Long Island City: Why Local Digital Marketing is Key

Long Island City: 1st Stop in Queens, But Feels Like Manhattan

Long Island City (LIC) is technically in Queens, but it feels a lot like Manhattan. LIC is the western most end of the redeveloped real estate hugging the East River. Its glass filled sky scrapers give it a very distinct Manhattan feel. But, LIC is not a carbon copy.

LIC is home to trendy and cutting edge performance spaces, galleries, eateries, and nightlife. Which pre-COVID, provided the neighborhood with a fun trendy environment without the rent costs for similar spaces in Manhattan. The riverside park is still open, as are some of the hot spots, just at a lessened capacity.

Like most of New York, LIC feels like it's holding its breath for the final chapter of the COVID saga. Given the demographic of the area, I would expect some of the pent-up energy to explode in a variety of celebrations when the final COVID restrictions are lifted.

One of the key challenges in LIC is how to be ready to capture that energy when it returns.

Why Local Web Design Matters in Long Island City?

A key ingredient in LIC's comeback is to stay engaged with your old customers to let them know you are around. There is no better way to do that than with a fast, intuitive, and responsive website.

  1. A fast, intuitive, responsible web site provides a great means of remaining engaged with your audience so they don't forget about you.
  2. A mobile-first designed website can help raise awareness among both lapsed customers but also making connections to new ones. 
  3. A fast, responsive mobile design can let customers know that you are ready and open for business.

Local Digital Marketing is Price of Entry

It is important for any local business to engage in local digital marketing. Digital marketing has grown from a method of attracting more business to a means to attract and not to lose business to competition.

Target Customers Search Before They Buy

Some businesses think that they only need digital advertising if their business is large or is more regional or national in scope. It is a mistake that puts them at a competitive disadvantage. They are at a disadvantage because roughly 8 of 10 customers search before they buy. 

A brand that is not part of that search is not likely to be considered, even if they are the best solution or product. Potential customers simply are not aware they exist. 

More importantly, customers want to find solutions that are near to where they are. No one wants to travel out of their way to get what they need. The search term “_____ near me” has quadrupled over the past 5 years in google searches.

Near Me Google Trends Chart
Source Google Trends

Customers Don’t Want to Wait

Another interesting trend that builds on the one above is that your target audience are not only looking for solutions near them but also available now.

The search term “_____ near me now” has tripled in the past 5 years. So, if you are a local bakery that sells cakes and offers discounts late in the day, being visible during a search at 3 pm for “cakes near me now” would be valuable. Plus, you can also sweeten the offer by making sure your discount is clearly visible online to potential local customers.

Mobile Searchers are Ready to Buy, Now

This builds on my prior points. If someone is searching for “cakes near me now” is probably looking to purchase one. In fact, Google reported in one of their studies that 90% of mobile searchers made a purchase. 

Therefore, a local business, I would argue, is in the best position to meet that searcher's needs because they have a local market solution to their problem and are available now. The only thing left is to ensure that that search is aware that the business exists.

Why Local Digital Marketing Is Key No Matter What Your Size

  1. 80% of your customers are searching for a solution that you can provide
  2. A growing percentage of them are looking for quick and easy solution, which a nearby business that is open can provide
  3. 9 out of 10 of those mobile searchers are ready to buy, now. They just need to know you exist.

Why Local Digital Marketing Matters in Long Island City?

A key ingredient in LIC's comeback is to stay engaged with your old customers to let them know you are around. Then, welcome them back with offers once you are fully reopened. Local digital marketing can help you do just that. 

  1. Local digital marketing in LIC is about remaining engaged with your audience so they don't forget about you.
  2. Digital is important to raise awareness among both lapsed customers but also making connections to new ones. 
  3. When you are ready to capture that pent up energy, local digital marketing can help you blast it out to your following that you are open, accessible, and cannot wait to have them back.

How to Leverage Local Digital Marketing 

There are three key tools you can use to maximize the effectiveness of your local digital marketing.

Google My Business (GMB)

80% of all searches in the US are on Google. When you search “_____ near me”, you will be shown what is called the Google Local Pack on your search engine results page (SERP). The Google Local Pack looks something like this:

Google automatically returns the top 3 ranked businesses, which are restaurants in this example. If you click on one of these businesses, you will automatically be shown its GMB page. GMB is a free resource that is easily accessible to any business owner. The process is simple. First, you have to go to the GMB page

To start, you would click the Manage now button in the upper right hand corner of the page.  You will then have to choose “Add a Business”, which will take you to this screen.

Here, you enter your business’ name. If it is an existing business, you can claim that business. If it is not an existing business you can create one.  There are too many steps to cover in one post, but if you would like more information, you can read the GMB FAQ page for a more step by step guide.

Flawless Mobile Website Experience

Earlier we discussed that 80% of customers search online before they decide to make a purchase. Today over 50% of device use is mobile. Given 9 out 10 mobile searches lead to a sale, you want your potential customers to search for you on mobile.

The fastest way to lose that potential customer is to have a poorly designed mobile website experience. There are two areas that are a must if you want to succeed in providing a flawless mobile experience.

Page Speed

Bounce rates go up dramatically if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load. It pays to run a speed test on your site. I recommend Google PageSpeed Insights. They are a tough grader, but it is better to know what great looks like, rather than to settle for mediocre.

If you find your site is working optimally, it is probably due to your web design, and more specifically your CMS. While I can’t cover all the details here, I wrote a post on the impact of CMS on Pagespeed that can help.

Website is not Truly Responsive

Many themes claim that they are responsive. However, a truly responsive site provides a seamless experience regardless of device. Few themes can actually deliver this type of experience without causing problems with page speed. 

To avoid a poor mobile experience, it is helpful to be aware of some of the built-in biases in web design. The most important is desktop design bias. Most developers design using a desktop. Unless the developer actively checks his or her work on a mobile screen setting, design errors can be introduced. 

This is why we always recommend that you design for mobile first if you are not doing a custom build. For a more in depth explanation of these issues and how to manage them, you can read my guest post on SMBCEO.

Local Search Advertising

Finally, local search advertising is something worth considering, as those mobile searchers are very valuable. The ideal path would be to rank highly enough on organic SEO that you would warrant a listing in the local pack. However, when that is not possible, paid search can still return a solid ROI if executed appropriately. 

In Summary

When it comes to being successful in digital marketing in [location], there are three things I hope you remember.

  1. Consumers are looking for businesses near them to solve their needs, make sure you are seen by them when they do.
  2. 90% of mobile searches end in purchases, so make sure that your site doesn’t hinder you.
  3. Ensure that you are visible on local listings like GMB and others that are relevant to your neighborhood.

If you need help with local digital marketing for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

See more about Small Business Marketing in Long Island City. If you are more interest in the borough, you can see our Small Business Marketing in Queens. If you want the full city, you can see our Small Business Marketing in NYC.