Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting Local Businesses Online

Today I wanted to share a bit about small business online advertising and how to target local businesses. First of all, if you want to get business online, you need a website. If you don’t have a website, you may want to contact a local web-design company, or look into using a service such as Intuit Websites by Homestead. I will write future small business articles on building a website for your business, but that’s not what I want to focus on now.

Once you have a website, you need to figure out how you are going to attract visitors to it. Two of the most used methods for generating traffic are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Both of these can be used in getting local businesses online. 

If you use SEO, you want to make sure to build content on your website relevant to your local area. For example, if you are a plumber in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, make sure to mention Lancaster and other cities and specific neighborhoods that you service on your website. You could create a specific page on your website dedicated to each of the towns that you service e.g. Lancaster, Manheim, York, Marietta, Harrisburg, etc. These pages will help get local visitors and businesses coming to your website.

With SEM, you want to create campaigns that target your specific metro or small business regions. If you are familiar with Google Adwords or Microsoft adCenter, you may be aware that they allow you to target local web traffic through Geotargeting. This is perfect for getting local businesses online. For example, if you have a pizzeria in Chicago, you can create a campaign and restrict your ads to that specific metro area. This allows you get better ad placement by focusing your efforts and it helps increase your ROI.

To edit your campaign settings in Adwords, simply open the relevant campaign, click on the Settings tab, under Locations and Languages select Edit Locations, select the locations where you want your ads to appear, and then click Save. Getting local businesses online is that easy!

To edit your campaign settings in adCenter, open the relevant campaign, click on Change Settings, under Campaign targeting select Edit under Target customers by location, edit your settings to match the location you want to target, and then click Apply. Before you know it you will be targeting local businesses on the web!

If you have any additional questions about getting local businesses online, please let me know and I will try my best to answer them soon. I hope you find this article useful and enjoy our our small business resource center. Please send this small business article along to your friends and colleagues using one of the social media or email link buttons below!

(Image: Some rights reserved,  Brett Stark.) 

No comments:

Post a Comment