Guide to Local-Driven Digital Marketing

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Member Insight by Carson Barnes – Owner of the Pizzazz Group

Local digital marketing is all about improving the online visibility of your geographic-specific business. Small or large, if you serve a local market, there are certain digital marketing tools that will help your business stand out.

With search engines being one of the most popular ways potential customers can find products and services in their area, digital marketing has become a necessity. It can be difficult to know where to begin with local digital marketing and how to get started. Consider implementing local-driven digital marketing through a few of the tactics below.

Set up local business listings.

Fully fill out the major local business listings, such as Google My Business, Bing, Yahoo!, Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, MapQuest, Foursquare and more. It is important to be as thorough as possible, providing as much information as you can. Your local search engine rankings are dependent on the quality and consistency of the data you include.

Encourage online ratings/reviews.

Online ratings and reviews can directly impact buying decisions. Potential customers scan online reviews and use them as a personal recommendation, even if the person who posted it is a complete strange. Online visibility is another benefit and one of the top reasons online ratings and reviews are so important. Google and other search engines consider online reviews when ranking search results, which helps boost your search engine optimization (SEO.)

So, what’s the most effective way to get online reviews? Here are a few ideas on how to encourage online reviews:

  • Make it easy by providing customers the necessary link or button to provide their feedback.
  • Don’t forget to ask. Establish a polite way of asking customers to share their positive experience.
  • Provide value to your customers by offering rewards for writing reviews.
  • Thank your customers after they’ve taken the time to review your business, products or services.

Create local content.

While creating relevant content that provides value to customers is important, generating community-specific content is equally significant for a local business. First, start by including local keywords to help Google rank your business for your location. For instance, include your city, state or region alongside your industry-relevant keywords on your website. However, avoid keyword stuffing by overloading your webpages with the local keywords, as it can potentially have a negative impact on your site’s rankings.

Mix up your content with local news that could potentially captivate your audience. Provide your customers with local events, announcements and promotions. Being active in your region allows you to stay current with what’s going on in the area. Not only does it freshen up your content, but also shows your support for your local community.

Establish local partnerships.

Another local SEO tool to try is the use of local backlinks, which will help increase the authority of your website. Collaborate with others in your region that might be willing to link back to your website. While it does take time, gradually accumulate more backlinks for a greater impact. Always keep in mind, however, that the point of backlinks is to build valuable connections with influencers in your area. It’s a networking opportunity that allows you to mutually support and benefit each other’s businesses.

Moving your digital marketing efforts to a local-driven mindset is the perfect first step to growing your local online visibility. When effectively managed, local digital marketing can generate many benefits including increased sales for your business.

Carson Barnes is the owner of Pizzazz Group, a digital marketing agency in Columbus, OH. He partners with area businesses to develop digital marketing strategies that not only help them meet, but exceed their marketing objectives. Learn more about Pizzazz Group at