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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Local Marketing for Professionals

Thursday, June 29, 2017

There are so many professionals out there looking for guidance on how best to market their services - but simply don't know who to start.  When thinking about a local marketing strategy for your professional services firm, knowing where to start can be one of the toughest parts.  In this post I'll share some key areas that local businesses, specifically professionals like Dentists, Doctors, and Attorney's should consider when promoting their business locally.

The first step is focusing on your Google My Business profile.  Google maintains the largest local directory on the planet and there are tons of professionals that either don't know how to verify their listing or simply don't understand the positive impact of having a verified Google My Business account.  When users search for a local professional, your profile will appear in search results and serve as a huge billboard promoting your practice. These listings also include a link to your website, hours of operation, and reviews.

The second step is to optimize your own website.  With the advent of do-it-yourself website builders like GoDaddy, Wix, and WordPress, making your own website doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. You can easily find a freelancer who can quickly and easily develop a good looking website for your firm. Make sure it is easy to navigate, is optimized from a search engine optimization perspective, and gives users an easy way to get in touch with you to set an appointment.

The third step is to think about local search directories.  Local directory services like Lizard Local can help to optimize your business information and distribute across large, powerful local directories like Yelp - improving exposure and helping to build your online reputation.  Professionals that invest the time and effort in expanding their online brand not only grow their practices faster, but increase retention among existing patients and customers.

The final step for increasing you local presence is to "keep it local".  Work with your community and encourage online coverage for your office.  For example, a number of my customers do free screenings or provide a day of free legal advice. This type of promotion can easily be picked up online from local newspapers and radio stations. These connections bode well from a local optimization standpoint and help you increase your reputation.

Don't make local optimization harder than it needs to be.  If you create, optimize, and verify your Google My Business profile, you'll be ahead of about 80% of businesses who fail to see the value in the verification process.  Once you've set up your Google profile, optimize your own website and then begin promoting it using local online directories.  And lastly, start making local connections that can help you and your business rise above the crowd.

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