Owning a local business that interacts primarily with customers who come into the physical location may make it feel like there is little point in marketing to a broader national or international audience. However, the only way to scale one’s local business is to eventually broaden the scope of prospective clients. At some point, the local pool of potential customers will reach a saturation point that makes continued growth impossible.
By becoming more well known to a national or international audience before this happens, it will be possible to generate new leads, both inside and outside of the local market
The Power of Great Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Great SEO is important because it will put your company in front of your target audience in the local area as well as those who could benefit from your services or products who are further away. There are several things you will need to do beyond creating solid content which targets the keywords your ideal clients are searching for.
As a company with a strong focus on drawing in local consumers, it will be especially important to have an adaptive website design that is easily viewed on smartphones and tablets as well as computers. Many searches are now performed on mobile devices, especially when consumers are looking for something that is location specific. If your site isn’t adaptive, it will rank lower in search results and may be missed entirely.
To appeal to a broader demographic, it is important to market to those further away from your physical location, too. This can be done by focusing on content that is not location specific or by giving site visitors an obvious reason to make the trip to your location. If you offer services or products that are easy to package and sell, it will be relatively easy to make the transition to serving digital customers.
If your service or product requires personal interaction, this presents a different challenge, as you must compel new consumers to come to you. One way to do this is by becoming an essential destination for tourists. This can be done by actively pursuing lists that discuss best places to visit in and around your area. Another option is to become an authority in your field so people are eager to come to you for expert opinions. An example of this is drug rehabilitation programs which have a finite number of local clients and must become recognized as the best in a region to attract adequate interest in their services.
An important component in building your authority and online reputation is becoming an authority in your field. This can be accomplished by focusing on building quality links back to your website. There are several ways to accomplish this.
First, you can begin writing about your field of expertise and submit articles to websites or blogs that accept guest contributions. Your bio is typically allowed to include a link back to your website, which will help increase search rankings and also put you and your company in front of a larger audience.
Another way to build authority with high-quality links is to offer your product or service to influential bloggers for an honest review and link back to your website. Again, this helps spread the word about your business and also helps build authority which will help increase search results.
In terms of building authority with search engines, you can also link to pages within your own site when they contain relevant information that will be useful to a visitor for reference purposes.
The importance of social media cannot be overstated in gaining a national or international following. Even if your sales will primarily be to those who visit your shop in person, a greater awareness of your presence can be fueled by a wider fan base.
LinkedIn and Facebook are the obvious social media choices for most businesses. They have dedicated business features that make it easy for business owners and entrepreneurs to engage with followers. They also provide quality links to your primary website.
However, many of the image based social media sites may be even more useful in captivating the attention of potential customers who may not realize they are interested in your product or service. When using sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, be sure to use stunning images and to carefully caption or hashtag your image with appropriate keywords to help consumers find your content.
Marketing your company to a national or international audience is easier than at any other point in history. Take advantage of the powerful tools available online and watch your business grow.