Local marketing matters

5 Fold’s all-in-one marketing packages help you connect with local customers.

5 Fold Marketing offers all-in-one marketing packages that, among other things, offer local listings, social media, and review management. On their own, these things are important—after all, a great social media presence can build customer loyalty and help you reach new customers. However, in today’s marketing environment, their importance is magnified by the role they play in local marketing and local search.

In this blog post, we’ll outline the importance of local marketing to your business, and delve into the marketing strategy that best helps you reach local customers with your services or products.

What is local marketing?

Here’s a fundamental, potential problem: the web is global, but your business is local. In other words, the Internet gives you access to a tremendous potential audience, but only a small sliver of that audience are people who are local, and can actually go to your business or use your services. (If you sell things online, you’re the exception to this rule, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore local marketing!)

If you’re a small-to-mid-sized business with only one or two locations, local marketing matters. After all, whether you’re an HVAC company that relies on homeowners in the region you serve for business, or a restaurant looking to attract local foodies, you need to focus on the local.

Getting a view on your website for a California sushi bar from someone in Maine isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s unlikely to result in a customer walking through your door. For that, you need 5 Fold to help craft and deliver your message to a local audience.

How local search works

Here’s the good news: Google and other search engines are already really good at driving local users to local businesses. Using information it has learned about you, Google custom tailors searches to your location and search history.

emergency-ac-repair-search

When customers search for your business, local ranking factors influence their results.

Let’s say that we search generally for “Internet marketing.” Google returns a list of local Internet marketing companies here in Chandler, Arizona (where we’re located), right above a list of articles about Internet marketing. Again, these local results are custom generated for this search based on our location and search history. Google (and other search engines) has become good at sussing out user intent. For example, if I search for “Ramen”, it assumes I’m looking for local ramen places for lunch, and not for a definition of ramen, news articles about ramen, or the website of a store-bought ramen brand.

What are some of the factors that influence what business gets listed where? Google’s exact formula is their secret, but even a quick look shows that the listings weigh some combination of:

  • Proximity to user (how close is the business to the user?)
  • Number of reviews (how many total Google reviews does the business have?)
  • Star rating (out of those reviews, how good of a rating does it have?)
  • Traditional optimization (what does the website tell Google about how well it matches the search query?)
  • User history (subjective—if I’ve searched for a particular ramen restaurant before, that might be given more weight)

From HVAC companies to restaurants, great local marketing can connect more local customers to your business.

So, what does this mean for me?

— You need to get reviews for your business

Two of the factors listed above are based on reviews. As we’ve mentioned before, if you’re not currently encouraging your customers to leave you review, you need to get started.

This isn’t a 1:1 exchange: you can’t guarantee that every customer who you ask to leave a review actually will. However, by giving them a friendly reminder, you can accelerate your review intake. 5 Fold provides postcards to our clients that you can then send out to your customers.

The more reviews you get, the better your local performance will be. It’s not just about the total number, either. We’ve observed a strong correlation between the monthly intake of reviews and campaign performance. So, a company that has 200 reviews that ceases to get them altogether could see their ranking slip while a company that has 5 reviews but is adding about 3 reviews a month could climb. Moz, a search engine optimization leader, calls this phenomenon “review velocity.”

— You need all-in-one marketing

In fact, take a look at Moz’s 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors report. Here, you can see that reviews, local listings, and social media posts have a major impact on your rankings; combined with personalization, 35% of your ranking is influenced by local factor that have nothing to do with your website itself.

If you’re currently paying someone (or a company) to manage your website by itself, you’re missing out on a third of your local marketing strategy.

This is just one of the reasons that 5 Fold offers all-in-one marketing packages. In today’s internet marketing environment, everything is intertwined. By managing your on-site SEO, creating effective PPC advertising, and managing social media and local listings, our marketing approach will help you raise your local profile.

A better way to do local marketing

We’d love to talk to you about our all-in-one marketing package and what sets us apart from other companies that offer a la carte local marketing services. Give us a call at (480) 568-3411 or contact us online.