Tag Archives: mile radius

6 Smart Ways to Think Local and Grow Your Business Fast

by Ruth Klein

With the worldwide reach of the Internet, what often gets forgotten is growing locally. The politicians had it right with that famous saying that “all politics is local.” It doesn’t matter how they rank nationally; politicians need their hometown votes to stay in office. That logic makes sense for most businesses, too. Local clients and customers tend to be the most loyal, because they know you personally.

Since the inception of the Internet, every year there are more people on line searching for the product or the service they need. More than ever, their focus is local, right down to getting directions from Mapquest.com or using a Google map to find their way to the most conveniently located source.

To make your business stand out locally, include your business name, location, zip code and hours in all Internet directories. Key search words are important, but so is letting consumers in your immediate vicinity know that you are right next door.

To make it personal, get personal by inviting individuals and organizations to meet with you. Go to individuals and organizations within a 25-mile radius to meet with them. It works.

6 Smart Ways to Think Local and Grow Your Business Fast

1. Get your business listed free. There are several Internet search engines that provide opportunities to set up free listing accounts. There may be a company 1,000 miles away or overseas that offers what you do, but listing yourself as the closest local provider makes you the convenient choice. Here are a few places to start in setting up free accounts: Google Local at http://www.google.com/local/add/login?hl=en_US, Yahoo Local at http://listings.local.yahoo.com and YellowPages.com at http://www.yellowpages.com/sp/contact/update.jsp.

2. Follow the 25-mile rule. Get out a local map and draw a circle around a 25-mile radius from your front door. Target local consumers and businesses within that 25-mile radius that are your potential customers. Visit a local Chamber of Commerce directory on line to hone your search. Get out there in your local area some afternoon and look for businesses that don’t belong with the local Chamber of Commerce. Instead of spending huge sums on direct mail that might bring you only a very limited return, invest in a targeted direct mail campaign focusing on those 10 to 100 potential customers within the 25-mile radius.

3. Host an event. Using the names and addresses of potential customers inside your 25-mile radius, create an invitation list to an event that will allow potential customers to meet you personally. Offer a free gift or service as an incentive. If you are a solo entrepreneur with limited or no space (and limited funds), partner up with another business or even a nonprofit organization to co-host an event. Both you and your partner should give away a freebie so that there are plenty of incentives for your affair. To get some ideas, look in your local paper for local happenings. Circle those that are co-hosted by similar and also dissimilar organizations for ideas.

4. Follow up. Send personalized thank-you notes to those who attend your event, and include a flier describing your services. Include a special offer of a personal invitation or an opportunity to subscribe free to your newsletter that will get their attention. Your personal touch tells your future clients that you are willing to get personal to meet their needs. For a smart guide to how to write business thank-you letters, go to http://www.ehow.com/how_1378_write-business-thank.html.

5. Get out there! Set aside one afternoon or morning each week to meet with potential clients (and partners for future events). Search your local newspaper or http://www.craigslist..org for local events, and show up in person to say hello. Offer to be a guest speaker, and choose a general-interest topic that will sell yourself first, and then your product or service.

6. Participate. Join a nonprofit group for a good cause, and bring plenty of business cards with you. Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, and include your business title and business name. More than 90 percent of all businesses are small businesses. Your perspective on small businesses is important, because your perspective is personal. For smart tips on writing letters to the editor from the Humane Society of the United States, go to http://www.hsus.org/legislation_laws/citizen_lobbyist_center/lobbying_101/tips_on_writing_letters_to_the_editor.html.

Because the Internet has brought untold convenience and immediacy to our lives, growing locally by using the Internet, so that our local, hometown resources can find us is a great way to market yourself virtually.

About the Author

Ruth Klein is an award-winning business owner, best-selling author and marketing and time management consultant whose clients range from solo entrepreneurs to the Fortune 500. Sign up to receive Ruth’s 7 Part Mini-Course on Branding and Productivity. http://tinyurl.com/25tqo5

Forget the Yellow Pages; It’s All About Local Search

by Collyn Floyd

With yellow pages being out of date before they’re even off the printing press, it’s no surprise that Local Search on the Web has taken the place of dusty old “yellows” as the preferred method for finding local products and services.

Local Search allows you to generate search results by neighborhood, city, state, or zip code. It’s ideal for physicians, dentists, contractors, realtors, restaurants, retailers, or any businesses that serve customers/clients who come from a limited geographic region.

For example, if you’re a Northeast Ohio-based orthodontist, most likely your patients are also going to be from Northeast Ohio. Your primary objective should be gaining search engine rankings in the immediate region because that’s your “bread and butter”. A patient seeking orthodontic help in California isn’t going to do you much good, but one in Akron is a potential new customer.
Even if you need to have a national presence in the search engines, it still may be important for you to have a local presence. We’re a Canton Web Design and SEO firm. While we serve clients across the country, the majority of our clients come from a 50 mile radius. So while we don’t limit our Web Marketing to Local Search techniques, it’s critical that we have a strong presence in the local search results.
How Local Search Works

There are three ways to go about searching for local results. First, you can use a local search engine such as Google Local, Yahoo! Local, or http://www.local.com. Second, you can use an Internet yellow pages site such as yellowpages.com or superpages.com. Third, you can use a regular search engine like Google, but use geo-modifiers, such as “Canton, Ohio Web Design”.
Local Search Benefits

Local Search isn’t just convenient for users; it’s also loaded with benefits for the businesses being listed. Here are a few of the benefits:

* Free or inexpensive local visibility and awareness
* Additional links to the site
* More visibility in the search engines
* More targeted traffic to the website
* More traffic to the brick-and-mortar store

Popular local sites

We’ve listed a few popular sites where you’ll want to make sure you create a listing. Of course, there are many more in addition to these, and your own community will have its own sites you’ll want to consider. These, however, are a good starting place:

* superpages.com
* Yahoo! Local
* Google Local/Google Maps
* yellowpages.com
* local.com
* citysearch.com

(Note: some of these sites charge a fee for inclusion.)
Local Search Best Practices

Getting effective local search results doesn’t just happen by virtue of having a website. You need to ensure your own site is in tip-top shape by following a few best practices. Be sure to put your address on the Contact page of your website and any other appropriate pages. You’ll also want to explain on your site how your business relates to the community. If you serve on any local committees or board or have any local media mentions, you’ll want to be sure to mention this on your site. Finally, be sure to spell out state names (OH Web Design vs Ohio Web Design).
Social Media and Local Search

With Social Media sites absolutely exploding with new users, it’s no surprise that some Social Media sites are offering Local Search options to help people connect within their local communities:

* Facebook – network with others from your hometown
* Flickr – join one of Flickr’s photo-sharing groups, many of which are location-specific
* Twitter – use the advanced feature to do a geo-search for local members
* LinkedIn – look for and network with professionals in your area


With Local Search making up anywhere from 60-75% of all Internet searches, there’s no question that Local Search is crucial if you have a geo-specific business.

When it comes to Web Marketing, local businesses actually have certain advantages over businesses with a national presence. Instead of having to compete on a national scale, local businesses can focus their web marketing efforts on a more targeted geographic area and even find success a bit easier.

About the Author

Collyn Floyd is a marketing and public relations specialist with The Karcher Group, a web development and search engine marketing firm based in North Canton, OH. She is passionate about helping The Karcher Group’s clients achieve greater online traffic, leads and sales through search engine optimization and marketing.