From phone numbers to the right search keywords, certain items are ‘must-haves’ for local businesses to achieve their targets online. Thanks to the synergy that can be achieved with the right design, the right SEO strategy, and the right conversion optimization, taking an itemized approach to online marketing is a great idea.

In this mini-guide, we’ll share the six must-have elements for local online marketing success. From simple yet effective design to vital location data, read on to learn what your local business does and doesn’t need for online marketing success.

A visible, memorable phone number

Many small businesses make the mistake of directing their online traffic to a ‘contact us’ page for online lead generation. While this is a great way to generate leads in the background, it can often result in a terrible hit to your total conversion rate.

When it comes to local business, most customers want to talk to you instead of just receiving an email response. List your phone number prominently on your website and you’ll encourage prospects to call you instead of simply message you.

For optimum branding, you may want to invest in a premium 1-800 number for your business. This makes it much easier for customers to remember your phone number, helping them to choose you over a competitor for any repeat business.

A light, clean, and simple design

If your business offers several services, you don’t need an overly complicated or flashy website. Stick to something simple – a small, accessible website that shows prospective customers and clients what you offer and how to contact you.

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that their design will have a huge impact on their business, and that they need to use something complicated to be competitive. Stick to a simple and professional design for optimum results.

An intuitive, user-friendly contact form

While your first goal should be to close prospects over the phone, your second goal should be to have a clear, easily accessible contact form ready to capture leads that aren’t interested in talking on the phone.

Create a large, user-friendly contact form and link to it from your product/service pages, your homepage, and other parts of your website. A good call-to-action at the bottom of your page content can have a huge positive effect on your conversion rate.

To simplify your online lead generation, it’s also worth installing a plugin that sends all of your contact form enquiries to a specific email address. If you don’t have time to monitor this, consider sending them directly to a member of your sales team.

Sales-driven, keyword-focused content

Every website needs to be optimized for both search engines and customers. Avoid falling into the trap of optimizing your website purely for search, and using boring, overly keyword optimized articles that scare away potential customers.

Take a light-handed approach to SEO, using keywords intelligently but not so much that customers feel alienated and ignored. By combining smart SEO with good sales copy, you can convert visitors while still achieving success with search engines.

A branded, non-SEO domain

Over the last five years, web users have grown used to seeing keyword-optimized domain names in the search results. These domains tend to be exact matches for a certain keyword phrase, giving them a rather ‘spammy’ look that’s associated with cheap and quick SEO.

If you’re aiming to build a powerful, memorable long-term business, avoid using a keyword-optimized domain name. While there is a slight SEO bonus from having your target keywords in your domain name, it’s been reduced significantly in the last few years, and the spammy look can often do more harm than good.

An address and Google Maps listing

If your business deals primarily with local customers, it’s worth adding a Google Maps listing to your business profile. Publish your address information on your website and ask customers to leave reviews to improve your local visibility.

Thanks to the immense popularity of smartphones, a lot of customers now search for local businesses while on the go. This makes Google Local a huge priority for a variety of local businesses, particularly those that offer food or services.

While some businesses will benefit more than others from Google Local, it’s always worth spending the small amount of time required to optimize your website for this potentially lucrative traffic source.

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