If you’re a small business owner in Missoula, Montana, your success depends on how effectively you use your advertising and marketing budget. But what’s the best way to do that?

Should you work with a local digital marketing company or ad agency? (Yes!)

Should you analyze your SEO competition? (Absolutely.)

Is it a good idea to DIY your web design? (It’s not.)

You have a lot of options to consider when it comes to digital marketing for your business—some better than others—so strap in and keep reading to get a jump on your competition.

Did you know that 87% of Missoula’s population has internet access? That’s a huge audience of nearly 66,000 potential customers you could be reaching online right now. But if you don’t have a website or SEO strategy, they might never see your business—or even know it exists. After all, there are more than 9,000 businesses registered in Missoula, so the competition for getting noticed is pretty steep. You need to stand out to get noticed, and your business’s web design and SEO can help you do just that!

Here’s how digital marketing can turn that local internet audience into leads, jobs and sales for your Missoula, MT business.

Trick #1: Invest in professional web design and an SEO strategy.

Without a website, you’re failing to reach a huge online audience and putting those potential customers who hear about you through word-of-mouth out in the cold. They need a place to learn more about your business, the services or products you offer and how to contact you. If you do have a website but you don’t provide that important information, you might as well not have a website at all.

More than 85% of consumers in Missoula search online when they need to find the products or services you provide. That means they’re heading to Google and other search engines and clicking on one of the top results. Without a website, how is your business supposed to show up? It won’t.

Another must-do for your website is to invest in a robust SEO strategy. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of using keywords relevant to your industry and location in Missoula in the content on your site to get it noticed by Google. The better your SEO strategy, the happier Google will be. And the happier Google is, the higher you’re likely to show up on page one of Missoula-based search results. That means more clicks to your website and more customers.

You could try doing all of this yourself and cross your fingers that it works, or you could work with a digital marketing company or ad agency with the technology and experience to get it done right the first time. They’ll provide a list of the keywords you should be ranking for and provide progress reports so you can monitor the results over time.

Trick #2: Take charge of your online reputation.

If you’ve ever happened across a negative online review for your Missoula, MT business, you know that reputation monitoring matters. If you have the time, you could set aside an hour or two of your day to comb through all the major review sites and see if any new reviews (good or bad) have come in for your business. But a digital marketing company or ad agency can set up automatic alerts that send you an email each time a new review comes in.

Getting an immediate alert thanks to reputation monitoring will allow you to respond to your reviews promptly and get ahead of any sticky situations. While you should respond to all of your reviews no matter what, it’s especially important to reply tactfully and kindly to any negative reviews—your business will look better in the long run.

Trick #3: Work with a digital marketing company that knows Missoula.

Any digital marketing company or ad agency you work with should be familiar with your local Missoula market. Consumer habits and market trends tend to vary from city to city and state to state, so finding a digital marketing company that knows Missoula will be invaluable to your business. That experience will allow them to:

  • Recommend products and services that fit your business’s long-term goals.
  • Brainstorm digital marketing ideas that will appeal to your local audience.
  • Suggest improvements to your digital marketing campaign to help you get more leads.
  • Create a personalized marketing campaign, including professional web design, SEO and reputation monitoring.

Townsquare Interactive is a local digital marketing company and ad agency with experience working with Missoula businesses. We’ve helped thousands of small business owners break into the digital marketing space and find success. We can help you, too!