As long as your business serves local customers, local marketing is a must, but it’s also an area that proves challenging and confusing for many business owners. That’s not surprising, considering that local marketing can be complicated to begin with, and the rules of engagement are constantly changing.
If you’re feeling like the football is constantly being snatched from you in front of your poised kick, you’re definitely not alone! So, let’s take a minute to address some of the most common local marketing challenges we hear about time and time again.
You’re Struggling to Keep up with the Search Engine Evolution
Search engines are constantly changing the rules by changing how their search algorithms score websites and present them to users. Currently, Google leads the industry, and the algorithm changes they make are almost always adopted by other search engines within a short time. Sometimes, Google makes it very clear to developers what they need to do in order to maintain strong rankings, but in other cases, they’re deliberately vague, in order to prevent people from gaming the system.
Right now, Google rewards websites that are mobile-friendly and provide a continual stream of fresh, quality content, while penalizing sites that do not offer full functionality for mobile users, and sites that use content that is duplicated elsewhere or is considered “spammy” (typically because it’s off-topic for the search query or because it’s not written with human readability in mind).
The Google Webmaster Central Blog publishes developer-level updates on their changes, but unless you’re actually a developer, you may find yourself lost in the weeds quickly. I literally write about search engines all the time, and sometimes I find myself asking our web developer what certain things mean on that thing. Sites like Search Engine Land and Mashable (and your handy-dandy blog right here at LOCALiQ!) may provide more approachable explanations for algorithm updates and what they actually mean for your business, which we know is what it all boils down to. But, still, even that can be a lot to keep up with, especially when it comes to figuring out if the changing algorithms are going to impact your SEO or search marketing efforts, which is why it’s helpful to have a marketing partner who can do that for you!
You Don’t Even Know Where Your Marketing is Falling Short
What’s working for my business? What’s actually bringing in leads? Where are my marketing dollars going?
These are just a few questions we hear from clients who aren’t sure what marketing is even doing for them or their business. Just like search engines are constantly changing and evolving, marketing in general is moving at a fast pace. A few years ago, mobile marketing wasn’t really a huge deal -- it was kind of a newer thing that only larger companies had the resources to tackle -- and now it’s pretty much everywhere when it comes to local marketing. It can be tough to keep up on all of the important trends and technology, and worse, if you’re not able to evaluate your results in a timely manner, you don’t know whether you’re investing your marketing budget wisely, or tossing money to the wind.
Analytics from Google and social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offer some insight, but ultimately, you need to know what sources are bringing you traffic that turns into real-life paying customers. To get an end-to-end view of your leads and their journey toward buying, you need a lead management software that integrates the analytics from various sources and presents you with information that actually helps you understand what’s working and what’s not. With a more holistic picture, you can make more informed decisions as to what strategies and sources merit fine-tuning, and which are simply not right for your company.
You Don’t Know Who Your Customers Are or How They’re Behaving
Another common challenge? Not understanding who your target audience is or what behavior is characteristic for them. Without this knowledge, it can be very difficult to truly understand which marketing tactics are going to work best for your business because knowing your audience helps inform how, where, and when you reach them.
One of the biggest benefits you can gain from a lead management solution is the ability to observe, evaluate, and eventually anticipate consumer behavior. Once you learn which ads and calls-to-action aren’t attracting a response, or where website visitors are bouncing, you know exactly where to make adjustments, and you’ve got the tools to watch the results of your changes and compare their performance. The process of discovering what is successful today will also help you more accurately predict consumer behavior in the future, so your future local marketing campaigns will be more effective from the start.
We know these marketing challenges can sometimes be the cherry on top of a busy business owner’s rough day, week, or month. Like I said, you’re busy! You’ve got a lot to think about, and marketing may not always rise to the top of the list. So, that’s where we come in! Our approach to marketing is focused on results and getting you where you want to be, so you can focus on your other 100 to-do list items while we focus on marketing your business. Give us a call today!