Providing online services to local businesses is an excellent opportunity for newbie marketers. Many local business owners don't have the time to spend learning the many aspects of online marketing, preferring to outsource to external agencies or individuals. It is common for beginners to study many marketing techniques, but not have a business of their own to which to apply them. Even without a track record or a series of case studies, there is a simple way to get started in the local marketing field. The following method enables anyone to get the attention of local businesses, ensuring you build a client base quickly.
The strategy involves building a website, along with additional promotional platforms, in a variety of niches in your area. Businesses will naturally find your sites, ideally ranked in a better position to their own. You then have the option of selling advertising space, renting the entire site, or even selling it. This method simplifies the outreach and sales side of local business marketing, which is one of the significant hurdles for new starters. Additionally, you could also offer ongoing services to businesses who are interested in working with you.
First, write down a list of popular industries in your area. Obvious examples will include lawyers, doctors, dentists, plumbers, and many more. Use Google to find the top competitor and add their URL to the Google Keyword Planner. You will then receive a list of the top keywords they are targeting, with many further examples available through brainstorming. Keyword tools will often not provide accurate keyword data for low volume terms, so be prepared to use common sense when developing a keyword list.
With your industry and keyword lists, you can now start building some initial sites. WordPress offers an easy solution, with plenty of niche-specific templates from which to choose. Use your keyword list to create a hierarchy, grouping appropriate categories and expanding to target long tail keywords on individual pages. Use a plugin like Yoast SEO to ensure your site is set up for the search engines.
Social Network Development
Next, add the site to the major social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Gradually, link to the posts you create for the site. Video marketing is an effective tool to use as it is relatively easy to rank a video for long tail keywords. Ensure you remain active on social media, posting quality content, sharing interesting links, and interacting with the community.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (seo)
Basic SEO involves using keywords and related terms within the title tag, description, and content. Link both internally and externally to authority sites. Ensure the site loads quickly by using the Google PageSpeed Insights tool. Build a blog on your site and develop content that would be of interest to people in the industry. This material could include expert interviews, news, local events, or roundup posts.
Additionally, if you have a local address you can use, creating listings on appropriate directories can provide citations for the website. Some relevant and authority links from prominent directories can often be enough to move a site to the first page for many keywords. You can also then create a Google My Business page and increase your chances of rankings within one of the top three map listings.
Earning Income and Ongoing Services
Include a prominent banner explaining the situation with the site, whether this involves renting space or a complete sale. Interested parties can then contact you to find out more and discuss prices. There are also various plugins that can automate the process, allowing buyers to go straight to a Paypal checkout page. During the sales process, offering additional services can be a way to increase income. SEO, paid advertising, and social media marketing are all services in demand, so you can secure clients on an ongoing basis.
This simple strategy can provide an entry into the local marketing field without having to start networking or cold calling. New starters probably won't have a series of case studies to offer, but proof of your results can prove even more enticing. Over time, you may decide to change your strategy, focusing on leveraging your growing reputation. You also can gain many clients from referrals and a growing local network. For those who want to ramp up this strategy, though, there is always the potential to target several locations further afield.
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