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Local Optimization: How to Get Customers Near You

If you are like most small businesses the hardest thing to find is customers. While people may be all around you, customers are busy people with busy lives and oftentimes proximity isn’t enough to make them visit your store. You have to reach out to them and make your products be visible. Here’s a few quick online tips on how to make that happen.

Paid Search

Paid Search, also known as Adwords on Google, is a great way to make your products stand out above the crowd. Adwords allows you to focus your audience only on people in your nearby area so that only people looking to get a haircut by you will see your ad. You don’t want to needlessly spend money on marketing your haircuts to people in Denver, Colorodo after all.

Organic Search

Organic search are the natural listings found just under and to the left of the advertisements. Getting your site listed for particular keywords “organically” involves a lot more work, preparation and even some expertise. However, the results can pay off in the long run. Instead of paying for every click that your link receives (such is the case with Paid Search and Adwords), all of your hard work optimizing will result in unlimited free clicks in this space. The downside: You constantly have to monitor your organic results and searchers will oftentimes have to include the location they are searching for in the query – for example “haircuts in Waltham.”

Directory Listings

Directories are the new internet phone books. There are plenty out there but the ones you may be most familiar with are yellowpages.com, Yelp.com, Google Maps & Local, and Angie’s List. Listing your business here lends some credibility to your store and allows you to show off your good products and services. It also helps drive traffic to your website and increase your Google ranking when you include your website and add pictures with additional information to your profile.

Local Blogs

Whether you own your own blog or prefer to reach out to influential bloggers in the area, blogs are a great way to get additional links and additional attention from blog followers. Ask local bloggers for reviews and opinions and provide them with an incentive to do so (if you’re a restaurant, a free meal may do the trick!). Try it out, it could be free marketing.

Special Sites

Special Sites will give you a massive audience, but at huge costs. Group buying sites such as Groupon, LivingSocial, and BuyWithMe may be good in the right situations. If your good or services have a very high margin (75% above cost or more) a group buying site may be the way to gain a large mass of publicity. However, if your business has lower margins, as most do, you should try implementing your own, lesser discounts and coupons on sites above such as Google Places, Yelp or even in your local paper or theatrical program.

There’s plenty of ways to get noticed online and draw traffic from the sidewalks into your store. Don’t miss out on these effective ways of increasing your clientele and ultimately improving your bottom line.

Written by

David is an avid social entrepreneur and Boston sports fanatic. He founded Diversified Data Technologies way back in 2009 and stuck around to see it grow. His party quarks include unnecessary dancing and being an overly hospitable host. When looking, he can be found capturing the twitterverse at @DLanphear, being professional on LinkedIn, or bouncing around town with Foursquare.

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