Let’s start with a definition of what exactly is a local service business. A local service is a business that provides its service within some geographic area beyond which it is difficult to travel. Since this business provides its services locally, the marketing efforts too, have to be focused on reaching the local market.
There are many strengths of such businesses. Couple of those strengths are that they are proven business types, and provide useful services. So when people need the services they tend to search for someone who can provide the services! This means that local search is extremely important to promote a local service or business.
The fact that the potential customers for such businesses are the ones who seek these businesses out is key! The customers are the ones who need to seek you out, and to market a local service you just have to make sure that they find you and not your competitors when they search.
You must craft a marketing strategy that ensures that people local to you find you when they search for your type of service. Before the Internet, businesses used to put ads on something like the yellow pages which was a very big phone book full of local services in the local area. And people searching for services would find them there. The Internet largely replaced the yellow pages. So we just have to make sure people find you online when they search in different places online. Below is a video tutorial with a number of strategies for how to promote a local service business.
Create Your Own Website To Market Your Local Business
The first step is to have your own website. This will enable you to rank in Google for searches like “service_type in city_name_you_are_in” and similar searches. The website will also serve as an extra source of information about you when people want to learn more about your services once they are engaged in the sales process. It is easy to set up a site through a free service like wordpress.org (there are higher-end services, but this one is a good free example). With your website, you have to focus on ranking in in top-10 of Google search results for relevant searches.
Here is our tutorial for how to set up your WordPress site in as little as one day and begin promoting it. Once you set up your site, you will need to learn about marketing your website. Here is my marketing plan book and here is my Google SEO course.
An additional resource you will need for your website is to have some sort of analytics software to see how many people are visiting your site and from what sources they are coming. This is very important. Don’t skip this step. If you have your own site, you can use GoogleAnalytics which is an industry standard and is very easy to set up.
Promote Your Local Business On Local Service Listing Sites
Once you have a site, you can list it on local-service sites such as yelp.com redbeacon.com angieslist and other sites that are industry-specific for you such as directories of people who provide your services. Different such sites are popular in different cities and countries. To find which local service listing sites you should focus on, just search Google for your type of a local service company in your area, and see what local service listing sites come up in the first few pages of Google search results. Those would be the local listing sites to focus on for your area.
Marketing For Your Local Business On Google Places For Business
You must also add your business to something called Google Places For Business. This will enable your business to come up next to a map when there are maps in Google search results. These are great because they always appear high on the search result listings. Do you know what I am referring to here? It is the little Google map that comes up when you search for something local. Your business can and needs to appear on those search results that appear as part of that map.
Marketing For Your Local Business On Social Media
Social media is often not as important as search when it comes to promoting local service businesses. But you need to have a social presence so make a Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and other social media pages for your local small business, and cross-promote your business on those sites too. From all those, and your yelp.com profile, and other local service listing sites on which you posted your business, link to your website. That will help your website rank better in google searches. But overall, keep in mind that basic social media presence is much less important that search. Social media does not have a reputation for converting into sales. But search platforms (google and yelp and others) are great for sales because the person actively looking for the service you offer.
Paid Options To Promote Your Local Business
The options above are free. This option is going to cost you, but it may be worth the money. At least you should experiment with paid marketing down the line. You can pay to advertise your business on yelp.com and Google Adwords to appear in their promoted listings. It will give you extra visibility when people search for the type of service you offer.
But if you are risk averse, try free options first. And make sure you rank well in each platform. This is key! Make sure in yelp and everywhere else you are listed, you have good reviews and a good reputation because that helps you rank well and stand out.
There are more things you can eventually do, but the strategies mentioned in this article would be a good start.
To sum up, the strategy is to leverage big search platforms. You would get people who are close to ideal target customers. And you would be using sustainable techniques to acquire customers that will work long-term if you get it right.
Brief Introduction To Marketing
If you are new to marketing and promoting your business, take a look at our introduction to marketing tutorial. And here is our video with an introduction to marketing.
And here is a look at what is marketing from a number of different perspectives.
Further Marketing Resources
For more business-starting resources, please take a look at our business planning mobile apps. Here is the iOS business plan app and here is the Android business plan app. Additionally, here is the iOS marketing app. And here is the Android marketing app. And here are our business apps on the Kindle. And here is an article where I give the argument that our Android apps are the best business apps on Android.
And please check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel where we cover many marketing topics.
More marketing tutorials
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25 Twitter marketing strategies:
15 LinkedIn marketing strategies:
Advanced social media marketing tutorial:
Advanced SEO tutorial:
Inbound marketing tutorial:
Author: Alex Genadinik