With lower budgets and narrower demographic targets to hit, local digital marketing is fraught with unique challenges that require well-planned strategies in order to succeed.
When properly executed, digital local marketing can mean the difference between a booming business and a company nobody in the area has even heard of.
Not all local digital marketing suits all businesses, so it’s important to plan carefully and decide which is best suited for your business to achieve the maximum ROI.
But before we break down the main types of local digital marketing, let’s start with a brief overview.
Local digital marketing allows you to get a clear understanding of your ROI that traditional marketing methods lack.
Whether you start with one channel, a combination that complement each other or a full-scale local digital marketing strategy, it pays to use helpful tools to minimize errors and get going faster.
Semrush´s Listing Management tool offers a complete collection of local digital marketing tools to boost your online visibility and generate progress reports with ease.
Optimizing your website for search engines makes sense for most local businesses, considering how many people turn to sites like Google to help them find local products and services.
On top of optimizing your website, you should also pay special attention to your Google Business Profile and other directory listings.
These results actually appear above local organic results, so it really pays to make sure the information in these listings is complete, accurate and up to date.
Instead of creating profiles on dozens of directories to promote your local business, get it done in next to no time with Semrush´s Listing Management tool , which distributes your business listings to 70+ top directories without the hassle.
The beauty of PPC ad services like Facebook Ads and Google Ads is that you can target audiences in specific locations, as well as narrow it down by their interests and search intent.
PPC is a great local web marketing channel for shooting your business straight to the top of results above competitors with minimal effort.
Plus, you can retarget users who have made a transaction previously, visited your website, or engaged with your social media posts, which means you can show ads to people you know are already interested in what you have to offer. Creating compelling content about local topics will not only build trust with your local audience, but if you do your keyword research properly, it can also boost your local SEO.
Of course, you’ll want to create content around your business too, but consider attracting users by writing informative posts about your community so it doesn’t feel like a sales pitch.
For example, you could write a post on the best spots to visit in your town and mention your own business in the list. It’s not just movie stars and athletes that can earn a side income by promoting products on social media.
Local influencers might not have the same following as the likes of Selena Gomez, but they do have a niche audience tuning in to see what they have to say about the best products and services in their area.
One study found that influencer marketing is 87% more memorable than TV commercials , and more emotionally engaging.
Find local influencers by searching relevant hashtags, looking at top posts from your city or using an influencer discovery platform like BuzzGuru . It’s unlikely to be very impactful to simply promote your business in local Facebook groups.
Instead, engage with people on local topics and position your business as a valuable part of the community that cares about local issues.
Discounts and competitions tend to do well on local groups, but as they’re still of a salesy nature, try to limit them to one in every ten posts.
Newspapers used to be one of the only options for local businesses to reach a wide audience. Now those publications have gone digital, there are even more opportunities to get eyes on your business.
Advertising packages often include exposure in both a newspaper’s print and online editions, and can also include social media mentions and sponsored posts.
But you don’t have to spend money to get decent exposure from local news outlets. Try crafting a compelling press release for an event or newsworthy headline about your company, like a large charitable donation, and you could get coverage for absolutely nothing.
If the news article is published online too, this could also lead to high-quality backlinks for an added local SEO bonus!
Collecting emails from customers allows you to build your own audience that you can engage with for free without having to rely on social media algorithms or marketing budgets. Use promotions and irresistible free content downloads to get people to sign up and build a local audience you can rely on.
And instead of just pummeling your email list with pleas to visit your business, try nurturing them with an email sequence that offers them value: share stories about your business, make recommendations, and ask them to reply with their opinions.
Reviews are a great way to build your local reputation and improve your click-through rate, but it’s important to reply to all the feedback you’re getting so customers feel their opinion is valued.
Put a system in place to make sure you’re getting back to everyone, so both regular and new customers can see you’re a business that cares about learning and improving.
Quick replies: Keeping track of notifications from multiple platforms where customers are leaving reviews can be a real headache. Bring it all under one roof with Semrush´s Listing Management tool , which allows you to reply to reviews using one simple tool.
Mobile website designs are essential for local web marketing campaigns because a lot of people are on the go when they’re looking for products and services in their area.
Make sure your website loads quickly on mobile, the navigation is simple to use and that there are no links or buttons too close together.
Search engines favor websites that are mobile friendly and ignoring this is likely to cost you in lost rankings. People won’t be able to discover your local business if your NAP (name, address, phone number) data isn’t properly distributed.
Get your business listed in the top directories, including local ones, and make sure it’s all consistent.
You’ll also want your NAP data on your own website marked up with schema code to help search engines find it.
Don’t snooze on NAP data: Keeping track of all your listings and making sure there are no duplicate profiles is a 24/7 job. Semrush´s Listing Management tool takes care of this for you so you can make amendments and quickly suppress listings you don’t need.
When users land on your website, it should be clear that you specifically serve your area so they know they’re in the right place.
If you’re running a business that serves multiple locations, create landing pages with unique content for each area and direct local PPC ads to them, rather than the homepage.
Embed a Google Map on your localized landing pages to help users plan their visit and make it clear to search engines where you’re based.
Before you launch your digital local marketing campaign, decide which metrics you’re going to track and make a report that shows where you’re starting from.
Local rankings are key metrics for local digital marketing, but you might also want to track calls, website clicks and direction requests.
Checking your positions by simply searching the keywords you’re competing for yourself isn’t going to cut it, you’ll need a local ranking checker that can give you objective average results.
Tracking you can trust: Instead of creating profiles on dozens of directories to promote your local business, get it done in next to no time with Semrush´s Listing Management tool , which distributes your business listings to 70+ top directories without the hassle.
Refusing to engage with reviews and take feedback seriously all but guarantees you’ll be the last choice for users searching for businesses like yours in your area.
Poorly targeted ads and improper ad account management will just waste your budget on audiences that would never visit you. .
And if you don’t have a reliable way of tracking your local digital marketing, you'll have no idea if your investment is giving you any kind of return.
Fortunately, no small business needs to wade out into the choppy waters of local digital marketing alone when you can leverage powerful tools to keep your local digital marketing boat sailing smoothly.
Learn more about Local SEO: get up to speed on all aspects of local SEO with our Semrush Academy course .
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