Beginner's Guide To Local Business Internet Marketing - National Positions/Tony Ly
The Beginner’s Guide to
The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Local Marketing in 2013................................................................. Page 3
The Keys to Success........................................................................ Page 4
Google Maps and Local Search................................................... Page 6
Paid Search..................................................................................... Page 7
Mobile Marketing............................................................................ Page 8
Social Media Marketing................................................................. Page 9
Email Marketing............................................................................. Page 10
Coupons & Daily Deals ................................................................ Page 11
Online Customer Reviews............................................................ Page 12
Convert Visitors Into Customers................................................... Page 13
Track Your Results.......................................................................... Page 14
Your Action Plan............................................................................ Page 15
About Local Positions................................................................... Page 16
About Local Positions................................................................... Page 17
The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 2
Local Marketing in 2013
Not too long ago, marketing your local business was simple…but really
expensive. Either you had to fork over a lot of cash for that big, attractive
ad in the Yellow Pages, or you had spend thousands every month in print
advertising and boots-on-the-ground sales.
Getting the word out about your business wasn’t complicated, just
But things have changed. Completely. The Internet has revolutionized
marketing for local business. Thanks to
the web, local marketing is much more
effective: it’s cheaper, more powerful,
faster return and easier to track.
The only problem is that the Internet—
as infinite as it is—provides so many
ways to market your business. So it’s a
little intimidating, if not downright
confusing. That’s why so many local
business owners give up on Internet
marketing before they’ve really given it
But you can’t. Your customers are using the Internet to find your products
and services, so you must put yourself in the places where your customers
Still not convinced? Here are a few stats that may surprise you, but are
Only 2% of US consumers use the Yellow Pages to find local products
and services (source: Pepperdine University School of Business Study – June 2012)
90% of online commercial searches result in offline bricks and mortar
purchases (Source: ComScore)
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66% of American’s use online local search, like Google local search
to locate local businesses (Source: TMP / ComScore)
We’ve created this guide to help you get started with your local online
marketing, so you can start to use the Internet to grow your reach and
bring more customers through your doors.
The Keys to Success
Building a successful online marketing campaign is not as difficult as
you might think. It’s all about defining your goals, figuring out which
marketing channels fit your needs, and implementing a project plan
to execute your stated goals.
Of course, the devil is in the details. But you to start somewhere! So
here’s a quick overview of local online marketing and what are the
keys to a successful campaign.
#1. Make Your Website more Effective
Your website is your 24-hour salesmen. It drives
traffic, informs customers, and engenders
credibility. But how do you define
“effectiveness”? These are the features of an
• It’s optimized for local search so you rank
at the top of Google
• It has well designed landing pages so you convert traffic into leads
and sales, particularly from paid ads
• It features a live chat tool so you can always engage new
customers when they land on your site
#2. Grow Your Reach On the Web
Now that you have an optimized website, you need to turn your attention
to your offsite marketing efforts. Namely, how you can drive traffic from
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the sites that matter most. Here are some of the top ways to boost visibility
and drive traffic:
• Get found on Google, Google Maps and top local directories
• Use Adwords for targeted (and carefully designed) ad campaign
• Social media and location-services sites such as Yelp, Facebook,
Twitter, Google+ and Foursquare
#3. Bring Customers to Your Door
You’re driving lots of web traffic and inbound calls to your business?
Great! But all this activity doesn’t always result in sales and profitability.
That’s why you need to everything you can to entice potential customers
—as well as bring old customers back to your business. The good news is
that it’s fairly cheap and easy to engage customers once they’ve already
found you and engaged with your brand—it’s getting found that’s most of
the battle and requires the most resources. Here are some tips on how to
• Use email marketing to promote specials, discount or events that
might give customers a reason to come into your store and spend
• Coupons and daily deal sites like Groupon, Living Social and Google
Offers to get access to customers who might not find you otherwise
#4. Track Everything You’re Doing
Internet marketing offers amazing opportunities to track your campaign at
every possible step so you always know what’s working, what’s actually
creating new business for you, and what’s a waste of time and money.
Every online campaign should feature robust tracking and reporting. It’s
cheap, easy and incredibly useful. Here are the best ways to track your
• Call tracking lets you connect your online marketing with offline
sales so you see what’s resulting in an inbound call and delivering
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leads (such as your placement on Google Maps, or your paid ads,
or social media campaign)
• Website tracking such as Google Analytics lets you measure your
site’s performance so you know how many visitors are coming to
your site, where they’re coming from, and what they’re doing once
they get there
Google Maps and Local Search
It could be argued that Google Maps has revolutionized local businesses
There are 5 Billion local searches on Google every month, and 61% result
in a direct purchase.
If you have a brick and mortar business, it’s crucial that you are found at
the top of Google Maps and the local search results. The Yellow Pages
have been replaced by Google, and
getting found at the top of these organic
search results can single-handedly
transform your business.
80-85% of all Google traffic goes to the
organic search results. Meanwhile over
90% of all organic traffic goes to the top
three results. That’s why getting ranked at
the top of Google Maps and local search
Google Maps and local search results is driven by two major factors: your
onsite optimization and local citations featuring your business data.
Here’s a quick list of ways to gain top local search rankings:
• Optimize your website for local search by putting your NAP (name,
address and phone number) across your site, as well as geoformatting your site and submitting a Geo sitemap to Google and
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• Submit your business data to the top national data providers such as
Localeze, InfoGroup, Axciom and Compass
Paid search advertising—more commonly called Pay Per Click or PPC—is
by far and away the fastest way for your business to boost visibility and
acquire leads for your business.
On average, paid search ad campaigns drive
a 7-to-1 return on investment. So the
opportunity is certainly there.
But every local business needs to careful
about how it spends its money on Adwords or
any other ad network. That’s because if you
don’t have much experience building PPC
campaigns, you can quickly burn through a
lot of money without much to show for it.
As great as Google Adwords is, it’s still in the
business of getting you to spend a lot of money and pay for a bunch of
clicks, not necessarily make you money.
Paid search is a terrific option. But before you start to experiment with an
ad campaign, here are a few tips to help you build a profitable PPC
• Perform keyword research (and negative keyword research) to
narrow your focus to specific long-tail keywords that are cheaper
and more likely to convert
• Do competitive ad copy research to write ads that are going to
• Generate baseline reports so you know what to measure against
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• Setup landing pages for each ad campaigns so you optimize for
• Setup call tracking so you can properly track your lead sources
In late 2012, mobile search surpassed traditional search for the first time
ever. This means that more people are looking for local products and
services on their smartphones and tablet computers. Which makes sense,
because mobile devices cater to location-based services, as people are
usually looking for what’s nearby while they’re on the go.
Mobile marketing helps you
reach a group of customers who
are motivated to buy right away.
In fact, 90% of mobile local
customers taken action
(purchase, call a business, sign
up for a trial, etc.) within 24
hours! Mobile leads are
But how do you acquire mobile
customers? Here’s our top tips on
how to create a great mobile customer experience and tap into the
Mobile Optimized Website: Over 100 million Americans own a
smartphone, and pretty soon the mobile experience will be the default
way to browse the web. If you’re going to attract mobile customers, you
must have a site (or at least a landing page) optimized for mobile
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devices. Mobile integrations such as click-to-call and click-to-map make it
much easier for customers to find you and take action when they do.
Mobile Advertising: With mobile landing pages, you can target your paid
ads by device to create a geo-targeted mobile paid search campaign.
This is a great option for any local business, especially one with a limited
budget. Mobile ads are more cost-effective: the clicks are cheaper and
the conversions are usually much higher.
Social media is by far the most controversial online marketing channel.
Some say social media is revolutionizing the way your business will get
found by new customers, while others say it’s all hype and a total waste
of time and money. The truth is much more complex.
Social media can be used to do
tremendous customer service and get
the word out about special promotions.
For a local business, social media has
some real value to help you perform
better customer services and get the
word out about special promotions. But
social media will never be your primary
source of lead generation and online
It’s best to think of social media as a way to
supplement the rest of your online marketing, as it
will help you distribute value content to your
customers and rewards loyal customers who are
interacting with you on a regular basis.
The top social media channels for local marketing
are Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and
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For Google Maps and local search results, you must claim your profile and
optimize your business page on all these channels. And you should share
deals, helpful articles and videos on these sites whenever you can; it’s
better to be socially engaged with customers than not.
But don’t plan on social media being the silver bullet. If it can generate
some referral business for you, that’s an added bonus.
Email marketing can deliver big return for a small investment. With the
right messages targeted to the right customers, email marketing is a great
way to engage customers and boost sales.
Every local business should be utilizing email marketing. You work so hard
to acquire each precious lead, you should do everything you can to
convert more leads into sales and maximize the lifetime value of every
70% of small businesses spend less than three hours per week on email
marketing, yet 77% reported that emails delivered a positive return on
investment. On average, $1 spent on email marketing results in $40 in
sales. So the numbers are clear: email is
a profitable marketing channel.
Emails give you a special opportunity
to communicate with your customers—
and not only by selling them
something. You can send monthly
newsletters which share valuable
industry knowledge, specific news or
customer support. And yes, you can
send out discounts and timely
The chances are, you’ve organically built a solid email list over the years.
It’s still to start using it.
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Here’s a list of tips of how to better utilize email marketing for your local
• Segment your existing email list to see which contacts should be
targeted as existing customers or old leads that never bought
• Implement a contact form on your website to capture leads when
people sign up for some sort of value exchange (free trial, free
consultation, discounted rate)
• Remove any contacts who have specifically requested not to be
emailed; spamming is bad for your brand and doesn’t drive sales,
• Create a schedule to send out at least 1 email per month, to stay in
touch with customers and try to engage people who haven’t
bought from you yet
Coupons and Daily Deals
Coupons are one of the oldest forms of marketing in the world, yet we’re
in the midst of a coupon revolution as online websites such as Groupon
and Living Social have given local businesses access to millions of new
customers. Now technology giants like Google and Amazon are using the
same model to help local merchants promote special products and
services in exchange for a percentage of the sales made.
You might be scared away by online
coupon ads. There have been a few
horror stories about local merchants losing
money by offering a product for a
discount and still sharing the profits with
But in most cases, coupons and daily
deals represent a terrific way to boost
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visibility and win over new customers who might have never found you
According to Merchant Circle, 58% of businesses cited customer
acquisition as the top reason for liking daily deals. Meanwhile, 68% of daily
deal consumers returned to the establishment even
without another discount, and 53% of customers went on
to become regular customers.
So the value is clearly there. Like email marketing, is a
relatively low-risk with immediate rewards.
Better yet, all the daily deal distributors have a
customer support team that helps you choose
the right promotion, write the ad copy and
design a deal that will sell. All you have to do is sign up.
Online Customer Reviews
The Internet has fundamentally changed marketing because now, for the
first time, your customers have a voice. If they have a great customer
experience, they can take to the web and spread the word. Similarly, if
they are unhappy with your product or customer service they easily take
to the web and post negative reviews, warning future customers about
All the data shows that your local business is impacted by your online
reviews and ratings.
86% of consumers use online ratings when
looking to buy a product or service (source:
Pepperdine University School of Business Study – June
72% of customers trust online reviews as
much as personal recommendations
(source: Search Engine Land’s Local Consumer Review
Survey – March 2012)
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84% The likelihood that a customer would initiate business with a
vendor (source: Pepperdine University School of Business Study – June 2012)
Only 3% of potential new customers categorize themselves as
“likely” to try a business with 0, 1, or 2 stars (source: Pepperdine University
School of Business Study – June 2012)
Your online ratings impact your bottom line. That’s why review sites such as
Yelp, Google+, Avvo and Trip Advisor have become a huge force in viral
marketing. Here are a few tips on how to improve your online reviews and
win over potential customers.
• Find the review sites that matter to your business. Whether it’s Yelp or
Avvo, it’s crucial to know which sites your customers are using to find
information about you
• Check out your competition’s reviews to see what you’re up against
• Claim your business listing on Yelp and the other top review sites
• Create an engaging profile with photos and dynamic business info
• Use emails, promotions and contests to do outreach to loyal
customers to get them to share positive reviews on the sites that
impact your business
Convert Visitors Into Customers
You time and precious resources driving calls and customers to your door,
so why would you waste a single lead? It’s not enough to have web
traffic; you need to convert visitors into customers.
Fortunately, there are many great tools and tactics you can use to
improve customer engagement. Here are a few of the best ways to boost
sales and customer retention cheaply and easily.
Landing Pages: An optimized landing page will
significantly increase your conversion rate by
guiding customers through the sales process.
When customers visit your site, they always
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have a specific goal in mind: they’re looking to sign up for a consultation,
buy the discounted product, get newsletters for future coupon, etc.. Welldesigned landing pages give your customers what they’re looking for
from the moment land, ensuring they won’t lose interest and you won’t
lose an opportunity to gain a new customers. Here’s a quick list of top
conversion elements to incorporate on your landing pages: headlines,
images, colors, calls to action, page copy, design layout, unique selling
proposition, navigation, confidence icons, conversion Incentives and
Live Chat: Live chat is an online sales tool that helps you connect with
customers in real-time so you can communicate with customers more
quickly than via email or telephone. Live chats gives your company a
personal touch and improves customer service so you never lose contact
with a potential customer.
Visitor Retargeting: Only 2% of most first-time site visits convert, so finding a
way to bring visitors back to your site is very important. Retargeting
can be a big help in this area. Retargeting uses sophisticated
‘cookies’ to track website visitors and display targeted ads when
they leave your site. Retargeting allows you to place your local ads
where past site visitors can see them as they continue searching the web.
Track Your Results
It’s almost possible to succeed without setting goals and measuring your
results to see if you’re meeting your benchmarks. Your online marketing is
no exception. In fact, online marketing makes it
easy to track your customers’ activities so you see
which of your marketing initiatives is working and
which ones needs improvement.
But what should you be tracking? These are three
things you must be tracking to ensure your
campaign is delivering positive return on
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Call tracking: Too many local companies have no idea what’s driving
inbound customer calls. There’s a gap in their online marketing and offline
sales. Call tracking fills this gap immediately. For a brick and mortar
business, inbound calls are the best leads and what you’re ultimately
shooting for. Call tracking tools such as Mongoose Metrics helps you setup
a new number and track which of your online channels are driving
inbound calls. Now you’ll know if it’s Google Maps, paid ads or coupons
that are driving sales.
Website tracking: In order to make the most of your website visitors, you
must know who’s coming to your site, how they got there, what they did
when they landed on your and why they did or didn’t become a
customer. If you can track your web visitors, you’ll be better positioned to
improve your conversion rate and make more sales. Google Analytics is a
free analytics platform that can help you track everything you need to
Conversion tracking: Converting leads into customers is the ultimate goal.
Tracking what’s turning your local leads into loyal customers will help you
optimize this process and take your campaign to the next level. You can
track conversions within call tracking and Google Analytics. The key
conversion to be tracking include web form sign ups, click-to-calls, clickto-maps, inbound calls and online purchases.
Your Action Plan
Local online marketing is growing like crazy, and there are so many ways
you can start to use the web to grow your business.
It may be a bit overwhelming to get started. So here’s an action plan that
will help you improve your online presence and start to drive new
customers to your front door.
1. Keyword research: Use the Google Adwords
Keyword Tool to see which search terms on Google
Maps/local search results are most popular and what
your terms your customers are using to find your
products and services.
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2. Optimize your website for Google Maps and local search: This is not
really a step, but rather an on-going project. But you can get started
by adding your NAP (business name, address and phone number)
at the top and/or bottom of every webpage and an embedded
Google Maps on your Contact Us page.
3. Claim your listing and submit your data on top local directories:
Simple enough! Submit your data, verify your business and create a
profile on Google+ Local, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Merchant Circle,
City Search, Super Pages, Yellow Pages and Mojo Pages.
4. Create business profiles on social media and review sites: Create
and optimize your business profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,
Yelp, Foursquare and YouTube. Don’t forget to include your NAP
5. Create your first email marketing campaign: Start by collecting your
contact list of existing customers and leads. Then sign up for a free
trial with Constant Contact or MailChimp and create a designfriendly email that promotes a new sale or product.
6. Setup an in-store process for submitting reviews and check-ins for
special discounts: Capture in-store reviews on Yelp and check-ins on
Facebook and Foursquare to turn happy customers into free
advertising. All it takes is a prominently displayed advertisement by
your check-out counter!
Get a Free Consultation With A Local Marketing
Have you figured out how to effectively use the Internet to drive new
customers to your business?
Our marketing team is here to help!
Give us a call and one of our consultants will give a complimentary
marketing audit. In about 30 minutes we’ll be able to review the following:
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• Your current online footprint and how customers are finding you
• What your competitors are doing to beat you to new customers
looking for your products and services
• Which marketing channels are right for your business given your
goals, your budget and your industry
• What your business can realistically look like with a successful online
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