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One of the primary considerations for local online advertising is how to generate Web presence for local customers or clients. Accessing a local market online, however, can have the mixed results of generating costly nonlocal traffic, as well as making a business that has not properly optimized for keyword searches virtually invisible to locals. Effective marketing can involve search engine optimization including local keywords, such as city or county names, as well as the fundamental service provided by the business. Traditional media like radio, print, and television may target captive audiences within the geographical area. This also goes for other advertising methods, such as billboards and in-store advertising.
A certain type of local online advertising includes placement in local business Web reviews, which customers may freely add comments to. These websites help promote local businesses, but may be subject to uneven attention between free or paid listings. Some websites specialize in featuring local businesses by industry, such as specializing in restaurant or shop reviews.
Other types of local online advertising benefit from social media networks and word of mouth. One of the most effective and time-tested components to a successful business is referral from satisfied customers or affiliated professionals. Taking advantage of major social networking platforms, and providing a profile and presence for the business or brand, is practically a necessity.
Such methods also serve to create a dialogue between business and customer that can provide vital marketing value. They can also create, however, a need for conscientious running conversation. This can rely on personalities or other content providers. It's also beneficial to strike a balance with a presence that keeps followers interested without overdoing it and driving them off, or not doing enough and appearing uninterested.
Additional methods for local online advertising include optimizing a Web site for organic search presence; this means that a business Web site appears early in search results for related search keywords. One shortcut to search engine results is paid search, or pay per click (PPC) search engine advertising, which typically places the advertisement in the margin of an Internet page of search results. This can be a very effective method that can provide direct data that can be used for analysis of markets and methods. Free local directories, classified ads, and banner advertising on Web sites and blogs also provide online presence, with varying degrees of success, and should be researched carefully.
Collecting e-mail addresses of customers provides an additional marketing method. Business newsletters can be directed to targeted customers who have opted in to your marketing message and might be more receptive to it. This can serve to provide customers with useful information while keeping your business on their radar screens. It also pays to keep in mind traditional media channels like newspaper press releases, local publications, and trade magazines, which can also appear online.