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If you are a small business, one way to get ahead of the competition is with an online marketing campaign utilizingSmall Business SEO social media and local search advertising. A well-planned online marketing campaign will enable you to target potential customers who are searching specifically for your services.  According to a recent article by  Flowtown.com, these strategies can help you get ahead by placing your business in front of targeted online visitors in both local and social media.

Optimize your website for local search: This is basically just a fancy phrase for ensuring that your website makes it easy for users to find its location and contact information.

  • The first and probably most important thing you should do is place your local street address and phone number on every page of your website. This optimizes your websites so that when local customers google your business, your phone number, address, and website will appear, making it easier than ever for people to find you.
  • Create a contact us page with all of your local information such as a photo of the business, street address, phone number, fax number, contact form, email address, and a map.

Google Yahoo Bing

 

Claim your local listing on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. 

Just search for your business on each of the search engines. There will be a link for business owners to claim your listing!

 

 

Set up your listing on top local search directories to increase the likelihood of your business getting picked up by search engines. Here are some of the top directories:

  • Yelp
  • Merchant Circle
  • YellowPages and WhitePages
  • Superpages
  • Yellowbook
  • CitySearch
  • Mapquest
  • Insider Pages
  • Local.com

 

Target your Twitter campaign for a local audience. Do this by following your customers on Twitter and Twitter bird interacting with them. Here are some great ways to find current or potential customers on Twitter:

  • Advanced Twitter Search: Allows you to pinpoint people who tweet about any topic within a distance of 1 to 1,000 miles from a particular city or zip code.
  • Twitter Elite: Target the most influential Twitter users in your area in a region.
  • Follower Wonk: Search Twitter bios for particular keywords like gardening, food, or entertainment to target your customers.

 

Connect with your customers on Facebook. Create a Facebook Fan Page for your business so that your customers can like your page and see any relevant news or specials you may have. You can also like and comment on others’ pages that your local customers would also be fans of.

 

FoursquareRegister your business on Foursquare. This allows users to check into your establishment and show all of their friends and followers that they’re at your business. You can then build loyal customers by offering a special discount when they check in.

 

Respond to your critics. When you list your business on sites like Yelp, you are setting yourself up for criticism too. If someone writes a negative review, respond to them and offer them an incentive to come back.

Do you use any other online marketing strategies to market your business? Let us know in the comment section below!