Local Marketing

The benefits of digital marketing for small businesses

Marketing strategies like local SEO offer a competitive edge with little investment

Quick Summary
  • Digital marketing is a cost-effective way for small businesses to compete against larger companies that have more resources.
  • Traditional marketing strategies don’t offer small businesses the same data insights and personalization as digital marketing.
  • Semrush Local gives small businesses everything they need to launch an impactful digital marketing strategy and get results.

Traditional marketing often comes down to who has the biggest budget or most creative campaign.

But digital marketing has leveled the playing field, empowering small business owners to hold their own with affordable lead generation and conversions.

And it’s not just cost-effectiveness, there are plenty more benefits of digital marketing for small businesses that make it a strategy you can’t ignore.

Small business digital marketing benefits: An overview

Digital marketing allows small businesses to laser-focus their marketing efforts on audiences that are most likely to engage.

This targeted approach minimizes wasted marketing spend and maximizes the impact of campaigns. For example, Google Ads lets businesses select demographics, interests, and behaviors to ensure their message reaches the right people.

Similarly, local search marketing is about optimizing for potential customers in your area who are actively searching for businesses like yours.

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For small businesses that only serve their community, local SEO (search engine optimization) might be the best allocation of resources. Location is an important local ranking factor, meaning small businesses can still outrank bigger competitors that have more reviews.

Digital marketing relies heavily on your online reputation. Reviews also offer an opportunity to engage with customers and foster brand loyalty. Building a trusted community around your product or service leads to repeat business and referrals.

When you have the right strategy and tools, digital marketing for small businesses ultimately means more visibility, more foot traffic, and more revenue.

Digital marketing powerhouse: Semrush Local empowers small business owners with easy business listings, review management, and data insights.

Digital marketing for small businesses on a tight budget

One of the most significant benefits of digital marketing for small businesses is its cost-effectiveness.

Print ads and billboards are often out of reach for limited budgets, but online marketing can run for as little as a few dollars a day—or less.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising gives small businesses control over what they spend and clearly shows the return on investment; for example, the number of clicks and how much each one costs, lead generation results, or direct sales.

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Social media marketing allows small businesses to build a community around what they do, encouraging customers to engage with content tailored to their interests.

Website content can be similarly compelling, with the added benefit of boosting visibility in search engines and improving conversion rates. Blog content is also useful for promoting email newsletter signups, another effective way of generating leads without breaking the bank.

And small businesses can’t ignore their local SEO presence, which serves as a shop window to promote your business to your target audience.

Ranking factors: A strong online presence, review generation, and well-optimized content can all help improve local search rankings. Semrush Local guides small businesses through the necessary steps to send the right signals to search engines.

Leverage data to make better decisions for your small business

Print marketing is notoriously difficult to track.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, is far easier to mine for valuable data insights and present reports to key stakeholders.

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For example, you can track your local rankings over time to gauge the impact of a new review generation campaign.

Keyword data reveals what your audience truly engages with so you can adapt your content marketing for better results.

Plus, you can leverage tools that reveal what your competitors are up to so you can adjust KPIs accordingly and get an edge on them.

Instant reports: With Semrush, connect platforms like Google Business Profile to analyze your data in one place and make informed decisions about your digital marketing strategy.

Local SEO: High visibility in your postcode

If you run a brick-and-mortar store or provide services to a specific area, local search engine optimization (SEO) can get significantly more eyes on your small business.

Claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile is the first step. This involves filling out as much information as possible, choosing the best categories, and including keywords in your copy.

Directory results appear in a prime position in SERPs (search engine results pages), so it pays to make sure your details are listed.

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Create a spreadsheet with the top business listing directories, as well as smaller sites dedicated to your niche, and set up profiles for each. Or save time with a listing management tool, which identifies directory opportunities and distributes your information for you.

Next, get to work on improving your average review ratings. Read your current reviews and determine if there are any patterns in your feedback that might mean addressing your business practices. Negative feedback is valuable too, if it means identifying important areas for improvement.

Then, reach out to satisfied customers by text and ask them to share their experience with your business online. Be sure to leave a link to the platform you want them to review you on so it’s not hard for them to oblige.

If managing your own local SEO feels daunting, you could turn to a digital marketing agency for help.

But with the advances in online tools, taking your digital marketing into your own hands keeps your processes in-house and low cost.

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Discover the benefits of digital marketing for small businesses with Semrush Local

A common obstacle preventing small businesses from digital marketing success is simply not knowing where to start.

Semrush Local demystifies digital marketing for small businesses with simple guides and automated tasks that get you started with minimal effort.

Get more local visibility

One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing for small businesses is being able to boost your visibility without paying for expensive media space or PR.

Semrush’s Listing Management is your fast track to better online visibility, distributing your NAP data (name, address, phone number) to 70+ directories.

Plus, the tool keeps an eye on all your essential data and alerts you to any errors or duplicate profiles that could harm your local SEO.
Potential listings uncovered by Semrush Local

Find the data you need

Digital marketing tools offer small businesses insights into the effectiveness of their campaign, as well as valuable data on their competitors.

For example, Semrush Local’s Heatmap feature gives you a grid view of your positions in the postcode you’re targeting.

The Premium Location subscriber tool serves as a blueprint to determine how far away you are from your ranking goals and which competitors you need to beat. It also offers you AI-powered suggestions for local keywords that you should consider for your niche
Semrush Local’s Heatmap feature

Build long-lasting relationships

Digital marketing for small businesses opens lines of communication with customers that build truly strong relationships.

Still, these relationships require management, and it’s not always easy to find the time when you’ve got a busy small business to run.

Use Semrush’s Review Management to bring your reviews together in one simple interface and help you come up with thoughtful replies using AI-powered suggestions.
A user replying to a customer review in Semrush’s Review Management

Boost your online reputation

Your ability to build a great online reputation is one of the top benefits of digital marketing for small businesses.

Most small businesses focus on Google, as it’s the most commonly used search engine for finding small businesses. But you can’t ignore the other platforms people post reviews on.

Semrush’s Review Management gauges customer sentiment across all platforms so you can quickly see how your reputation is evolving.
The Review Progress dashboard in Semrush’s Review Management
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