By Annie Pilon
Surefire Social is rebranding and becoming Surefire Local, a marketing technology platform with a strong focus on hyperlocal marketing. In addition, the company has acquired Atlanta-based Promio to strengthen its offering.
The company isn’t totally changing its direction though. Surefire Social already provided a number of different marketing services that could benefit local businesses, including those with a storefront and service providers that operate within a specific area. But now, the name and technology better reflects the goals and offering of the company behind it.
Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Local told Small Business Trends, “The rebrand is basically calling attention to what we were already doing.”
If your business is interested in taking advantage of all the different hyperlocal marketing options out there, here are some tips from Surefire Local that you might not have considered before.
Hyperlocal Marketing IdeasDon’t Ignore Online MarketingEven if you build your business mainly through local referrals or word-of-mouth, you need some kind of online presence if for no other reason than to help those referral customers actually find you.
Marentis says, “The local businesses that really embrace and understand the technology behind local marketing are going to become more visible than their competitors and they’ll end up with the lion’s share of the business and with better quality customers.”
Focus on Mobile CompatibilityIn addition, many of those consumers who try to find your business or others like it online are likely to do so on mobile devices. When searching on mobile, you can greatly improve your chances of your business showing up high in search results and actually being helpful to consumers if your website is mobile friendly.
Make Your Location Easily AccessibleOne of the most relevant pieces of information people will look for when researching local businesses online is location. They need to be able to find you if they’re going to buy from you. So make sure your full address is easily accessible on your website, Google and other online directories.
Use Geolocation SignalsYou can also make it even easier for people to find your business if you use geolocational tools that can help people see how far away they are from your location and exactly how to get there. To take advantage of those tools, you can make sure your business is listed on mapping services like Google Maps and adding geolocational signals to your website.
Make Sure Your Business is Categorized as LocalWhen optimizing your website for search engines, you can also use schema markup, which is a form of microdata included on websites, to help search engines classify your business as local. An optimized name, address, phone number and location data can help search engines to classify your business as local so that it can pull some of that relevant information out to make it even easier for consumers to find when they search for your business.
Have Accurate Information Across All DirectoriesYour business website is just one area where people can find information about your business. Sites like Facebook, Yelp and local business directories can also hold relevant information. But if your data is inconsistent across those platforms, it could confuse search engines and customers alike.
Evaluate Search ResultsThe search terms that people use to find your business online are likely to vary depending on what your business offers and what the customers in your community are looking for. So one of the best things you can do is to regularly evaluate some of the popular search terms that bring people to your website and then create content or edit your online presence to better take advantage of those popular searches.
Use Relevant LanguageTo do so, you’ll also need to use relevant language that your actual customers are likely to use to find your business or others like it. That means steering clear of jargon or terms that are mostly only popular within your industry.
Seek Out ReviewsReviews on sites like Yelp can also help to bolster your local business’s reputation and online footprint. If you can provide a great experience for customers and encourage them to leave reviews on popular online platforms, you can potentially improve the chances of your business getting found and actually converting new local customers.
Create New ContentSearch engines also prioritize recency when it comes to online content. So you shouldn’t just create a website early on and then never make any updates. If you regularly add blog posts of other content, you can increase your relevancy in search results.
Optimize Local Search AdsYou can also use online search ads to drive local traffic to your business. But you need to make sure that those ads are actually optimized for local consumers.
Marentis says, “Use Google Adwords with features like review extensions, local extension ads and local inventory ads to appear for local search ads.”
Take Advantage of Micro-MomentsWhen potential customers are searching for a specific type of local business online, that means your business has to compete with every other similar business in your area. And if all they do is look at a quick Google search before making their decision, you only have a short amount of time and a limited amount of space to convince them to choose your business over others. So you have to monitor how your business appears in certain search pages and add information to your site data that can help you put your best face forward online.
Add Credibility to Your BusinessCredibility is another important factor both for search engines and for actual decision-making customers. So you have to pay attention to how your online presence can come across to people searching for your business online and add any relevant information that might help to boost your credibility.
Pay Attention to Your Presence on Other WebsitesPart of that is monitoring mentions of your business on other websites like Yelp or even Houzz or HomeAdvisor for home service providers or similar businesses. You can’t always control what others post about your business on other sites, but you can at least make sure the basic information is correct and work to create positive experiences so you can build that credibility.
Include Testimonials on Your WebsiteYou can also include customer testimonials on your website as a way of building your local business’s credibility online. Ask satisfied customers to share their experiences and then include a few on your homepage or even create a whole page dedicated to those testimonials.
Track Your InvestmentIf you’re spending money on your hyperlocal marketing efforts, then you need to have at least some idea of what you’re getting in return for your investment. So you should keep tabs on how much you spend on those efforts and constantly monitor any returns. And if you use a local marketing agency, require that they do the same and provide you with that information.
Don’t Focus on Just One AreaSince there’s so much that goes into hyperlocal marketing, you can’t hope to make a big impact by just focusing on one or two areas. Don’t just build an optimized website or only focus on getting great reviews. You need to work on multiple areas in order to make the greatest impact.
Manage Activities All in One PlaceOf course, it’s possible to find marketing agencies or tech services that help you with one of the areas at a time. But if you can manage and monitor all those different areas in one place, you can greatly improve your chances of a successful campaign.
Marentis says, “Local marketing works best when it is done as a concerted effort. Have a staff member responsible for making your marketing work in sync, or choose a partner who has technology enabled services to partner with you.”
Keep Up With TechnologyTechnology is constantly changing the landscape of hyperlocal marketing. So you need to keep up with the trends and updated tools in order to make the most of them. Or make sure that your partners do the same.
Update Your Practices RegularlyWhether it’s because of changing technology or practices that simply aren’t working anymore, you are likely to need to change your hyperlocal marketing efforts at some point. So keep an eye on your analytics and changes in the industry and regularly reevaluate what the best path is going forward.
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