Local online advertising is one of those marketing strategies you must use when your website isn’t quite bulky enough, popular enough or well-established enough to make it in the search ranking by itself. If your local business or website doesn’t lend itself well to keyword phrase research, there are other ways you can make yourself prominent in the search engines without getting too fancy.
Local online advertising is often performed on website directories like CitySearch, Google Places, Yahoo Local and more. There are several ways you can make sure your website – and therefore your business – gets found without doing a lot of keyword research, SEO on your site, paid search advertising and so forth.
Local Online Advertising: What Works, What Doesn’t
How are you supposed to know which types of local online advertising work and which don’t? That’s a good question, especially if this is all new to you. The key is to look for well-known sites, especially subdirectories of popular search engines. What do we mean by this?
Take, for instance, the fact that Google is the biggest search engine out there. How can you tell Google that your site exists? First, you submit your website to Google’s search engine. They have an area where you can submit details about your website to get it crawled in the search engines. Secondly, submit your site, local business details and contact information to Google Places. You’ll notice that eventually, people who frequent your business may write reviews about your business. Some of these may be good, and some may be bad. With local online advertising, you might want to check your site’s ratings now and then to be sure someone is not intentionally bashing your website.
Local Online Advertising: Don’t Forget the Smaller Directories
It makes obvious sense to perform your local online advertising on Google. After all, they’re #1 in their industry. But you shouldn’t rely on just one website to do all the work for you. You need to submit your website and local business contact information (as well as a brief description about your company) to other directories. So who all is on the recommended list?
Think about the smaller search engines that still have a huge online presence. Yahoo and MSN are next to Google in popularity and aren’t really considered “smaller search engines” – the just happen to be smaller than Google. Next up, we have Ask.com and AOL. These both have areas for local listings that can be searched and user-rated.
Local online advertising is also about online reputation. Sooner or later, a disgruntled employee or shady competitor may write a poor review of your site or business, give it 0 or 1 star for the star rating and encourage others to do the same. While you will probably get yourself banned from submitting multiple positive reviews about yourself to the same website, it behooves you to respond to these remarks and encourage your customers to write positive reviews about your business.
Local online advertising can be easier, less costly and less complicated than regular SEO; you just have to know where to place your site for best visibility.