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These local small service businesses appear to wrongly believe that an online presence and digital marketing will not help their business to get more customers. This post is based largely on extracts from an excellent post by Larry Alton at Relevance, who explains why local service businesses need local marketing in particular and how it can work for their business. Here at smallbiz-emarketing, we get it: many small businesses are scared off developing a real online presence because many believe that it costs a lot of money to get a website and that it costs even more extortionate prices to get digital marketing. Facebook is making it harder for you to reach your page’s fans without paying to advertise (Tim Parker). If you are not do not have a website, your potential customers will not be able to find you (through organic or paid search), so they will not be able to buy from your business. Building a website and digital marketing are now really affordable and can be done on a small budget. Having an website and expert digital marketing is an investment for your business that will get you more business in the long run, so it will bring return on investment and will more than pay for itself.
It would be wrong tell you that making the Web work for your business is going to be easy or fast, but the sooner you start the journey to adding online visibility to your business the quicker you will get the benefits.
As not all of your customers are on any one digital platform, you will get the highest return on your digital marketing investment by using multiple digital marketing techniques, otherwise you risk missing out on  a significant proportion of customers, selling more and making more profits. Marketing, advertising, public relations – for some organisations, these basic business terms can be intimidating.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your business so it shows up in the search engines to people searching locally for your services – Hin Lai. Research that shows that the proportion of searches for local businesses has exploded in recent years show how important local marketing can be to your business. Whether you’re a dentist, restaurant, or yoga studio, the only customers that matter for your business are people searching within your town or city, and because of that, you need to focus your SEO locally where it matters. In other words, the big national brands will force you out of town if you don’t make your presence known. For example, Sydney Emergency Plumbing advertises their services by maintaining a blog and giving special offers to surrounding neighborhoods.
Trying to explain things like rankings, organic search and keywords to small service businesses very often gets a glazed  look on faces. Let’s assume that there are 20 used car dealers and 2 new car dealers actually in your suburb (town).  There are 17 spots on page one of Google if you count the organic results and the map pack… but after the recent Pigeon update, there are a lot of directories showing up. That’s 242 dealers fighting for the 12 spots on the first page of Google search results — which means 230 dealers won’t make it to page one. Thanks to the recent Pigeon update, it’s extremely hard, if not impossible, for businesses not located in the main city of a metro area to show up in the map pack for queries targeting that metro area. If you want your site to beat out the hundreds of other dealers fighting for the top spots, you’ve got to send the right signals to Google so that you can outrank competitors. The simple equation quickly demonstrates to dealers that they’re not going to rank high simply because they have a website.

While there’s nothing wrong with traditional forms of local marketing (billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, mass mailers, radio spots), most service industry businesses will find their money is better spent online.
Next, fill out your NAP (name, address, phone number) on all websites, social media profiles, and online directories where your business is listed. If you have the budget, experimenting with pay-per-click advertising can be effective when used in conjunction with local search terms and targeted audiences. If you haven’t yet invested in local marketing, do what thousands of other businesses are doing and start targeting your immediate community.
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Don’t bury free trial or demo offers on your website.  Instead, make them the primary call to action, highlighted in the banner of your website home page.
Make sure you have product focused video so that prospects can quickly and easily understand your product. Show-off if your product can be used on a mobile device right on your home page, as this is important for small and mid-sized company execs who are often on the go. Let your buyers know they can get started quickly and easily- either by letting them sign up right away or by telling the in primary text on your home page. Keep thought leadership in your blog, resource center, or lead nurturing, but don’t feature it as the primary offer on your website.  This content is great for sharing, and to get people to the website, but once they hit the home page the product focused content is more important. GoToWebinar’s website highlights their ease of use, and makes their product easy to understand with a video on the home page.  Simple but powerful calls to action, including Try it Free and Buy it Now are featured immediately following the demo. Intuit uses video to show off their functionality, followed by a clear call to action.  Like the others, they talk about their benefits and ease of use. At Shopify, you can’t miss the 30-day free trial, meant to get growing businesses going quickly.  The first bullet point highlights the ease of use, and the website clearly shows how mobile friendly their product is for their users.
Have additional tips for online marketing to small or mid-sized companies?  Please comment below.  Interested to learn more about Spark by Marketo™, or how we are doing on our own marketing to small and mid-sized business? Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website on organic ("natural" or un-paid) search engine result pages (SERPs), by incorporating search engine friendly elements into a website. Our search engine promotion services are designed to improve your website's ranking in short order. The culprits cover the small business spectrum, for example,  builders, electrician, dentists, dry cleaners, fancy dress costume, dog groomers, hairdresser and clothing retailers. Put simply, they completely ignore the online world we and their customers and prospects now all live in. When the budget is tight and you are just surviving, spending more money can feel like the last thing you want to do.
Consequently as few as just 2% of your organic (not paid for) posts will reach your network of followers.

It enables you to collect prospects’ email addresses and nurture them to become paying customers. To reach the maximum number of your prospects you have to be visible where they are whenever they are looking for your product or service. Marketing – specifically local marketing – is a critical component of long-term success and every business owner should pay attention. And despite what you may think, it’s not time- or capital-intensive to develop a basic local marketing strategy. Since it’s a much bigger city, let’s conservatively say that there are three times as many dealerships there. That means you simply must have great content, you must have an awesome user experience, you must optimize your content for local searches, you must be active on social media, and you must be getting great reviews.
Online reviews go a long way and help remove some of the hesitancy associated with doing business online, especially for service-based businesses. Checkout our services page to see how our digital marketing services can help your business to get more customers and sell more, faster.
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A successful search engine optimization campaign will have, as part of the improvements, carefully select, relevant, keywords which the on-page optimization will be designed to make prominent for search engine algorithms.
This is awfully tragic for a business like us that exists specifically to help these types of local small businesses to sell more and make more profits by taking advantage of all the Web has to offer. This way of thinking is stopping these businesses selling more, making more profits and growing.
They enjoy giving back to the community and perceive “mom and pop” companies as more attentive and honest. Search engine optimization is broken down into two basic areas: on-page, and off-page optimization. Be sure to include descriptions, photos, contact information, location information and anything else that’s relevant. On-page optimization refers to website elements which comprise a web page, such as HTML code, textual content, and images. Off-page optimization refers, predominantly, to backlinks (links pointing to the site which is being optimized, from other relevant websites).

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