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How to attract more customers to your local business

These tips will help you take your local business online and are a great way to generate more income without increasing your budget.

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The internet has opened up many opportunities for global businesses to reach their target audience.

Yet, as time goes on, the space becomes more and more competitive: As bigger brands allocate huge budgets to digital marketing, smaller brands are struggling to keep up.

Local marketing is still an exception, though: It still provides great opportunities for small businesses to attract customers on modest budgets.

Setting up your web presence

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Create a business domain name and a logo for your new website: Both should align with the products you are selling. If you already have a business name, pick a domain that best represents it. 

It is likely that a .com domain will be taken, but there are more options available today, including .store, .tech, .studio, .plumbing, and more domain names, depending on the nature of your local business.

Most of these newer top-level domains are still available and allow local businesses to use their existing names online.

Preparing to launch

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If you are selling products locally, consider offering a delivery option. Since there are numerous shipping and fulfilling elements in this industry, determine and choose the best shipping strategy which will work for you.

At this point, curate a list of key performance indicators which you will use to track your progress.

For service-based businesses, make sure to create conversion funnels that would shorten your clients’ buying journeys and require fewer interactions for them to set up an appointment with you.

Setting up contactless payments is a great way to make it easier for your customers to pay you and hence boost your income.

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Allowing online payments is a good idea to generate more instant sales, but it also requires some set-up. You can start an online store using WordPress or Shopify.

Both will not require hiring a developer but may need some time to figure it out. So it is a good idea to set up your digital shopping cart and test it prior to launch.

Then, structure your site and optimize pages for search engines. For example, write captivating product descriptions and upload high-quality images. Here’s more about SEO and where to get started with it.

Here’s another resource on improving your SEO results that are easy to follow.

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As soon as your website is up and running, start marketing your products. The critical thing here is driving the targeted traffic and converting that traffic to sales.

It is easier for local businesses to go online because they don’t have to compete with bigger brands. You can save on social media and Google ads by limiting your targeting criteria to your location.

When you start providing delivery options, you can also expand that location to nearby cities and towns. This will also increase your customer base and considerably boost your revenue.

Hyper-local advertising is affordable and allows businesses to start generating traffic and sales right away. Local SEO takes more time, but it provides opportunities for long-term exposure.

Make sure your website is linked everywhere

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Most local businesses are already on Google and Apple Maps, Yelp, and other local directories. Chances are, your business is there as well.

But make sure you check, and while you are claiming your business there, complete your listings with a more detailed business description and your new website link.

While many customers are using maps to navigate to a business, your website may encourage them to save the trip and order online. This will increase your sales while keeping your store less crowded.

It will also help you grow your email list, allowing you to use marketing automation to reach your customers with deals and special offers. It’s a great way to drive repeat sales.

Google Maps

Presence on Google Maps is key to any local business’s success. But it is not just about getting listed there (again, you may have that step already handled).

Google provides many opportunities for local businesses to improve their visibility by posting regular updates, listing their products, and keeping their profile active.

Login to your Google Business Profile regularly to post your special offers, answer customers’ questions, update your business hours and add new products. Keep your profile as detailed as you can to generate more sales.

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Taking your local business online is a great way to generate more income. It is not just about increasing your business’s foot traffic (which is already great).

By allowing online payments and delivery, you can greatly increase your revenue and lower marketing expenses.

Local marketing can still be effective even if you have no additional budget to spend. Modern tools allow you to set up and start your site for free.

You can even avoid development and design costs by using easy content management systems like Shopify and WordPress.

If you are not opposed to the idea of figuring out new technology, you can manage your site in-house without hiring any new staff. Good luck.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com as well as the founder of MyBlogU.com. Ann has been into internet marketing for 10 years. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs, including Small Biz Trends and Mashable.

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