local search errors

Five common mistakes local companies can fix to help with their online marketing

I am not like the “normal consumer”. I don’t simply drive to a restaurant and grab something to eat. I do more. As a marketing person, I always wonder how that restaurant, electrician, and or plumber is doing online.
So I make it a point to check their website and rankings out of curiosity. Sometimes, while I’m enjoying a good lunch, I’m always thinking, “where are their rankings, how does anyone even find them, or I can’t even find them on Google maps?” I am often confused why they would not make the effort to have an online presence or do they even know how much more business they could have by just making minor changes to their website?

That leads me to the 5 Mistakes I see most local companies make with their marketing.

1. Site is old.

I understand that budgets can be tight, but you need to keep your website up with the times. Your site in the digital age is your business card today. If your site is old, archaic, and not easy to navigate, consumers will go elsewhere. Consider a site refresh with a company that knows what they’re doing. Investing in this will go a long way.

2. Not enough content.

As your site is your digital business card, your content needs to tell your brand story. Who are you? What do you do? What services do you offer? How long have you been in business? What problems do you help solve? What location(s) do you service? What is your contact information? I often see restaurants truly miss the bill on this one. You see a menu, and nothing else. There’s a story to be told and people want to know it. Service-related industries do well with this, but I’ve seen some nightmarish sites that offer literally nothing. Content is your voice. Tell your story!

3. Ads. Not every local company is going to have a huge budget and I get that.

What I don’t get is a lot of them are simply not taking advantage of where their audience is currently. Google? Bing? Facebook? Other Social Media outlets? Everything comes down to, I spend this, and I need to get this in return. In my experience, local companies try it for a month or two and simply give up! Most of the time, the campaign was doomed for failure because it wasn’t set up appropriately from the start. A good rule of thumb is if my competitor is advertising “here” I may want to check it out. This is an area where outsourcing to an experienced company may be an asset for you.

4. Reviews. They help you rank better.

That is no secret. They are impactful. Here’s food for thought. If someone has a negative experience with you, they will find the time to jump online and write something negative. What I don’t get is why most companies don’t ask for a review when they know the customer is very satisfied! This must be always top of mind, and it is important. Negative reviews will always happen, people love to complain! Outweigh the negative with the positive by asking for a review. Make it easy for the customer by sending them the link directly. Don’t be shy!

5. No Video.

I love it when local companies have a video on their homepage that gives me the “top-level” of their brand. It makes me as a consumer feel more comfortable. I will say that more companies with a video will generate more positive leads than those who don’t have one. Is this ultra-important? I think it is and I think it separates you since many don’t do it. Hiring a videographer who puts all this together would be a worthy investment.

There are many more, but for now, these are 5 items that every local business should be acting on with local marketing.