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7 Key Online Marketing Strategies for A Local Business Website

7 Key Online Marketing Strategies for A Local Business Website

For big box stores, online marketing makes obvious sense. Giant chain businesses have huge online audiences and can afford the expense of extensive paid advertising and marketing through multiple online venues. Their strategies are intimidating, and online marketing can seem difficult and expensive.

Local businesses, though, should also practice online marketing. Using strategies specifically targeted towards localized marketing online, even small local businesses can usually afford to enhance their reputation and increase their success via the internet.

Use these 7 online marketing strategies for local businesses to leverage the internet for your business’ benefit:

1. Establish an Online Presence

One of the first questions many business owners ask about getting started with online marketing is where to begin. Generally, Google has listings of addresses and sometimes even names of local businesses. From there, business owners have the option to establish a presence via their own website, in online directories, on social media pages, through retail sites, and even on review sites. The answer to which of these venues local businesses should market through? As many as possible.

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To rank well in search engines, your business should be listed in multiple places online and multiple times in those places. Basically, the more established the business’ online presence is, the easier it is for consumers to encounter the business and the easier it is for consumers to find or stumble across the business through a search engine.

2. Create a Clear and Modern Website

The importance of having a helpful, modern, up-to-date website is too often overlooked. As increasing numbers of consumers turn to information on the internet to make decisions about where to give their business, an old or confusing website becomes a death sentence. Potential consumers are likely to check businesses out online before doing business with them, even if they’ve seen the storefront or have visited the business previously.

Consumers often check business hours, contact info, prices, and more via the internet as well. If they have difficulty identifying such basic information or find it on a website that looks outdated and poorly managed, they are likely to get the same impression of the business, believing the local business is as outdated, difficult, or poorly managed as the website. In other words, ditch the poor website designs if you want to see an increase in your success with online marketing.

3. Incorporate SEO Into Everything

Ensuring that a local business does not get lost in the plethora of information found online is possible largely through the use of search engine optimization (SEO). A marketing tactic that involves strategically using keywords, geo-tagging, categorizing, and much more, SEO is all about building a reputation online so that search engines will identify your business; it is essential to successful online marketing. If a search engine like Google can find a business’ info, it will be much easier for consumers to find that same info.

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Some of the best ways to use SEO for a local business include:

  • Focusing on a niche using just a few targeted keywords (e.g. this article’s focus on “online marketing”)
  • Focusing taglines and key phrases on location for localization
  • Publishing unique content on different sites that includes the business’ niche keywords and the business’ name
  • Including keywords in social media content and profiles
  • Connecting with other local businesses that are visible online

Local business owners often connect with small marketing firms or freelance marketing experts to ensure their web presence is SEO-friendly.

4. Let Google Help You With Your Online Marketing Strategy

Even though most local businesses are already listed somewhere on Google because of Google Maps, it is important to make sure local businesses are verified on Google and have updated, correct information. Google processes about 40,000 search queries each second. By verifying and correcting business information on Google, any of those queries pertaining to your business are more effective.

Be sure that Google has:

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  • A correct link to your website
  • The correct business hours listed
  • Contact information for consumers to use
  • An accurate address
  • Links to reviews, directories, and other pertinent information about your business found online

Establish and verify this information on Google regularly. Additionally, build a Google Plus following to improve rankings and receive easy to find reviews.

5. Try Paid, Targeted Advertising

Many of the places where local businesses should have a presence online also offer paid advertising opportunities. For instance, a local business with a page on Facebook can pay a small price to have their own advertisement promoted on Facebook to a targeted local audience. This tactic is useful for reaching local potential customers who may not know about a local business or who may not know a local business is now available to connect with online.

Reaching niche audiences through paid social media advertising locally can offer a high return on investment. This is especially the case when advertisements offer sales, coupons, invites to local events, and other actionable opportunities for consumers to engage with a local business in person.

6. Use Free Analytical Tools

Many large businesses’ online marketing success has a lot to do with them using analytics information well. Through analytics tools, businesses can identify the best time of day to share information, where their web traffic is generated from, conversion rates, and much more. Fortunately, many local businesses also have access to this sort of information if they know where to look.

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Social media pages like Twitter or Facebook have analytics tools and data built in. Many websites can have analytics software applied, such as Google Analytics. These tools are either free or offered at low rates. Local businesses ought to access analytics information to optimize their use of the internet for marketing purposes.

7. Demonstrate Your Local Pride

Some aspects of online marketing really are this simple. Connectedness in the community helps local businesses gain free advertising and is a great way to market online. When local businesses share local news stories and talk about their participation in local events or issues online, for instance, they can rank better in search engines and are likely to reach a wider local audience. Something as simple as sharing a local news story with a basic comment on the issue described in the story can be engaging and spread far online.

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Irene Fatyanova

Staff writer, Templatemonster.com

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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