It is not hard to dominate your local market once you know how. What few people realize is that there is more than enough work in one single town than you could complete in a year. By focusing all your energy on targeting just one town, you will be ninety eight percent more effective than if you try to tackle a large area.
Local Online Advertising
Most people are using the Internet to find local products and services, and you need to be at the top of Google to get your share of the traffic. You are going to need a few things to dominate your local online search.
- A geographical and service specific business name.
- A geographical and service specific domain name.
- A simple five page website.
- Get listed on Google, Bing, and Yahoo local directories and get Citations
- Links, Links, and more Links
To illustrate the best way to advertise locally and dominate, I will use a fake roofing company start up. This fake roofing company is located in Boston Massachusetts.
Step 1: A Geographical And Service Specific Business Name
Unless you already have a brand name, a business name that is being searched for locally, or is well known, you should change the name of your company*. I recommend including the initials of your state, you can be even more locally focused by choosing the name of your town. Also include a word specific to your industry.
If I were choosing a name for my Boston Massachusetts roofing company, I would go with something like Roofer’s MA LLC | Roofing MA LLC | Boston MA Roofer’s | Roofing MA | MA Roofing Co. | Etc.
You also want to make sure the domain name (example.com) is available for what ever name you decide to go with, which brings us to step 2
Step 2: A Geographical And Service Specific Domain Name
Go over to somewhere like http://dynonames.com/ and start searching to see if the name you want is available. Having your keywords in the url will help once you begin to get links. Links to your website from other websites with industry specific keywords helps Google to know what keywords to rank your website for.
If you don’t already have a hosting account, Dynonames offers a premium package for $89.00 a year. I recommend buying the domain name for ten years. The cool thing about Dynonames is that they have a super 5 minute installation of WordPress. It is included in the premium package and will do fine as your website. Which brings us to step 3.
Step 3: A Simple 5 Page Website
You want to have a website with: home page, services page, about us page, testimonials page, and a contact us page.
I highly recommend having a blog too. It does not matter if the blog is on your website, or off-site. A blog gives you the ability to create web pages that will target new keywords. There are to many benefits to list, so incorporate a blog.
Each page should be optimized for one phrase and one phrase only, this means the phrase is in the title, page description, in the text of the page 1-3 times and in the alt description of an image on the page.
In the footer section make sure you have the address on every page. Also make sure you include a phone number on every page. Put your business name and town name in home page title.
Put your keyword phrase in the first three words of the page title section.
Now you have an optimized website, but a website with out advertising is like a great TV commercial that never runs, or is seen by anyone. Which brings us to step 4
Step 4: Get Listed On Google, Bing, And Yahoo Local Directories
These directories are free to join, and once your listed, they can put your business right at the top of the search engines. You want to be listed on the top of Google more than any other, because they are used by 80+% of all the search engines. There is one thing more than any-other that will get you to the top of Google, citations. Related Post: Citation Finder
A citation is a mention of your business on other websites. So you want to join as many other free directories as you can find. There is a great new service called Whitespark, they help you to find the best directories and places to acquire citations. White spark cost $20.00 a month, but does a lot more than just find directories, they help you find local citation, and show you where your competition is getting their citations.
There is another local citation finder website. It will help you to see what directories your listed in, and where your not listed. Getlisted.org may not be free for long, but it is for now.
Make sure you take your time and completely fill out every profile on citation websites. One point of supreme importance it to make sure you have one phone number associated with your business address. Also, however you describe your address, business hours, business name, on your website should be the exact same way you list it on all the directories and citation websites. This can be time consuming work, dedicate one day a week or month to get some until you have got 60 or so citations.
The next best way to cruise to the top of Google is by getting your customers to leave reviews on these directories. I offer my customers a $25.00-$100 rebate if write a review for me. I ask that they email me their name, address, and phone number, with proof of an online review. Once you get citations and reviews, you need to start link building, which brings us to step 5.
Step 5: Links, Links, And More Links
Links are to organic search what citations are to local directory listings. It’s not enough to be listed in the local directories, you need to be on the first page of Google organically as well as in the directories. In order to do this you need links. You need links from other web pages to yours. Some of the best local links lately are coming from the BBB (Better Business Bureau), local CC (chambers of commerce), and clubs, like the Elks and the Lions.
It will cost you $500.00 or so for the BBB and another $350.00 for the Local CC, but both have payment plans. The BBB is offering a free moth right now and a $50.00 a month fee after the free month. The CC will break the $350.00 payment up into $75.00 payments.
Other simple link sources include: submitting articles to online magazines, writing guest posts for blogs, and local neighborhood patch informational sites.