Blog | BAC Group Digital
Local Lead Generation for Local Businesses
In this post:
3 best ways to generate local leads:
- Local SEO
- Paid advertising (a.k.a. SEM – search engine marketing or PPC – pay per click)
- Social media marketing
2 additional ways to generate local leads:
The best way to maximize your local lead generation
If you own a local business, a steady flow of new customers is the lifeblood of your business.
You may be feeling confident that your tried and true local lead generation method of choice, whatever that may be, is enough to sustain your business. But covid dealt a reality check to too many unprepared businesses.
Those who were able to quickly adapt may have not only survived but even thrived. But if covid taught the business world anything, it’s that a business must be prepared for the unexpected.
Ask yourself if your primary source of new business suddenly stopped, would your business continue with only minor disruption or would it suddenly come to a stop as well? Being prepared for the unexpected should be a business best practice. You’ll sleep better knowing your business is not subject to a single point of failure.
So where to start? Start by assessing your current source of new customer leads. You may already be capturing this data but if not, start now. Once you know the primary source of your new business, you should be able to recognize if you’re susceptible to the previously mentioned “single source of failure”. If you find you’re already diversified, analyze your lead source distribution as you may need to rebalance to provide a more predictable customer flow.
Once we’ve analyzed our current lead generation status, we can begin to layout a strategy and system to build a solid flow of leads and avoid a single source of failure.
Before we start, what is “organic lead generation”?
Organic lead generation
Organic lead generation is the process of generating leads without using paid advertising or other paid forms.
The best way to generate organic leads for your local service business is by leveraging digital marketing channels. By using digital marketing channels such as social media, SEO, email and content marketing, you can generate high-quality leads that will convert into sales.
The business has to create a presence on the internet that people will find and trust. Getting reviews on sites like Google is vital for a local business. Reviews from other sites such as Facebook, Bing, Yelp, Yellow Pages and Angie’s will add to your brand authority.
Organic is often referred to as free leads but unless you’re one of those rare business owners who’s also proficient at one or more of the above, you’ll need to employ the services of a professional to see a significant return on your investment.
How to generate a consistent flow of new leads for your local business.
Local SEO (search engine optimization)
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy meant to increase visibility and generate inbound leads via local search, primarily Google search.
The greatest benefits of higher rankings in organic search results include increased website traffic, increased inbound leads and conversions. These inbound leads may come via email, text or phone calls. It is cost-effective and once a business obtains page one rankings, will provide a steady flow of inbound leads.
Local SEO is one of the most important factors in local marketing today. With up to three times as many searches per month in some markets, local SEO provides a lot of traffic that you can capture. This type of strategy includes using geographic tags, optimizing your website for mobile and other devices, and using Google My Business to build customer loyalty. These are a number of things you can do to improve your local ranking on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Your ultimate goal is to appear in the top 10 and preferably the top 3 search results relevant to your service which in turn should make it easier for people in your area to find your business.
Have you ever searched for your business on Google and it’s nowhere to be found? That’s because your business’s online presence has not been optimized for local SEO, a critical part of your marketing strategy. Once established, SEO can bring in a steady stream of new customers and cash flow for your business. But, it can be difficult to know where to start or what the best practices are. The good news is, there are plenty of tools out there that make it easier than ever before!
If you own a business or you are looking for ways to grow your brand, it is important that you understand the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps to improve visibility in search engines and other places online. Google even provides some basic info on “How to improve your local ranking on Google“.
In addition, here are some free seo tools to help you get started with local SEO.
With so many people finding information about your business online, you need to ensure that your brand is able to rank high in search engine results. If you can’t get your website to the top of the rankings, then your competitors will take all of the potential customers and business that you should have had.
The following are the primary ways to improve local SEO for your business.
- Website optimization
- Relevant content
- Technical seo optimization
- Mobile friendly
- Geo-targeted landing pages
- Core web vitals
- Regular updates
- Google My Business optimization
- Profile accuracy and completeness
- Profile optimization (esp. Google reviews)
- Strategic branded content
- Regular updates
- Profile promotion
Paid lead generation
Paid advertising is a great way to generate more leads for your company since it’s targeted. You can target people who live nearby, who have the same interests or have shown an interest in certain products or services similar to yours.
Whether you want to drive traffic to a website, generate inbound calls about your service or want to build your local brand by getting your name out there, paid advertising is an effective way to generate more local leads for your business.
Paid advertising is one of the most effective tools for generating new leads. This includes both online and offline ads. Ad platforms like Google and Facebook are both great options for reaching a different audience. They also provide extensive analytics that can help you better understand your target market.
Facebook and Google have dominated the landscape for online advertising.
Google search ads target an audience with the highest “buyer intent”. Someone searching on Google is usually looking to buy or looking for more info before making a buying decision. Google ads can be geo-targeted to further refine your local audience.
A Facebook ad campaign can target people in your city or region with a high-quality ad that’s guaranteed to show up in their feed. You can get targeted with demographics (age, gender, location), interests, behaviours and more.
Here are the major paid advertising platforms for business to consumer services:
- Google Ads
- Running geo-targeted Google search ads is the fastest method of generating “buyer” leads
- Allow 60-90 days to “dial in” your ad creatives/copy
- The more ad spend you allocate, the faster you’ll acquire the required “dialed in” data
- Once your ads are dialed in, result will be a consistent and predictable volume of leads
- Google Local Service Ads
- Require pre-qualification to receive Google Guarantee badge
- Possible higher conversion than Google search ads but with less volume
- Ads are targeted by your preselected category, NOT by keyword
- Highly dependent on your Google reviews rating
- Facebook Ads
- Less initial expense than Google search ads
- Target audience buying intent much less than Google search ads
- Relatively inexpensive to gradually build your brand, keeping your business top of mind
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is a great way to promote your business and connect with potential customers in your area. Customers these days are more likely to buy from a company they have heard of or already know. When you advertise on social media, you are able to reach more people than traditional advertising avenues.
With the rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, many businesses are now turning to social media marketing to build their branding.
These days, people prefer to learn more about a company or brand organically, through social media posts.
There are many ways that you can build your local brand through social media marketing. You can increase followers on any social media platform, boost your website’s traffic, and grow your email list. Social media marketing is an effective way to not just attract customers, but also keep them engaged.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool to promote your brand. It’s a cost-effective way to build awareness, generate leads, and engage with customers.
The key to successful social media marketing is knowing your audience and what they want to see. You don’t want to post the same thing on every platform; instead you should tailor each post to fit that platform’s unique features and demographics.
Here are some free social media marketing tools to help you get started.
Most popular social marketing platforms for local service businesses:
Primary marketing target
b2c = business to consumer
b2b = business to business
- Facebook (b2c)
- Suitable for residential service businesses
- Free to post to your personal profile
- Free to post to a business page
- LinkedIn (b2b)
- Suitable for commercial service businesses
- Ability to directly target business owners, CEO’s, etc.
- Free to post through a personal profile as well as a company page
Content Marketing: Content Marketing is the art of creating valuable content that appeals to your target audience’s interests and needs in order to make them eager to learn more about your product or service.
Content marketing has emerged as essential to the success of a company or business. Shareable content is a great way to tap into this trend and help grow your audience and your business.
The goal behind content marketing is to attract potential customers and keep them engaged with your brand. A key part of this strategy is creating shareable content that offers value to the user. This can be done through blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, etcetera. The key to successful content marketing is to educate your target audience on a topic that they are interested in or curious about – not just promoting what you have for sale.
This kind of approach will help build customer loyalty and increase sales. If you plan on writing your own content, there are many free content marketing tools to help get you started.
Emails are the perfect way to reach out to your customers. They can be sent to a wide audience and provide detailed information about your product or services.
Email marketing is an extremely powerful tool for driving sales and engagement, so these days most brands have a dedicated email marketing strategy in place. Email newsletters are easy to share on social media, and they’re a great way to nurture leads with valuable content such as blog posts, videos or case studies.
According to a report from Litmus, email generates $36 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3,600% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available.
And according to this small business marketing guide from email company, Campaign Monitor, 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers.
But consumers are overwhelmed with the amount of emails they receive, which means that every message needs to be personalized and relevant.
Personalization is key. Sending an email with a subject line that is tailored to the recipient will increase the likelihood of opening it.
Check out this list of free email marketing tools to get you started.
Growth marketing strategy
If you’re a business owner who’s serious about building your business and capable of handling a large volume of customers, then the fastest and most reliable local marketing strategy is to combine local SEO (optimized website and Google My Business) with Google geo-targeted search ads. Add in Facebooks ads to keep your business top of mind, steadily building your brand.
Generating a consistent flow of local leads for your business can be time consuming and require expertise beyond the limits of the local service business owner.
Need help? Schedule a brief meeting to see if we’re a fit and can help you grow your business.