local lead generation

If you run a small business, having an effective local lead generation strategy can greatly improve your bottom line. It’s also far simpler to implement than it sounds, and the potential for results is significant. As there is less competition with local campaigns, it can be easier to generate results that with national or international strategies.

In this article we’ll look at the techniques you can use both online and offline to generate leads in your local area.

Online local lead generation: how to get it right

Improve your local SEO

It’s much easier to rank for local keywords than general ones. For example, your website has more chance of getting on the front page of Google with ‘florists Cardiff, Wales’ than just ‘florists’.

You can optimise your website landing pages by including your town or city in the following places:

  • Content body
  • URL
  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • H1 tags

You can also try embedding a Google Map that shows your location on your landing page. This will increase the visibility of your business and help people find you more easily.

Optimise your Google My Business profile

A Google My Business profile allows you to appear in local search results for queries about the products or services you offer. Best practice suggests including:

  • Your business name, address and phone number
  • Your opening hours
  • An informative business description
  • An accurate category for your business
  • High-resolution photos showcase your products and services
  • Customer reviews

Optimise your website for mobile

Google, who drive 96% of search traffic on mobiles, have introduced mobile-first indexing, which effectively penalises website owners for not optimising their sites for mobiles. On top of this, most customers will go to another site if they can’t navigate around yours easily. Therefore, adopting a responsive design is essential if you’re serious about local lead generation.

Use PPC advertising

You can also use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to generate leads. These adverts appear in search engine results and on social media pages.

Google ads are based on search interest, so leads are likely to convert well compared to those from other sources. Facebook ads reach large audiences and you can target by demographics and interests instead of just by keyword.

Optimise your social media profiles

67% of the UK population has a social media profile, making social media a valuable source for local lead generation. Smarten up your profile if you’re looking to generate B2B leads, and make it as professional as you can. Post content relevant to your local audience. This will help increase your views so you can start LinkedIn groups and build rapport with potential leads.

If you’re using social media for B2C interactions, optimise your page by:

  • Using your logo as your profile photo
  • Using your company or trading name as your username
  • Stating what you do in your bio
  • Including a link to your website in your bio
  • Making sure you complete all parts of your profile

Blog for business

Start a business blog and talk about your products and services. Here, you can highlight interactions with your local community, show your support for charity and take part in local events. You can also share case studies of work you’ve completed in the area.

Use online directories

Add your business to free online directories like Yell or UK Small Business Directory. These show reviews and ratings for businesses so you can use them to promote your business and for local lead generation.

Provide competitions, giveaways and discounts

Giving prospective customers something in exchange for their contact information is a useful lead generation tool. Think Facebook giveaways – share with your friends or like our page for a chance to win a prize related to your business. Not only do you connect with people interested in your products or services, but you can also send follow up emails to the people who entered.

Referrals

Referrals are a valuable source of local lead generation. Who hasn’t tried out a new restaurant or bought a particular product based on a recommendation from a friend?

Send emails to your customer base asking them to refer you to their friends and acquaintances. Incentivise them by offering a discount for each referral. As well as including a dedicated referral page on your website, add referral CTAs on your web pages. Alternatively, ask your LinkedIn connections to refer your business.

Offline local lead generation: tips and tricks

Attend networking events

Networking events provide a unique opportunity to connect with prospective leads on a personal level. People are far more likely to use a product or service when they have a personal investment in the person providing it.

You could offer  free advice to prospective customers or refer them to someone else who can assist. Other local companies are likely to return the favour by referring you to others who are looking for the products or services you provide.

Speak at conferences and business events

Position yourself as a thought leader and build trust with delegates by speaking at events relevant to your industry. If you add value for the delegates, you’ll be able to turn them into leads.

Find a local business to partner with

Partnering with other local businesses can help increase your brand awareness and generate local leads from a new audience. For example, if you’re a hairdresser, a partnership with a wedding coordinator gives you access to a subgroup of your target demographic.

Attend or sponsor community events

Hiring a stall at a village fete, university event or Christmas fair can help with direct sales and local lead generation. Collect contact details by offering a prize of one of your products or services.

If your budget allows, sponsor a local event or a prize at an awards ceremony. Your business information will be prominently displayed and you’ll get a high level of exposure.

Send direct mail

In our digitally-driven world, using a physical marketing product to promote your business may seem old-fashioned, but it can still add value to your local lead generation strategy. People find it novel to receive mail these days, especially postcards that grab attention and pique their interest. Add an offer into the mix to maximise contact possibilities.

Publish ads and articles

Taking out an ad in a local newspaper or magazine is a cost-effective way of generating leads and allows you to reach a wider audience. The same goes for writing articles that promote your business or reference the community. Doing this gives you local exposure and attracts potential customers.

Try cold calling

Picking up the phone and speaking to people still has its place in local lead generation. You can answer queries instantly and build rapport to keep a prospect interested in your product or service. Just make sure you don’t call people repeatedly or at unsociable hours.

If you’re short on time or lack the confidence to generate leads locally, why not contact Simply Media with your requirements? Our lead generation service will help you with high-quality local lead generation and build a database of verified prospects.