If you’re a local business owner, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to win big with web marketing. You just need to know how to use local online public relations (PR) to boost business, that is, to generate free messaging or promotion. When local organizations produce their own educational, informative, valuable online news content, it increases search engine rankings, traffic, and business. Here are three easy ways to get started.
Add a News Section to your Website
Every local business needs a news section on its website. News pages are a web-savvy way to Your Local News manage content about events, sponsorships, new products or services, and company news. When news content is written with keyword-rich titles that link to webpages with more great content, it boosts credibility, communication and — best of all — search engine rankings.
Write Your Own Press Releases
You may think you can’t have a news section because you don’t have any news articles written about your business. Wrong. Write your own news to generate buzz!
For example, I recently spoke at a local women’s conference in Southern California. I wrote my own press release and added it to my website to share with current clients and potential clients, and to boost my search engine exposure with keyword-rich content. I also wrote a short description of the event to clearly communicate what the event was for, how to attend, and why.
The press release was informative and increased my website’s local search visibility. I used a title with strong local key phrases to boost local search engine visibility:
female entrepreneurs + business owners + Ventura, CA (location)
The final title was: “Female Entrepreneurs and Business Owners get a Healthy Dose of Web Marketing Therapy at Women’s Expo in Ventura, CA, March 14th, 2009”.
Send Press Releases to Local Online News Sites and Event Calendars
If content is king with web marketing, then outreach is queen. You must submit your press releases to local newspapers and stations receive this free visibility. Remember, these local news sites need content. They want to hear from you! For example, my team sent the press release described above to a local newspaper. As a result we received free exposure on the Ventura County Star site, the largest newspaper in the area. They were happy for the content. We were happy for the free exposure.
Local online event calendars are another rich resource for you — usually free. Look for calendars in local newspaper, radio, TV, chamber of commerce, and community college websites. If you have local business events, get them on these sites and help local websites help you.
Communicating your own news, events, awards, and content online will win you free exposure and wider visibility.
Lorrie Thomas, M.A., is a marketing educator, writer, strategist, web marketing expert and speaker. She is the founder of Web Marketing Therapy, a smart, fun, full-service marketing agency and a recession-friendly self-help online marketing educational resource. Her “wild web woman” team serves small businesses, entrepreneurs and marketers. Their work ensures marketing treats the cause (vs band-aiding symptoms) so all marketing pieces click. She teaches Web Marketing Applications, Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Marketing Applications classes at UCSB Extension and UC Berkeley Extension. Ms. Thomas was on the founding team at ValueClick Media. She speaks nationally on a number of marketing-related topics and caters her presentations to the business, niche, skill sets and professional concerns of her attendees. She writes for several online publications including http://www.wilsonweb.com/. She is has been interviewed by the eCommerce Times, DM News and Tech News World and quoted frequently as a nationally recognized marketing expert