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7 online marketing secrets for attracting local customers

A few simple local marketing moves can boost your sales

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The Internet is global, but it can also be local. This means you can attract more customers by targeting Internet users seeking information about goods and services in your area.

Here are some tips to help you get started with a local marketing campaign online.

1. Claim your listing on Google My Business

Google displays a map with company listings when people search for a local business. But to appear on this map, you need to be registered with Google My Business. These listings are free and claiming yours increases your visibility online. That makes this an essential step for any locally focused business. Simply go to Google My Business and follow the prompts to get started.

2. List your business in local directories

Canadian businesses should take advantage of local online directories. Examples include Yellow Pages, Yelp, 411.ca, the Indigenous Business Directory and others. This Government of Canada web page has a list of various Canadian online directories. You can also do an Internet search for business directories in your area and add your company to the lists.

3. Establish a business presence on Facebook

Facebook is all about creating and fostering relationships, and can be a means of reaching both new and existing customers as part of local marketing campaigns. When you create a Facebook page with your business profile, you can choose to be featured as a local business.

Make sure your page has a professional look and offers engaging content that reflects your business's culture and values.

4. Participate in local blogs and Internet forums

Increase your visibility by leaving comments or writing guest articles on local blogs and Internet forums. Be sure your signature includes your contact information and website address.

Also, it’s a good idea to be active on social media that your customers use, such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. By posting and commenting on other people’s posts, you can become part of a community and position yourself as an expert in your field.

5. Gain exposure on local websites

Forging relationships with other organizations, such as local charities, professional associations and media can gain you local Internet exposure when they post news about your business with a link to your website.

6. Make it easy for local customers to find you on the Internet

If you want your website to appear near the top of the list when local users search online for your products and services, you should choose keywords that describe your unique offering and geographic location. Make sure to build your local web presence by using the right SEO techniques.

And don’t forget: Your website is the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. Make sure your contact information appears on each page.

7. Localize your pay-per-click advertising

Most search engines offer the option to localize your pay-per-click Internet advertising. Zero in on the geographical area you want to target and reach your intended audience.

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