“How much is that doggy in the window?” The little girl asks as she clings to her daddy with sticky hands.

You’re grateful for moments like this as a pet store owner. It means you made a sale today. But ask yourself, how did that family find your store?

Did they just walk by and say, “we’re going to buy a puppy today?” This might have been the case twenty years ago, but today customers rely more on their phones than on store location.

The internet has both improved and hampered local marketing. No longer do customers make impulse buying decisions because they happened upon your store. But more people find your store because of the internet.

How do you bring more of those customers through your door? Local online marketing. Here are a few things you can do to improve your local marketing game.

1. Localized Content Marketing

Content is king blah blah blah blah blah. Yeah. You’ve heard the shtick before. But most marketers assume Bill Gates was talking about the online world exclusively.

You’ve got to remember that when he said content is king, he was in a fairly pre-internet world. He was foretelling the importance of any kind of content. He predicted that video, books, movies, games, etc would dominate over mere pamphlets of info or sound bytes.

All of those kinds of content are mostly on the web today. But they’re in the real space too.

Content today is a marriage between digital and analog. Global and local.

Create content that takes into account local trends. Things like social proof and statistics about your local population will help drive sales.

You can learn more about localized content marketing here.

2. Be the Expert for Your Product

If you’re a pet store, consult your local veterinarians. They’re the ones who will send you customers. If they know you’re doing your due diligence to research pet nutrition, safety, and well-being, they’ll be more likely to recommend their clients buy from you.

Be a local educator in your community. The web is full of bad advice. But if you can create a blog of legitimate information, those in the know will trust you more.

3. Local SEO

How many other businesses like yours are in your community? If the competition is fierce, you probably want to stand out.

The top spot on any Google search gets about 35% of all the traffic to that link. The next spot gets 18%.

If you want to get 15% or so more traffic to your web page, you’ll want to focus on local SEO.

Google looks at hundreds of signals to rank people on Google. But when it comes to local SEO, we’re looking at only a few prominent things.

If you haven’t completed your Google profile, do it now. Google uses their business profile feature to help legitimize businesses on their search engine.

NAP. Make it consistent. Anywhere your name, address or phone number appear online. Make them all say the same thing and point to the same place.

If you’re interested in more marketing advice, check out Shoemoney’s Shoeintology.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.