What is Small Business Saturday?
It’s no secret that the weekend after Thanksgiving is when the hardcore holiday shopping season officially begins. The Black Friday frenzy has now expanded so much that the shopping craze often starts on Thanksgiving itself.
In 2010, American Express created “Small Business Saturday,” an event designed to support small businesses across the country.
Small Business Saturday takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (the day after Black Friday). This year, Small Business Saturday takes place on November 25.
This article will offer 7 valuable tips on how your local SEO campaign can help increase awareness of your business and drive maximum results on Small Business Saturday (and beyond).
Some Small Business Saturday Statistics
Before we start, it might be helpful to see some rather interesting statistics.
First, some general small business statistics:
- There are 28.8 million small businesses in the US, accounting for over 99% of all businesses in the US.
- For every $100 spent a local business, approximately $68 stays in the local economy. (compared to only $43 of every $100 spent at a large business)
Next, here are some interesting numbers from Small Business Saturday 2016:
- 112 million shoppers participated in Small Business Saturday 2016, a 13% increase from 2015
- Total spent on Small Business Saturday 2016: $15.4 billion
- More than 480 organizations joined the Small Business Saturday Coalition, a 13% increase over last year.
Finally, some projections for this year’s Small Business Saturday:
- Consumers will spend an average of $743 during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend, up 47% from 2016’s average of $505.
- The National Retail Federation predicts that holiday sales will increase at least 4% in November and December, reaching $682 billion.
(Statistics compiled from: Grasshopper.com, Small Business Administration, Seattle Good Business Network, Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids Michigan, AT&T Small Business Technology Poll 2013, RetailMeNot 2017 Holiday Retail Trends and Guide)
7 Local SEO Tips for a Successful Small Business Saturday
The following tips will provide some simple, actionable techniques to help you drive awareness, leads, and customers to your (or your clients’) business. Of course, they should also serve as a springboard to generate more ideas. After all, nobody knows the individual needs of your business and your customers as well as you do!
The first priority for any SEO campaign should be your business website. Often, your website is your potential customer’s first glimpse at your business.
- Home page content: Making sure your website’s home page features engaging, valuable content is a given. Beyond that, you should feature local-centric content that your customers will find valuable. Having a sale? Make sure that you feature the details above the fold!
- Local Content Elements on All Pages: One key factor in ranking for relevant local business terms is to include local elements across your entire site. NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), content that features local area references, etc. will all go a long way to make sure your site appears before the eyes of potential customers when they search for relevant products or services in your local area.
- Tags: Creating laser-targeted relevant title tags, H1 tags, and IMG ALT tags will greatly improve the likelihood that your content will rank in the search engine results. Warning: don’t be “spammy”! The days of keyword stuffing are long-gone, so make sure that your title tags (and all your content) are readable and natural.
- Targeted Landing Pages: Creating a detailed campaign is beyond the scope of this article, but every online campaign should be centered around a landing page (a fancy term for a page on your website) that is targeted to a specific goal/action. In the case of a local business campaign, your targeted landing page will often be what is referred to as a “squeeze page.” Squeeze pages are generally characterized by having only two actions possible for a visitor: entering a key piece of information, or exiting the site.
In the case of a local SEO campaign, a squeeze page is usually used as a lead generation tool. Depending on the business, you can capture a potential customer’s name, address, phone number, or email address (or any combination of the above). Usually you will give the visitor an incentive to provide this information…coupons or entry into a giveaway are great for this!
Once you collect the visitor’s information, you will then be able to market to them in any number of ways (e.g. email, telephone, direct mail).
- Social Media Engagement: If you have not yet set up your business across all the major social media platforms, then you should do so immediately after you’re finished reading this! There is no better way to build a relationship with your customers (and future customers) than by engaging with them where they spend much of their time. The social networks that you should consider using include:
Each of these platforms have their own strengths, and some might be more relevant to your business goals than others. For example, if your business is mainly B2B (business to business), then LinkedIn can be very effective for increasing your reach, while Snapchat may be less effective.
By effectively utilizing social media, you won’t have to wait for your customers to come to you. You can publicize your Small Business Saturday sales and promotions, create surveys, advertise new products and services, encourage customer feedback, and much more.
Local Listings, Citations & Reviews
- Google My Business: This is another “must have” for any small local business. A well-optimized Google My Business listing can greatly improve your business’s visibility in Google’s search results pages.
- Reviews & Other Local Listings: Every local business should make sure that their business is accurately and positively represented across all platforms. Popular review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, etc. almost always show up at the top of the results when a person searches on a business name. Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that your business contact information is accurate, and that you effectively manage any reviews or potentially negative information about your company.
Bonus Tips: Don’t Forget Offline!
While the purpose of this article is to highlight online strategies that can be used to promote Small Business Saturday, every local SEO promotion will have an offline element to it, so we may as well include a couple of offline-specific ideas as well.
- Discounts, Coupons, Promotions: I touched upon this earlier in Tip #4, but it bears repeating…the easiest way to make sure you have a successful Small Business Saturday is to give customers a good reason to visit your business! Create a coupon, a discount, or a giveaway for Small Business Saturday, and then get busy promoting. This will bring people to your business. Once you get them in the door, you can add them to your email list, then engage with them to convert them from just a visitor into a paying customer.
- Host an Event: Another great way to get people to visit your business on Small Business Saturday is to host a live event. The type of event will vary based on your business, but some ideas include:
- Customer appreciation party (food and drink, live music)
- Open house (tours, free meetings or consultations with staff)
- Activities for kids
- Partner with Other Local Businesses: There is strength in numbers! It can be difficult for small businesses to cut through the “noise” of the big-budget advertising of national businesses, so why not partner with other local businesses to create a larger event? By collaborating, the participating businesses can benefit from the increased reach of combined audiences and advertising budgets.
PosiRank Can Help
The simple tips provided in this article should be enough to get you started toward a profitable Small Business Saturday.
While these tips are all quite straight forward, designing and implementing a comprehensive local SEO campaign can be daunting. But fear not…PosiRank can help!
Whether you are a local business who needs help with your own online marketing, or an agency who would like to leverage PosiRank’s expertise, we offer many services that will help make sure your local SEO campaigns will succeed. Our services include on-site optimization (comprehensive on-site audits, title tag and meta description rewrites), local business listings, reputation management, content creation, and much more. Contact us today to get started!