Filed Under:  U.S. & World

Marketing To a Local Audience? Use These Best Practices

Contributed by on January 3, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Marketing a practice to a local audience requires a local approach. Focusing on gaining reviews and citations as well as taking advantage of solutions that take a local-approach to advertising, such as AdWords, are a necessity. Expanding a business’s reach requires the use of these best practices:

Focus on Reviews

Businesses see numerous clients or patients each day, and hopefully, each one leaves having a positive experience. When clients and patients are happy with their experience, they will recommend the business to friends and family. But encouraging them to review a practice online can help boost the effectiveness of word of mouth advertising.

The only problem is that businesses shouldn’t be asking them to leave reviews directly. And they definitely shouldn’t be rewarding people for leaving reviews either. Genuine, unbiased reviews are what will have the most positive effect. So, how can businesses get more reviews?

Many businesses are now using the following techniques:

  • Making it easy for clients and patients to leave reviews by linking to review profiles on company websites.
  • On completion of service, business hand clients print materials that include listing places where they can leave reviews. Whitespark offers a review handout generator for this purpose.
  • In follow-up emails, businesses include a link to where customers can leave a review. Note: Don’t include a link to Yelp.
  • Offering top-notch customer service. When customers have an exceptional experience, they will be more inclined to seek out review sites and share their experience without any additional encouragement.

Get Citations

Citations are just as they sound: mentions of a business’s name and address on other websites. Citations don’t have to include links. They can be a simple text listing of a practice’s location information.

Citations are an important part of both Google’s and Bing’s ranking algorithms, so it’s important to make sure that a business obtains them from high quality sources.

Business citations can be found on:

  • Local search engines
  • Data aggregators, like Factual, Infogroup and Acxiom
  • Local online directories
  • Local blogs
  • Industry-related blogs and directories

Take Advantage of AdWords

Google AdWords is a smart and affordable way to reach a local audience. Active AdWords campaigns allow a business’s advertisement to be seen by a local demographic.

AdWords offers a number of ad formats. These include call extensions, which allow mobile users to “click to call”. Promotions and location extensions can also be included. With the ability to track the cost per click, number of ad impressions, click-through-rates and more, businesses can get the most out of their online advertising budget.