for each town within the radius from which you want to draw business. Following the local SEO advice above, this means you’ll have keywords for each of the surrounding towns and users will be taken to the corresponding landing page, depending upon the ad they click. This helps each potential customer feel they’re getting personalized service, even though all of the clicks bring them back to you.

Social Media

Developing a consistent presence around a carefully orchestrated plan will produce solid results, even in the local market. Take some time to get to know who your ideal customers are in your area and focus your efforts on the sites they’re most likely to follow.

For example, if your demographic is Baby Boomers, Facebook and Twitter are good bets. If you’re after Millennials, you’ll want to appeal to the Instagram crowd. Just make sure the content you post is relevant, service-oriented and authentic. Make posts 80 percent about the audience and 20 percent about yourself and you should do well.

Mobile Specific Strategies

Maps, navigation and click-to-call buttons give you a decided edge in the mobile sphere. Too many proprietors overlook the telephone and navigation features of smartphones while focusing on apps, browser and email functions. Another useful aspect of mobile is text messaging. With location-based text messages you can do things like send coupons to repeat customers when they’re near your brick and mortar location for in-store only special offers.

Unlocking the local niche for your small business is simply a matter of looking at the advantages of various technologies and finding creative ways to employ them in your marketing efforts. Doing so can be just as much fun as it is rewarding.

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