Local Internet Marketing Needs a Social Component (and Constant Attention)

If you’re a small business that’s just getting into the local internet marketing scene, you may be under the impression that it’s basically just like the SEO you’re already doing, only with different keywords — ones that add a geographic component. But that’s not local internet marketing, it’s just local SEO. If you want to market, you have to go beyond just ‘the same thing only with a smaller audience’.

So how do you get the word out to local people using digital means? Isn’t the Internet inherently a worldwide thing? Sure, you’re right, there’s no such thing as a ‘local internet’ — but there are plenty of websites out there devoted to your local area. If you live in a place large enough to have a Chamber of Commerce, you live in an area large enough to be marketed to online.

How? It’s simple: find websites that make lists of stuff in your area. It’s not hard, just search for “best in Flattery Hills” or “top in Babushka Park” — almost every area large enough to have a Chamber will have a few people who are devoted to blogging, listing, or otherwise talking about your area online. If nothing else, the Chamber of Commerce and the city websites will sometimes link to vibrant local businesses. Get in touch with those governmental, community, and locally-run sites and ask them what it would take to get a reference.

But that’s just the beginning. The real secret to successful local internet domination is the social media. There’s a “we love our town” page for places as miniscule as Carlsborg, Washington and Gulliver, Michigan — you can certainly find one for the place YOU live. Get your own Facebook page, link it up with your local area pages, and get buttons that link to your Facebook page on every web page, blog posting and other web presence you build, and you’ll be just barely getting started — but that’s better than 99% of your competition, and it’s only uphill from here. That’s right, uphill: it’ll be hard work, but when you get to the top, the view will be well worth the climb.