Local Marketing Services Overview
There are many local marketing services available to small business owners. The impact they can have varies depending on the service and the small business type. Let's take a brief look at a few of them:
This is a great service, especially for professional services companies. As a consumer, you can find and secure bids from contractors for many types of services. I've used it myself to get fencing quotes. As a business owner, it can be a great way to get leads. You sign up for an account and select the categories you do business in. When prospective customers submit projects matching your categories you get a notification. You can then submit a bit on the project for a small fee. We use it here, see our listing here:
This can also be a great service if used in the right way. It's pretty much always a great deal for consumers but can lead to losses for business owners. The promises of repeat business often do not materialize. One approach that has been used successfully is to offer a relatively high-margin product at a steep discount. It is far better to sacrifice margins and retain profitability (or break-even) than take a loss on every sale without reasonable expectation of repeat business. If you can't count on the repeat business covering your losses, make sure you're at least sitting at a break-even point and will not lose. This is the approach we take, see our current offer here:
There are paid local listing services like Yext. We do not recommend them, as it is very easy to update all of the important local listings yourself. Make sure your data is the same at every site. There is really only one tool you need here: use the free version of the Moz local tool to check your key listings. Go to Moz Local and find your business. Go and update and correct all of the listings there. Whether or not you should use the paid service there is something we look at for our clients. If you want to take a closer look, contact us and we'd be happy to help.
We'll cover other options in a future post. For now, make sure you're set on these three and you'll be off to a great start!