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Local SEO and Paid Marketing Could Be The Game Changer for Small Business Owners This Durga Puja

As Durga puja is around the corner it is a no-brainer that festivities of such scale that run for 5 long days is an opportunity to reap the benefits for traders. The value of Durga Puja-related transactions crossed Rs.45,000 crores last year.

Needless to say, the puja-shopping spree of Benaglies is expected to be on the rise this year too. The forecast shows that this year the Durga puja-related transactions will witness an uptick of 30-40% compared to last year’s figure which will amount to a staggering 63,000 corer INR.  

Most of the big brands are already in the race to grab the attention of the target audience with their new arrivals or products that are solely dedicated to this auspicious occasion. However, there is a way where small and medium-sized traders can compete with the big players to grab the eyeballs of the target audience.

The local SEO and paid ads directed toward the local audience can help small traders and shop owners grab the attention of the major chunk of the audience looking for durable products at optimum prices. Big brands nowadays cater to audiences with diverse depths in their pocket but, local buyers trust the shops and outlets in the vicinity. 

However, with growing numbers of shops and outlets in the local areas, the competition to grab the eye-balls of the shoppers within known boundaries will be steep. Moreover, the local traders need to compete with the big brands with outlets in the local areas and lure buyers with lucrative offers.

The competition seems to be cut-throat, but, a smart and strategic implementation of online resources can be the game changer for the local business owners. It would be naive to say that local businesses can compete with the big players in terms of marketing and publicity budgets, but, they can get their fair share of attention on the internet through some specialized strategies tailor-made to promote local businesses online. 

Online or the Internet is the arena or the space where local traders and business owners can compete even with big brands and can highlight their USPs and products to their target audience.

Some of the major online marketing practices that can be a boon for the local traders eyeing Durga puja shoppers are –

1. Local SEO

2. Google ad words directed toward the local audience

3. Social Media Ads directed toward the local audience

1. Local SEO practices to boost sales for Durga Puja Shopping –

i) Get your business registered with Google My Business – In a simple word Google My Business is like an online telephone directory, however, it is much more advanced. The biggest advantage one can list his business completely free on Google My Business. You can list your shop’s address; write a short description of your products, contact details, a website, and directions to your shop through Google Maps. 

However, you need to place this information in a strategic manner, it would be convenient if one conducts online research or consult an expert before opening an account with Google My Business. Google My Business will be conducive for local garment shops, shoe shops, salon and spa services, sweet shops, self-employed people offering DTP services, and so on. It is not mandatory to have a website to get registered with Google My Business.

ii) Be Doubly Sure that You are Using the Right Keywords – Keywords are the search terms or phrases through which puja shoppers search for products and services related to puja shopping on Google. If you are a local business owner and have a website to feature your products and services you need to optimize your website content solely for Durga-puja with relevant keywords in your content and it is imperative to use the right kind of keywords to attract the local audience through their searches. 

However, keywords have their own equation to get visible on the top of the Google search results for instance long tail keywords have a better prospect of visibility over short tail keywords, moreover, popular keywords such as “Durga-puja-shopping,” shopping-for-Durga puja,” “puja-shopping,” are high competition keywords and it is difficult to take your website at the top of Google search result with these popular or high competition keywords. 

You need to do keyword research and find out the keywords that will be the best match for your business. Using your local area name, your business name, and your product name is mandatory to get organic traffic flow to your website. For example best shree shop in Shaymbazar for Durga puja, the best beauty salon in Maniktala, Durga puja sales in Bowbazar etc.,

iii) Submit Your Website to Local Directories With High DA – The word DA mean Domain Authority and local directories are listing website where you can list your business. It is always better to find a listing or directory site with high domain authority or DA because DA is the parameter or ranking that defines the quality of a website. 

A website with high DA has a greater possibility of performing well on search engine page results (SERPs). In a nutshell, if you list your business or website on directory sites that have high DA the chances of your site being visible on the first page of Google will increase. Always look for a website that has a DA score above 60. Free Domain Authority Checker by MOz is a Good tool to check the domain authority of a particular website.

iv) Integrate Location Schema Markup to your website – Schema markup are codes that one embeds on their website pages relevant to the business, in simple words it helps Google to understand your business by interacting with Google in his own language. Location schema markup codes are conducive to highlighting currencies and payment types accepted, hours of operation, and so on. It is mandatory for local businesses as it features the critical aspect of your business and services through structured snippets.

2. Google Ad Words Directed Towards the Local Audience or Puja Shoppers –

To be honest SEO or search engine optimization is a time-consuming process and it takes time to give results. With puja at the doorstep, time has become limited and the grains of sand only slipping down with every passing moment. To remedy the shortage of timing and to grab the attention of the shoppers and make maximum from their attention Google has a paid service called PPC or paid ads or Google Adwords. You can promote your website and business by availing of this service of Google and get immediate notice by featuring your PPC or Pay Per Click ads on Google Search results.

The biggest difference it has Google AdWords has with SEO is that whenever a user clicks the ad and visits your website Google will deduct some rupee or amount from your bank account registered with the Google Ad word account.

You need to sign in and list your business with Google Ad words, list your business, select your location, keywords, and other mandatory pieces of information to run the paid ads.

Why do you Need Google Adwords for Local Businesses?

In a Google Adwords campaign, you can choose your location so you can fine-tune and select the particular location you want to show your ads for puja shopping. Moreover, you can customize the timing based on how Google will show the ads to the target audience. 

Suppose you have a restaurant and the operational hours are from 12 noon to 11 pm, which means the last order will be taken from your end around 10:30, but, if the ads are featured at 11 pm on Google it will be a waste of that ad because people will not able to order from your restaurant but your money will be deducted by Google as the user clicked through your website, so to meet the challenge you can customize the timing when your ad should be displayed you can limit the ad display timing from 12:00 noot to 10 pm (since if the ad displayed before 12 noon it will be of no use).

However, you need to track the performance of your ad closely to understand the effectiveness of your ads to decide the next course of action or your next online marketing strategy.

3. How Social Media Paid Ads Can Boost Your Local Business Revenue to Grow During Durga-Puja?

Don’t have a business website? No problem. You could reach the desired target audience around the world if you have a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter handle.

Social Media Paid Ads have been created for small business owners who target local buyers or service seekers. However, with the right kind of social media marketing strategy, you can make an impression on the global audience. However, we are discussing grabbing local buyers for puja shopping so let’s get back to the topic.

In order to run an effective social paid media marketing first you need to choose the right kind of social media platform, for instance, Facebook is the most popular social media platform, but if you targeting the youth and teenagers, then you must opt for Instagram since youths are more active on the Instagram. Paid ads in social media platforms like Google Ad words are subject to proper planning and selecting the right kind of audience and the locations are of great importance in this domain too.

Planning Budget for Local Online Paid ads for Durga Puja –

Usually for Google Adwords 500 INR/day and for local social media paid ads 100 INR/day would suffice. However, it may change based on your campaign goals, the number of visits you want, the extent of the locations, timing of the ads being displayed (if you want Google to display your ad around pick hours the prices may go up), apart from that, you need to bid for the popular keywords make your ads visible through those keywords.

There is certain niche such as adult websites, website related to marijuana, and so on that, Google doesn’t promote, you need to check the list first before creating your ads. Google has the authority to approve or disapprove your ads based on their parameters.

As regards social media paid marketing, you need to inform Meta about ads related to a political campaign, ads that involve monetary payment, etc.

Though SEO is free of cost unlike Google ad words and social media paid ads, it requires strategic planning and conscious monitoring like a professional marketer which is required because competition in SEO is steeper as every entity with a website usually opts for SEO, however, very few comes out as a winner with its strategic SEO planning.