Justin BergOctober 1, 2021
Does your business operate within a constrained geographic area?
If you answered yes to this one single question, then generating local leads through digital marketing channels is the most effective way you can be generating new revenue for your business.
Whether for small businesses or for larger enterprises with franchise locations across the country, utilizing a local lead generation strategy that focuses on both Google and paid social advertising are the two most effective ways you can start to drive calls and website conversions for your business.
Since you’re here – you’re probably either struggling to get your local lead efforts to the next level or perhaps you’re just getting started.
We’re here to lay out the best options for moving forward and to start driving leads and revenue for your business.
Local lead generation at its core is having a system and process in place for consistently being found by your target audience, and having that target audience showing an interest in the product or service your business offers.
That interest they are showing can be through calling up your business on the phone or submitting a contact form directly on your website.
Our goal here is to generate that visibility to be in front of our potential customers and prospects using marketing.
Consider the marketing funnel as shown below:
We want to be in front of our customers at each step of their journey, from attention to the actual sale/purchase of our service.
Considering that we’re focusing here on digital marketing, we want to have the right pages and content on
our website that we can map back to each part of the funnel.
Your goal as a business is to take that interest, and assuming a fit, convert that prospect into a paying customer which generates revenue for your business.
The primary difference between local lead generation and national lead generation is the area in which you focus your lead gen efforts.
With the latter, you’ll have a countrywide target audience.
However, local lead gen targets one or multiple specific local geographic areas.
This may be your state, city, town, or even a specific area within a city.
If you’re a business that only operates within a 50sq mile radius, it only makes sense then for us to be targetting customers in our local area.
In business, part of growth and attaining stability is acquiring new customers. This is where lead generation comes in.
You want to develop digital channels and run online marketing campaigns that bring you a consistent stream of leads.
This comes from having a strategy in place which works on bringing you a consistent pipeline for your business.
Without a proper strategy in place, we’re just throwing things at the wall and hoping for them to stick.
And with the plethora of marketing channels we have in 2021, there are multiple ways to approach driving consistent quality inbound leads for your business.
As you endeavor to get a consistent stream of new prospects for your business, you may wonder how to generate leads for a local business.
Here are several measures you can take, including local lead generation ads, that you can use to get quality leads.
As a local business owner, one of the most effective tools you can use is Google my Business.
This is a free tool from Google designed to help local businesses promote themselves online.
You’ve probably seen Google’s local listings section appear in your search results when running a search as shown below;
The power of Google My Business and Google’s local listings is that these results are one of the first things that a searcher seeing on the screen when they run a search with local intent.
Over 40% of Americans have an Ad Blocker running, meaning they don’t even see Google’s paid ads as the first result, rather they’re seeing these local listings right before their eyes – and if you have a Google My Business setup, you’re eligible to be displayed and found in these results.
Each day, millions of people search the internet for products and a variety of information. This may range from current events and educational materials to the best restaurants and coffee shops.
As such, with a significant proportion of internet users relying on Google to find information, setting up a business profile will give you access to a large audience. However, this is not just about reaching a large audience alone, but one that can buy from you.
According to Search Engine Watch, half of the people who perform a local search using a mobile phone cap it off with a visit to the store. Take a moment to think about it. Almost every teen and adult now have a smartphone or at the very least access to one. By using Google my Business, you can significantly boost sales through organic search.
So, what exactly do you get from Google my Business?
A key benefit of Google my Business is that it’s relatively easy to set up and get started.
All you need to do is create a Google my Business profile and enter information some basic information such as:
Looking to set up your Google My Business for the first time? You’re going to want to check this step-by-step guide out.
Now – there’s a bit more than just setting up a profile and getting it shown in the first three spots of Google’s local search results.
How your business ranks will depend on the overall competition in your local area, so other things will come into play such as the content on your website, your reviews, and many other factors.
That’s why optimization of your Google My Business profile is important from the search engine optimization standpoint.
If you’re a more advanced user and you’re looking to start driving more local inbound qualified leads from Google’s local listings, check out this mini video series I’ve put together which covers the three core ranking factors and how you can influence those in your favor.
Ultimately, if you’re looking to scale your business, paid advertising (PPC) should be at the top of your mind when you’re thinking of quick results.
Why ads scale so well is that you can see results in a much quicker time frame compared to SEO.
If you have your ad campaign dialed in, and the pages of your website set up to convert you can start running out a paid ad campaign and driving local leads in a few weeks easily.
The disadvantage here is that you’ll be paying the piper (Google) on an ongoing basis for your leads, whereas with SEO you’re building an evergreen strategy and campaign which will continue to pay back over time.
When you turn the facet off (aka, giving money to Google) then the leads won’t just stop and dry up.
Google Ads is a good solution if you have the budget and knowledge, and prefer a solution that will start driving inbound leads in the short term.
There is a learning curve to running paid ad campaigns, and complexities that come with it, this is something to keep in mind if you don’t want to be wasting ad budget by diving straight in.
To set up your ad, you’ll need to create a Google ads account and sign in. Then, proceed to click the ‘Campaigns’ button on the left-hand menu and select ‘New Campaign’ by clicking the plus button. From there, you’ll need to input the goals for your campaign.
This should be followed by selecting a campaign type, which determines the online channels where potential customers will see your ad.
Another platform that can get you in front of your target audience is Facebook. With over 2 billion users, it offers you just as wide an audience as Google. So, beyond regular posts, you should set up Facebook ads and capitalize on the platform’s targeting capabilities. This allows you to reach the right people at the right time.
Facebook ads are extremely effective for both B2B and B2C and can be dialed in to reach your exact target audience.
In addition to the large audience on offer and people being on social media almost all of the time, Facebook ads have a lot of benefits. These include:
For a good user experience, Facebook ensures that the process of setting up ads is straightforward.
On your business profile, head on to the ads section. Here you’ll need to:
Again – paid campaigns are more complex than just setting them up clicking a few buttons and letting them run – but this is just to get a high level on getting started.
Local landing pages are extremely effective and can help your business to rank both better in the Google local listings, as well as the traditional organic results underneath.
This is one of my favorite tactics, as it scales extremely well.
A local landing page spells out the services your business offers in a particular area and includes typically your value prop, services, reviews, and so forth:
Why local landing pages? Well – they’re simply extremely effective.
They allow your business to take up more real estate by ranking both in the Google local listings, as well as in the underneath section of Google’s organic results:
As with everything, there is a science behind how to create a local landing page to rank in a particular Google search.
The core starting point is understanding the core primary keyword you want to rank for in Google for a particular page.
This starts through local keyword research.
From here, you begin to peel the onion and understand the secondary keywords (variations) in how users are searching, and utilize those on the page within the copy.
Looking at the elements you want to have on the page at a high level, you should be following the below best practice:
As with everything, this is a rinse and repeat exercise if you have multiple locations.
Meaning if you have 5 different locations that all offer the same exact services, you can take and build out this strategy for those other locations as well using a template.
If your business operates in a constrained geographic area(s), generating local leads from Google or paid social platforms should be a lever you’re pulling to drive consistent prospects and customers for your business.
There is no better way to be driving local inbound than from these few strategies above.
SEO is the long play, whereas paid advertising on FB or Google is going to be the short-term play.
Many businesses choose to run a hybrid of both for maximum effect, but that’s up to you to choose your flavor.
Justin is the Founder of Rock The Rankings and has over 13 years of experience in the realm of SEO across multiple business ventures and agencies.
We'll show you exactly how our growth framework
can help take your business to the next level.