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If your business provides products or services to specific audiences or locations, you can improve your sales and business growth by studying how to use Internet marketing to reach those people who will be most interested in what you have to offer. Strategies for Internet marketing to a local audience are slightly different from the methods used for national or global marketing, but they are quite simple to implement and maintain.

To rank high in local Internet searches of engines such as Yahoo, Google, and Bing, your website should use keywords and phrases that are local in nature such as the city your business is located in, nearby communities, neighborhood street names, and local landmarks. Even including your zip code can be important for boosting your search engine rankings.

Internet yellow pages providers including Yellowpages, Yelp, and Superpages contain both paid and free listings, which use your IP address as proof of your location. Register your business name with each of the free directories to give them a try. After a few months, you can then decide whether or not you want to pay to be included in a directory listing. Most industries have trade-specific directories, many of which are free. Do your own research to find and sign up with them. This will also help your rankings on the search engines.

Social networking is a great way to target your business to local traffic. Twitter and other similar networking platforms have specifically designed tools for helping your business develop a following of local customers. Twellowhood, for example, is just one of the tools for locating new contacts who are tailored to your geographical location and/or industry. Facebook also helps connect local people to your business. All you need to do to connect with them is to follow your area chamber of commerce.

Personal recommendations are excellent advertising tools, especially online. Yelp and other directories that allow readers to provide ratings and reviews of businesses can increase your site’s placement in other online search engines. If you have customers who love your product or service, encourage them to write a positive review about your site. You can even include a blog area on your website for customers to write personal reviews and comments about their experiences working with you.

Whether your business is brand new or already established, there are always new ways to market your company. Once you build your site, develop a strong online promotion plan using these strategies, and watch your customer base grow while you succeed in beating your competition.

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