Local lead generation is key if you want to accelerate sales and grow your business in the long term, because every new customer you bring onboard has the potential to remain loyal and expand your brand further.
Unfortunately this is an area of sales and marketing that many companies don’t handle optimally, so let’s talk through some seriously effective location-based lead generation strategies that could make a difference to your organization.
Know your audience
It sounds obvious, and yet it’s something lots of brands get wrong, particularly in terms of local lead generation. If you don’t know who you’re targeting and what their pain points are, you won’t do a good job of identifying and nurturing the right prospects.
Most importantly, you shouldn’t assume that any existing customer persona you’ve generated will apply with the same levels of success when focusing on a specific region.
So when planning a marketing campaign which pinpoints one place, going back to the drawing board and rethinking your ideal audience will save you from wasting time and effort further down the line.
Have a trustworthy local presence
An obstacle that foxes plenty of businesses attempting to generate leads locally is that prospects won’t necessarily trust you if you don’t have a clear connection to where they live.
For example, if you’re fishing for leads and trying to convert customers with a contact number that’s either tied to another geographic area code, or is a non-geographic number, people will think twice about getting in touch.
The answer is to use a local business phone solution that provides geographic numbers, like the OpenPhone solution which is offered to organizations of all sizes.
That way you can have numbers which are intended for location-based lead generation, but which still route through to your base of operations elsewhere in the country or the world.
Master local search engine optimization
The discoverability of your website can mean the difference between stimulating sales and stagnation. And while you might want to target popular keywords for generic search terms relating to your products and services, this is a tall order if you aren’t already a well established mainstream brand.
Local SEO is a different kettle of fish, because you can focus your attention on gaining traction among a much smaller pool of competitors, which theoretically makes it easier to get noticed and rank highly on search engine results pages.
That’s not to say that you’ll be able to dominate local searches overnight. Search optimization is always going to be a multifaceted process, with lots of aspects to juggle.
For example, you’ll need a fast, responsive and mobile friendly website which is intuitive and well designed. You’ll also need content on the site that’s well written, relevant to your audience, and features the right balance of keywords that will click with local searches.
It’s also important to see your social media presence in the context of local SEO, because the amount of engagement you receive on popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be a real boon to building the authority of your website.
If you’re not sure where to get started with keywords for local lead generation, there are various tools that are able to identify terms worth targeting.
Should you not have the time or skills to tackle SEO yourself, outsourcing it to an agency is worthwhile. There’s a price to pay, of course, but you’ll more than be able to justify this with the returns you receive from a well-optimized website.
Create compelling landing pages
Ensuring that prospects are able to find your site in the first place is just the beginning. The next step is to ensure that once they’ve clicked through, you’re able to capture them as a lead, rather than watching as they head elsewhere in an instant.
This is where good landing pages come into play, and it makes sense to create location-specific examples of landing pages for the same products and services, because that way you’ll be providing a more bespoke experience for visitors from particular places.
Aside from being carefully laid out and including a call-to-action, a good local landing page will give visitors an incentive to take their relationship with your business to the next stage. This usually means giving them access to an offer that’s tailored to them. It could be a discount at their nearest bricks and mortar store. It could be money off their first order. It could be a consultation or quote for services you provide.
Whatever the case, local landing pages which are built with your customer persona at the top of the agenda should make a splash.
Put paid ads to good use
Even with all of the organic SEO and clever landing page design behind your local lead generation efforts, you might not be able to get your website in front of prospects unless you also pay to promote it in the right places.
Today, it’s sensible to combine both paid search ads with social media ads, again tailoring them to target your audience in a given area.
You also need to be willing to track paid campaigns and ensure that the clicks they are generating are actually resulting in a decent number of conversions. You don’t want money to be sapped away by poorly designed campaigns that are getting a great deal of traffic, but resulting in costly bounce rates as well.
Final thoughts on local lead generation
Local lead generation is an art, not a science, and so you should never rest on your laurels, but instead must always be honing and tweaking your efforts to keep the results consistent.
Also remember that generating leads is only worthwhile if you’re then able to serve the prospects successfully. There’s no point getting people interested in your business, only to drop the ball when they come to buy something.
Seeking the support of lead generation pros, particularly if your in-house team is small, will boost your chances of success.