Tricks and tips for hyper-local online marketing.
Some great tips for getting associated with your local area online for free.
My name is Kenneth Udut, and my brother and I work together on a business for Animal Trapping in Naples, Florida. It is a service business whose service area doesn't extend beyond 50 miles from where we live.
You, too, might have a service or storefront business that serves a local area.
Question: How do you market your local - nay - HYPER-LOCAL - business on the global Internet? Answer: It's doable, but it's not easy.
Why is it so hard?
The search engines and social networking services are all generally geared towards a global usage. Busiensses who ship products worldwide or service businesses who dispatch to local service providers or stores which have a nationwide or global presence are automatically favored.
But if you are one of the locals, what can you do to promote your local business on the Internet?
Join every social networking service you can find, even the ones that "everybody says" is dead. Facebook is currently #1. On Facebook, create your profile and gear it towards being the business owner. Also, create a Page (in "Facebook Pages") for your business. Invite all of your friends and customers and referral sources (you DO have regular referral sources, don't you?)
On Myspace, create a personal and a business profile. Use their classified ad system -- people do use it.
Don't forget the odd ones. Orkut, Bebo (which is one of the oldest) are just two that come to mind.
(and on all of them, find me and be my friend - I'm Kenneth Udut or simplify3 - easy to find)
Find free classified ad websites. Don't pay for any of it.
Get listed on all of the various nationwide/global yellow pages online. Superpages, Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo Listings, Bing Small Business Center are just a few to mention.
Join all of the "people finder" sites like Yasni, Ziggs, etc.
Most importantly: Find your local websites and see if they have a business section.
Local Newspapers sites
Local TV Stations sites
Local Radio Stations all have websites nowadays.
Find community websites. I run one for the Naples, Florida area called Naplesplus - find websites that are like mine but for your local area. They used to be called BBS' back in the 80's and 90's, but now its harder to locate them because there's no standard name for them.
Do searches for "your city,state classified" or "ads" or "business directory" or "listings".
Become active members on your local sites. Email the webmaster and be their friend. Donate money to their website (if free) and they will do everything for you.
On your own websites, promote your local webmasters who have helped you.
Why the emphasis on local websites? Because you are creating a "circle of local" for your business. As time goes on, search engines will recognize that you and your business is heavily associated with the local community will rise you up in the ranks accordingly. Don't forget: You are not judged only by the links coming IN to your website and their anchor text -- you are ALSO judged by who you link OUT to. If you link out to local businesses, local websites, local media - you will find that your business and your site will become more and more heavily associated with the local area.
In this way, you are assisting the search engines to create a more hyperlocal focus, with your business one of the centerpieces of this action.
Do a search for Affordable Trapping or NeighborHelp Referrals on the various search engines to see how I'm doing. I may not be the perfect example, but I am a great example of what one man can do without being a professional SEO.
Now I do something else that everybody told me - and tells me - NOT to do. I have a community website where I promote ALL local businesses. I do it for free, even though people tell me I'm nuts, that I'm "diluting my message", but I don't think I am. Back when I did stock investing, I followed the "contrarian model": See what everybody else is doing, then figure out what they are NOT doing, and do that. Opportunity exists in the places neglected by the common folks.
Do these things, and you'll find that, even with heavy competition in your local market, you'll rise to the top in no time at all.
And it won't cost you a penny.
Author: Kenneth Udut
Company: Affordable Trapping 239-465-9291
Website: http://free.naplesplus.us - Naples News, jobs, for sale, business directory