Users Prefer Local Solutions…
Local business is rapidly moving to the forefront of Google’s priorities as they search for ways to make local results more relevant. Recent market research conducted in 2016 indicates the following:
- Almost half of all searches on Google are local (48 per cent)
- 50 per cent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day
- 78 per cent of local mobile searches result in offline purchases
Online trends all suggest that users prefer local solutions and brands. The challenge for local businesses is not how to get people to discover you, but how to keep them coming back, once they discover you.
Local SEO can increase traffic, but it can’t convert those visitors if they don’t find anything compelling to share. They may visit once out of curiosity, but they won’t return unless you give them a reason. You need more than a competitive offer to build a subscription list or deepen your reach into the local market.
Direct Marketing Is Not Enough…
Forbes Magazine noted in an interesting article on direct marketing and social media that businesses will find it increasingly more difficult to convert click-through’s into customers. In the early days of the internet, online advertising techniques relied on traditional direct marketing strategies. If you made a flyer for distribution in your local neighborhood, you simply made a PDF of the flyer and sent it out to your mailing list, or purchased ad space on the appropriate sites. Banners, pop-ups, sponsored ads, and ppc (pay-per-click) campaigns were also widespread as marketing tools for driving sales.
Social Media Makes A Difference…
The online landscape, however, has drastically changed since the explosion of social media. Over the past decade, hosts such as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Twitter, have revolutionized how consumers interact online. Communities and networks that facilitate sharing and online conversations draw together like-minded individuals who share common core values and perspectives.
Direct marketing is a great business tool, but local businesses that neglect their social media channels will rank lower than local competitors with a more robust online presence. You’ll also be absent in online communities and networks generated by potential customers nearby. Many community groups (recreational, hobbyist, artistic, youth) have an online aspect: forums, chat rooms, and social sharing platforms offer individuals an environment for sharing and discussing topics of interest and relevance to the larger group.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a proactive strategy for driving user engagement and generating online discussions about your business through social media. Using your existing business ‘content’, you can tell stories, share expertise and solutions online that resonate with online audiences and communities.
Great content generates discussion, which creates buzz. If people online are engaged with your business in a social capacity, search engines will recognize you as a legitimate and reliable source for relevant content. Your pages will be indexed by web crawlers seeking fresh, up-to-date information on topics of interest to users.
By creating content that appeals to relevant online communities and networks, you provide fodder for discussions that reveal the depths of your expertise and demonstrate the quality of your offering. The solutions you offer can include:
A static website may tell visitors where to find you, why you are competitive, and what you offer, but it doesn’t invite engagement. If your menu rarely changes, you have only one location, or your product list is fairly consistent, there’s no need to visit your site often. In short, if your website is static, search engines will see little value in your pages.
Anyone with enough money and expertise can build an attractive website. You can invest in Google AdSense campaigns to drive relevant traffic to targeted landing pages, but behind every click-through is a real person in search of a solution, not just a bargain.
Today’s consumer has the power to choose how and when they engage with a brand. They no longer have to sit through a commercial that lacks any context or relevance. They can choose to ignore traditional ad space and customize their online experience to remove ads entirely. They can seek out brands that align with their core values, and choose where they want to invest their money.
Creating great content that is SEO optimized and targeted to the appropriate market segments is a demanding task. Paul Teitelman, Toronto’s link building/SEO expert has over 10 years of expertise to help you create a content strategy that gets results. Call today for a detailed quote and get the insight you need to improve your website content.