News Blog



10 Local Business Advertising Tips to Increase Revenue for Your Small Business

10 Local Business Advertising Tips to Increase Revenue for Your

10 Local Business Advertising Tips to Increase Revenue for Your Small Business

There’s a big difference when you’re trying to market a local business and a national business. It’s not like you have a social media video go viral in Canada and you have a ton of customers.

Getting a social media post to go viral is great, except that you’re not reaching your target audience. That’s the people who live in your service area who have a very specific problem.

How can you use local business advertising to boost your visibility and sales? Keep reading to find out.

1. Fill Out Local Directory Listings

The first thing that local businesses need to do is to fill out your local directory listings on Google and Bing. This is the first step in reaching people who are looking for your services online will use a search engine.

If you don’t have a directory listing filled out, search engines will have no idea that you serve that area. When you do fill out the listing, make sure that it’s complete and you have high-quality pictures that make people want to know more about your business.

2. Understand Your Audience

Local business advertising comes down to reaching the right person with the right message at the right time. It sounds easy, but so many businesses get this wrong because they don’t truly understand their customers.

You might be a plumber who wants to attract anyone in a 30-mile radius who needs plumbing services. Who are these people? Are they DIY people? Are they the type that will just throw money at a problem? What is the emotional issue underneath?

This is how you understand your audience. The more you truly understand them, the better equipped you are to create marketing messages that show that you relate to them and their problems.

3. Leverage “Near Me” Searches

People will search for restaurants, products, and services on their phone. They want something, they want it now, and they want to find a solution nearby.

They’ll use the term “near me” in the searches. For example, Italian restaurants near me, auto repair near me, and bicycle store near me are all local searches.

You want to make sure that your business is positioned to capture these searches. That’s one reason why directory listings are so important. You tell search engines where you’re located and the search engines will list your business as long as it’s near the person searching.

4. Work With Local Influencers

Who are the influencers in your local community?

Those are the people that you want to know. They don’t need to be YouTube or Instagram stars. They just need to be influential in their network.

They could be board members of big organizations or they could be people who have a wide reach. You want to connect with them and build relationships with them. After a while, ask them to spread the word about your company.

5. Get Out in the Community

Being visible in your local community is a great way to build your brand and generate your business. You can become a member of your local chamber of commerce.

You can also sponsor local events like a 5K or have a booth at a trade show. Attending industry networking events is another great way to get out in the community.

Make it a habit to follow up with people you meet with handwritten notes after the event. No one does this anymore and these types of notes have become a lost art. This personal touch will make a huge impression with potential prospects.

You can use rubber stamps to save time writing your return address and signature over and over again. Check out this page for more information.

6. Be a Content Producing Machine

When Google produces search results for users, it tends to weight businesses that are near the searcher near the top of search results.

Having a blog on your website will get your business in front of prospects early on in the buying process. That give you time to show off your expertise and build trust with prospects before they’re ready to buy. When they are ready to make a purchase, your business will be front and center.

7. Get to Know the Local Press

In order to get your business name out in the community, you need a little help from the local media. It helps to establish relationships with news editors and business beat writers well before you issue your first press release.

8. Use Pay Per Click Ads

When you have your messaging down and you know your audience responds well to it, put gasoline on the fire.

You can use pay per click ads to generate more web traffic to your site and more business. This will supercharge your local business advertising efforts and take your business to the next level.

9. Get More Reviews

One of the factors that is used to determine if you’ll rank well in search engines is reviews. It’s also a big influencing factor for potential customers.

You want to make sure that you follow up with your customers and encourage them to leave positive reviews of their experience with your business.

10. Collect Leads Everywhere You Go

The more often you can get your local business in front of your customers and potential customers, the better. You’ll want to make sure that you use your website as a lead generation tool to encourage site visitors to sign up to your newsletter.

You’ll be able to connect with them with specials, events, and general information about your business.

Local Business Advertising Tips to Grow Your Business

Not all of the marketing trends and buzzwords apply to your business. As a local business, you require a different kind of visibility.

These local business advertising tips are geared to helping you reach the right people in your local service area. There are countless ways to reach them. You want to make sure that you use digital marketing and offline marketing strategies for the biggest impact.

Do you want more great marketing tips? Check out this blog regularly for articles about digital marketing and writing better content.


9 Local Lead Generation Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs

9 Local Lead Generation Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs

9 Local Lead Generation Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs

Are you located in a city with tons of viable consumers, yet barely any of them have purchased from you?

Sounds like you need to develop your local lead generation. Local marketing strategies online and in person can make a world of difference in building your local leads and sales.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a genius to implement marketing strategies for local businesses. It’s relatively simple to learn and seriously impacts your business.

Ready to get started? Keep reading to find out the 9 best local lead generation tips you need to know.

1. Updated Information Online

Google My Business is an incredibly useful tool you should be taking advantage of. Create your business’s page and ensure all the info is up to date.

Include your current address, phone number, store hours, photos of your store space, and a link to your website.

When customers do “near me” searches, they are almost always looking for a local business. Having a completed and updated Google My Business page will enable you to show up in near-me search results.

2. Collect Reviews

In addition to creating your business page on Google, you need to start encouraging customers to leave positive reviews.

When potential customers find your business in the search results, seeing lots of positive reviews and testimonies from past clients will make them feel safer with you. Positive reviews make your business seem reliable, trustworthy, and welcoming.

To encourage customers to leave a 5-star review, you could offer a 10% off discount to each customer who leaves one. That incentivizes them to leave a review and to become a return customer.

3. Local Website Content

Your website needs to have a blog section when you can utilize city-specific keywords in your content.

Use the Google Keyword Planner to see what people are searching for in your niche and in your city. Then, incorporate those keywords into your blog posts, page titles, URLs, and meta-descriptions.

It’s smart to use phrases that people specifically in your city use. For example, rather than calling Toronto by its name, occasionally call it the GTA or the 6ix in your content because that’s what local Torontonians call their city.

Add a promotional video to your content as well. Video marketing is quickly becoming more popular with consumers because of its entertainment value and lack of effort required from the viewer.

4. Mobile Optimization

Did you know that nearly 60% of searches are done from a mobile phone?

If your website isn’t optimized to be viewed from a mobile phone then you are going to miss out on a lot of potential customers.

Consider using a responsive configuration on your website so that regardless of what device it’s being looked at from, it will automatically adjust to the viewer’s screen.

Also, check that your mobile page load time is fast enough. People searching on their phone are not going to wait more than a couple seconds for your website to load before going back to the results and choosing your competitor.

5. Voice Optimization

With the creation of Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, more and more households are using these devices for local searches.

Busy parents who don’t have time to hop on the computer might ask Alexa, “What is the best kid-friendly restaurant in Cincinnati?”. If you have a kid-friendly restaurant in Cincinnati, you better be optimizing your website to show up in those voice results.

Since people use full question queries in their voice searches, include full answers on your website. An FAQ page is a great place to answer these common voice search questions.

6. Referrals from Other Local Websites

Getting exposure on other local websites is an excellent way to build awareness and tap into that website’s followers.

Consider advertising in the local newspaper or joining local organizations and the chamber of commerce. You should also join local Facebook groups in your niche to capture interest online.

7. Social Media

You should have a page for your business on all the main social media platforms. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are the main ones to consider.

Ensure your information on each page is accurate and a link to your website is given. Then, create posts that provide value to your local customers.

You could even offer a promo code or discount for subscribers and followers only, providing an incentive for them to follow you and shop with you.

When using hashtags, always include 1-2 city-specific ones that people in your city might use. For example, if you run a bar downtown use the hashtag “#ManhattanBarHopping” to attract people that will want to try out your bar in your area.

If you’re a newbie to social media marketing, this website can help you get started.

8. Run Facebook Ads

One great reason to pay for Facebook ads is that you can not only target your specific location, but you can narrow it down further to only include locals in a specific demographic and with interests that align with your business.

It’s an awesome way to attract your ideal customers from the pool.

Facebook ads are one of the lead generation tools that can also increase your website’s traffic if the ad links back to your site. You could use this link to take customers to a promotions page.

9. Local Influencers

Seek out local bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers that are in your industry or can benefit from your products/services.

To garner their audience’s interest, consider paying the influencer for a review of your products/services, or offer them an affiliate link. You could also give them a promo code that gives their followers a discount at your store.

If you can build a relationship with relevant influencers, you could potentially advertise and be endorsed by all their followers.

Interested in Learning More About Local Lead Generation?

Marketing to your local customer base is an integral part of growing your business. Leaving local lead generation out of your marketing strategy is a mistake.

If you’re interested in learning more about digital marketing, check out our online business blog section.


12 Local SEO Solutions That Will Help You Outrank the Competition

12 Local SEO Solutions That Will Help You Outrank the

12 Local SEO Solutions That Will Help You Outrank the Competition

Why should local SEO solutions matter to your business?

Out of all of the ways to market your business, more and more people are focusing on local search. For the first few years of internet marketing, business owners and marketers were all about SEO. Then around 2009, the marketing topic was social media. Today, the big marketing topic is local search.

There are a couple of simple reasons why it’s so important to your business.

According to HubSpot, 76% of people who do a local search pick up the phone and call a business.

44% of clicks go to the top search result. The top three results get on average 75% of all of the clicks.

Are you starting to understand how improving your local search results can mean more money in your pocket?

Would you like to know how you can make that happen?

Read on for 12 local SEO solutions you can use to improve your search rankings.

How Does Your Site Look in Searches Now?

If you have a goal to improve how your website appears in local search results, it helps to know how your site currently appears. This will help you track your progress as your search results change.

The trick here is to understand that people in different locations will have different search results. Even if they’re in the same town or the same room.

Google’s search results can vary depending on the device you use, your search history, your Google account and your IP address or location.

With so many variables, how can you get an accurate picture of how your website appears?

One workaround is to use a local search emulator. This will help you figure out how you appear according to location. A search emulator will allow you to change your location, so you can see how your site appears throughout your service area.

Know How Your Audience Will Look for You

Do you know how your customer thinks? In other words, how will your customer search for you?

There are a number of questions you should ask yourself to answer this question.

  • Is your customer at home or at work?
  • Are they on a mobile device or on a desktop computer?
  • Are they searching in the middle of the afternoon or late at night?
  • What is the problem they want help with?
  • What are 15-20 search terms/phrases they would use in Google to find you?

Answering these questions will give you a better understanding as to what keywords you should try to rank higher for.

You should also consider positioning yourself for long-tail keyword searches vs. broader searches.

Think of it as the difference between searching for “fitness centers” and “fitness centers with a pool.” Fitness centers will have much greater competition, while fitness centers with a pool serve a genuine interest and will have less competition.

A Three-Pack Is Not Related to Beer

Currently, when you search for local businesses, you’ll see the top 3 search results. It used to be 7. That’s why improving your ranking is more important than ever.

Local SEO solutions such as filling out your MyBusiness listing can improve results.

The process to claim your listing is straightforward. Click on the above link and fill out your information. There is a verification process. Google will send a postcard with a PIN number to your address. It does need to be a physical address.

Once that part is complete, go into your account and fill out your profile. Make sure your description gives people a reason to contact you and be as specific as you can. Fill out your hours accurately, upload a few images and your company logo.

Content, Content, Content!

While these local SEO solutions are important, it’s also important to remember that as crucial as it is to get people to visit your website, they need a reason to stay there. You can do this by creating value for your site visitors.

The best way to create value is by creating content that will make people return to your site over and over again. That’s how you get people to like and trust you.

The more relevant content you have the better. A recent study by Traffic Generation Caf? showed that websites that have 21-54 posts get 30% more traffic.

There are case studies of businesses who have reported using content marketing to increase revenue by a whopping 438%

Improve Internal Links on Your Site

Linking your website’s internal links together helps customers use your website, and add link juice between pages.

Link juice is a way to let search engines know which pages on your site are the most important.

One word of caution: When adding internal links, it may be tempting to add a bunch of internal links on all of your web pages. Don’t do it!

By having a few internal links on each page, you maintain the quality of your links.

Get Quality Backlinks

Out of all of the local SEO solutions, one of the most talked about today is backlinks. A backlink is simply another website that links to your website.

The trick to making backlinks work for local search is that you have to get QUALITY links.

A shotgun approach to backlinks no longer works.

We go over a couple of ways (directories and Google’s My Business listings) to get started throughout this article.

You can also write guest articles for industry and local publications to get quality backlinks to your website.

What’s the Competition Doing?

Knowing how and where your competition ranks in search results can help you understand where your potential customers may be going.

You’ll also quickly learn what keywords your competition may be trying to rank for.

Here’s what to pay attention to when you’re doing competitive research:

  • Your top 5-10 competitors
  • Each competitor’s GoogleMyBusiness Listing. Pay attention to the text and images and look for keywords and locations they might be trying to rank for.
  • Customer reviews – how many and are the reviews positive or negative.

You can either do this on your own or use local SEO solutions like Crunchbase or SEM Rush.

NAP & Structured Data Markup

We can’t talk about your website without a little geek-speak.

NAP is simply your name, address, and phone number. This cannot be stressed enough to make sure that these fields are accurate and consistent throughout your website and directory listings.

Structured markup, also called Schema markup, is code that you have on your website that tells search engines how your site should appear in search results.

This makes your search results more user-friendly.

This resource from Kissmetrics tells you step-by-step how you can add structured markup data to your website.

Customer Reviews Matter

Not only can customer reviews influence rankings, they can also influence a customer’s decision to buy. Over 62% of buyers consider online reviews to be important or very important when finding a local business.

You can ask your customers to leave reviews on Google and Facebook. Also, search for existing reviews and respond to them. You’ll show that you care about your business and your customers.

Let’s say you were looking up a pest control service in Concord, North Carolina. So you search for pest control service reviews near concord nc.

You find a company that you may not be familiar with, but you decide to call based on a number of positive reviews.

Rank Images and Videos

One overlooked aspect of local search is to try to rank videos and images for keywords. This is probably one of the easiest local SEO solutions.

  • A few easy tips to rank images already on your website are:
  • Make sure the image is related to the webpage.
  • The image file name should be changed from IMG_4323425 to something related to the keyword.
  • The higher the image is on your page, the better chance it has to rank.
  • Fill in the alt-text and description of the image. Preferably with your keywords, but don’t keyword stuff.

This is one way to help you rank in local search results that your competition probably isn’t doing.

Get Listed

Online directories are easy to miss as far as local SEO solutions go. You can help your local search results by making sure your business is listed in the main online search directories; such as Yelp, Citysearch, and MerchantCircle and

Does that mean that you should submit your website to every directory? Absolutely not. Remember the earlier discussion regarding backlinks: Quantity does not mean quality.

When you list your site, pick the main directories above and include BingPlaces.

If you’re a member of business organization or chamber of commerce, take advantage of your membership and make sure you’re listed in their business directory.

It’s very important to make sure that your listings are accurate and consistent. If you have listings all over the place with old addresses or phone numbers, you’re diluting the potential impact of your search results.

Don’t Discount Social Media

Social media influencers tend to agree that social media remains one of the top local SEO solutions.

It’s still debatable whether social media has a direct impact on search results, but social media does help in other ways.

Social media networks are great for backlinks. They also have the potential to create conversation around your company. This sends social signals to Google’s algorithm.

The more positive the social signal, the more likely you’ll rank higher.

Finding Local SEO Solutions Can Be Easy

As you can see, there are at least a dozen ways you can improve your local search results. If you make these suggested changes, you should start to see your search results improve.

You might be ready to hand some of those tasks off to someone else.

At ArticleCity, our goal is to help you get your content seen so your website can appear in search results.

Sign up for your free account today for the latest marketing and local SEO solutions.


How to Travel Like a Local in the Dominican Republic

How to Travel Like a Local in the Dominican Republic

How to Travel Like a Local in the Dominican Republic

We know what kind of traveler you are.

You bring the same appetite to street food as you’d bring to an upscale restaurant.

You’d rather find your way to the beach (or museum, shop, restaurant, etc.) yourself than go with a tour.

You’ll take a local’s advice over a guidebook’s every time.

Bottom line: You embrace local flavor. You want to travel like a local.

And you’ve picked the right place. The Dominican Republic offers some of the friendliest people, best food, most beautiful beaches, widest choice of accommodations and the most diverse range of activities in the Caribbean.

Here’s what you need to know to enjoy it all.

When to Go

There are no bad times.

June through December, roughly, is hurricane season, and some resorts close in October. But assuming no hurricanes, temperatures are steady, rooms are discounted and crowds are smaller.

March through July is shoulder season.

Santo Domingo on the southern coast will likely see frequent, brief rain that may continue into October. And days can get breezy. But temperatures are balmy. May and June will see partly cloudy days with an occasional afternoon shower.

Mid-December through February and the week before Easter constitute the high season, meaning higher prices and bigger beach crowds.

(Note that water sports are prohibited throughout the country during the week before Easter.)

What to Pay and Where to Stay

You’ll find accommodations in virtually every price range and category, from all-inclusive resorts and the Dominican Republic villas to hostels and budget hotels.

In the budget range, you can get by on about US$60 per person per day, including a hotel room or hostel for one person, meals, and transportation via local motorcycle taxis (motoconchos) and minibusses (guaguas).

In the mid-range, figure an average daily cost of US$110-$150, including first class bus transportation between cities and entertainment including guided tours.

With a luxury budget, average daily costs are typically north of US$200 for a luxury hotel or all-inclusive resort and upscale dining.

The local currency is the Dominican Republic peso, so don’t forget your currency conversion calculator.

And don’t be alarmed at the 28% service charge typically tacked onto your restaurant bill; it includes a 10% tip (though you can add more).

By the same token, hotels build in a service charge, although a couple of U.S. dollars per night for housekeeping will always be appreciated.

Where to Go and What to Do


Most resorts have beaches. But in a country noted for its beaches, you can do a lot better with a bit of traveling.

The calmest waters are those on the south side of the island. The beaches at Punta Cana, La Samana, and Puerto Plata are on the Atlantic and the water is likely to be a bit rougher, especially between December and February.

Specifically, Boca Chica is a gorgeous, white sand beach just a few miles east of Santo Domingo. But its proximity to the city is also its biggest deficit, as Boca Chica tends to be very crowded with families from the city.

Juan Dolio beach a few minutes further east is quieter. And there are plenty of alternatives, including the beach at the small town of Las Terrenas, Cayo Levantado near the Bay of Samana (only accessible by boat), El Rincon beach and – for a gorgeous coral reef and great diving – Playa Cofresi.

Wherever you go, remember that on Sundays, accessible beaches are likely to be more crowded with locals.

But the Dominican Republic is about a lot more than just beaches.

The Capital

Santo Domingo is the country’s capital and cultural center. It features museums, parks, upscale restaurants and street food, music and nightlife.

The Colonial City is a particularly fascinating historic area.

And Malecon, the seafront promenade, is a great place for a drink at sunset at one of the many hotels, casinos, and restaurants facing the Caribbean.


Unlike some Caribbean destinations noted for their beaches, the Dominican Republic also features mountains and lush jungle.

Mount Isabel de Torres is notable for its spectacular city views and the cable car ride to the summit. There are also steep hiking trails if you’re feeling adventurous.

The Cascades of Damajagua feature a series of pools and waterfalls. The climb to the top is strenuous and you may require assistance. But the payoff is an exhilarating slide back down to the bottom.

Sportfishing is also a major pastime in the Dominican Republic, and multiple operators operate zipline adventures and canopy tours in the jungle.

Other popular activities include diving with whales, swimming with dolphins, kiteboarding, mountain biking and dune buggies.

Finally, if you really want to travel the Dominican Republic like a local, take some time to brush up on your Spanish, the national language.

And whatever you do, don’t forget to send us a postcard.