You are wrong if you think that the Internet cannot help you market your local flooring business. Remember, even you are not familiar with every shop in your city. This goes the same to other people in your area. How do you think they find the products and services they need? It is through the Internet. Hence, you will need to ensure your web presence so your local market can find you. If you have no ideas how, read the four steps below:
Step 1: Build your website.
It is possible that you are among the few business owners in your neighborhood (or state) who has not realized until now that you do need a website for your business. Well, you have to wake up. If you want to reach more local customers and improve your sales, it is necessary that you build a company website. It will serve as your virtual door, where visitors enter your home and leave as buyers.
Hire a web developer to do this for you. Make sure that he knows about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the use of Alt tag, description meta tag, title tag, heading tags, anchor text, backlinks and others. Do not hire just anybody that comes your way. SEO can help you improve your search engine ranking and increase your traffic. Likewise, do not forget to instruct him to place the name and address of your enterprise on each web page. In this way, search engines may be able to pick your site and may give you a good ranking in local searches.
Step 2: Hire an SEO writer.
Do not make a mistake of writing articles for your website yourself (unless you are a writer by profession before you started your business). This is because you have to ensure the high quality of your content, which enables search engines to find you easily. But to make sure that the SEO writer you will hire can give you higher rankings in local searches, ask him or her to include keywords specific to your city. For instance, instead of just saying, “DGD Flooring, Inc. offers the cheapest flooring products”, include this in your keyword phrase: “in Berkeley”.
Step 3: Get people to write reviews about your business.
Invite your present customers to write reviews about your business. Get as many people as you can. Give them also a list of where they can post reviews, either in your own website or in other search directories like Google Places where they are allowed to do so. In this way, when prospective clients come across your business online, these reviews can build their interest and inquire about your products.
Step 4: Be in the local search listing.
Local business and local search directories are mushrooming in the Internet. Type any of these words and you will surely find them. Enlist your business in as many local search listings as you can. Be sure that you file it in the city or town where you are located. This will give you the web presence that you need. Do not forget to include Google Maps and Google Places in your listings as they offer local businesses more chances of being found online.
Okay, we know it is not easy to tell someone to write a review — unless you are a friend. Offer freebies or discounts then to those who will make the effort to do this.
Ignoring the web is one of the reasons some local businesses suffer from poor sales. They do not grab the opportunities that it offers all because they think that the Internet works for global ventures only. They are wrong – and this includes you. You are not aware that it is better for local entrepreneurs like you to concentrate your marketing in your own city first. But it is never too late. You can still change your business strategies and include SEO now.