Online marketing for local businesses: 3 tips for UK shops

Did you know that 50% of people who conducted local searches with their smartphone visit the stores they find on the same day? Now consider that nearly half of all Google searches have a local intent and you’ll see how your shop should be using a clever online marketing strategy to attract more customers off the streets. Online marketing for local businesses requires a specialized approach to website optimization as well as a clever placement of ads. However, it’s incredibly effective, so the sooner you launch your local digital campaign the better.

1. Run a blog to generate leads

You must have a lead form on your website that will ask for visitors’ contact information. You can use it later in order to add them to your emailing list. Having an interesting blog filled with high-quality content is one of the most effective ways to keep people interested in subscribing. Note that you’ll have to keep the blog filled with content, so frequent updates are a must.

The best thing about having a blog for a local business is that it will enable you to make your website rank higher with Google. Every post offers you a chance to do some link building as well as use a variety of optimized keywords.

Any business can build a website with a great blog within minutes by using WordPress and a reliable UK web hosting. When creating content, be sure to focus on your target audience. Not all your posts must be directly related to your products. But all of them must be interesting to your prospective buyers. You also should cover popular local events in your blog.

2. Become active with the local online community

Social media are a great tool of online marketing for local businesses. You should use them to become an active member of the local community. This will establish your brand and attract attention from prospective buyers.

Start with joining general local groups and specialized groups popular with your target audience. Once you establish yourself there, you might consider ‘branching out’ and creating a local sub-group. For example, a store selling hiking gear in Liverpool can join some big international hikers’ forum, establish relationships with multiple hikers there, and eventually launch a group for Liverpool’s hiking enthusiasts.

Remember that the connection between online and local marketing is two-way. This means while you use digital marketing to attract more clients, you should also use local events to attract more attention online. Participating in all kinds of community events and posting photos, videos, and reports in real time with relevant hashtags will boost your business’s exposure to the online community right away.

3. Be active in asking for online reviews

Online marketing for local businesses doesn’t always take place online. Sometimes you have to ask your customers in the store to post their opinions and reviews on your website or popular services like Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.

Be active in asking for reviews not only by reminding the buyer to do this when they leave the store. Send out polite requests via email or other messenger services you use to alert your customers of shop’s updates. You can also offer a boon, like a small discount on the next purchase for an honest review.

For this tactic to work more efficiently, make the reviewing process as quick and simple as possible for the customer. For example, you can send out a direct link to the review page or include a review form or a simple survey that will help the customer assess the product/service in a few clicks.

No matter what you do, never forget to always include the name of your location into all keyword phrases you use.