If you’re starting any new business, it’s critical that people in your area know how and where to find you. There may come a point where you have expanded to the extent that you will focus on getting yourself noticed nationally or globally, but to begin with, you need to be shouting your name to the person up the road, across the park, and down the hill.

In somewhere as rich with innovation and growing businesses as California, your local marketing is vitally important to your venture’s success.

1.   Get listed on Google

One of the first steps you can take to get your business found online is getting your business listed on Google My Business. Creating a profile and filling in your details will show you up on Google Maps. It’s free to do, and if you make sure your work hours are updated and you’ve uploaded some images, it can start drawing in customers and clients as soon as you’ve set it up.

Getting listed like this is one way to optimize your business for search engines. Making sure you’ve done everything on a proven local SEO checklist will boost your business higher on the results pages.

2.   Make local contacts

Word of mouth, the print press, and more modern forms of communication should be harnessed when getting your business found. If you are a restaurant, for example, contacting local reviewers and bloggers will increase your publicity and get the town talking about the hottest new joint. If you can get mentioned in a local newspaper or magazine, that’s a positive, but even better would be getting a shout-out online.

Whether that is a blogger writing an article on you, a customer leaving a review, or a podcaster discussing your business, getting the publicity will act as free marketing; similarly, the links they might embed that take readers to your website will work wonders for your local SEO.

3.   Good signage

Back to the physical presence of your business: good signage and advertising are critical to getting noticed. The type of sign you might have above your door or on a sandwich board near your premises will depend on what type of business you are. Whatever you choose, it should be contemporary, instantly recognizable, memorable, and eye-catching.

4.   Treat staff well

It’s imperative you do this anyway to build lasting working relationships, keep morale high, and improve output, but making sure your staff are treated well will also help you get noticed locally. Well-treated staff will tell friends and family how much they enjoy working there, recommend your product or services to their social circle, and be more likely to stay working with you for longer – increasing the chances of them bringing creative and original ideas to your brand.

5.   Engage your social media followers

Social media is a powerful tool for attracting business and creating leads for your company in both far-flung places and near to home. Become a part of the local online community by joining Facebook groups, having a Twitter profile that replies to customers and an Instagram profile that promotes the local area. This will help you get noticed by the public and influencers, who can share information about your business to their followers.