Internet advertising for local business has really grown. Market research studies have shown that 70% of Americans search for local business on the internet. Years ago the Yellow Pages was where they went to look. Times have changed.
As time goes by advertising your business on the internet will be crucial to getting the traffic needed to succeed. Here are a few guidelines to enhance your business’ presence on the internet.
Advertising and promoting your business online is now mandatory, not optional. There are several methods of advertising many of which are quite affordable or even free. Your local Chamber of Commerce lists local businesses online. Having a website address that you include on your invoices, receipts and every email that you send is good way to get profitable traffic. Producing an effective internet marketing strategy will equal an increase in your local business.
Think in terms of specific audiences and target your advertising to them. Being all things to all people simply doesn’t work! List your local business in the right category. This will allow the consumer who is searching for your products or services to find your business. Do keyword research and choose the keywords that will best describe your business. Then, do a search on Google using those keywords to see if Google has a map with local results for your area. Including the service or product keywords in the local business listing title will allow prospective customers to find your business more easily when searching.
Your website is a reflect of your business. Make sure your website is well-designed and professional looking. First impressions are really important. A website can provide your business with a way to increase the number of people you reach. Your website needs to be easy to read and simple to navigate. Marketing your website via the local online listings will allow your website to bring you new customers and new business.
Make sure to establish yourself as an authority in your local market. You can be done in a variety of ways. For example, use your website to provide valuable information. If your business provides a product, post information on your website that will educate those visiting the site. This not only will help to establish your small business, but it will demonstrate that you are an authority on the product(s) you are providing. Studies show 41% (2 out of 5 searchers) of those searching locally are looking for information about a service or a product. Providing information is key to local Internet advertising.
Remember the importance of a “call to action.” One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to fail to provide a “call to action.” Regardless of whether you are using print advertising, Internet advertising or just a page on your website, you must tell remember to tell the reader what action you want them to take. For example, “call us for a free estimate” or “click here for a free report.”
We are now at a point where 97% of all consumers use the Internet to help them shop locally. This makes it important for every business to have a prominent online presence so consumers can find them when they are ready to buy.
Local internet marketing for the construction industry has exploded within the past 5 years. Homeowners looking to remodel, add an addition, replace windows, doors or roofs are starting by searching on Google. I don't suppose there is any real surprise in that, but what is a surprise is just how many contractors are not taking advantage of this. Local search marketing is where it's at today with local service businesses and if your business is not listed and optimized for local search, you are missing out on a great deal of business.
It is now more important than ever to have a website. Having website says you are a "real" business! Is your website written to talk to the consumer? Are you using language that a customer would use when describing your services? If not, the visitor is likely to hit the back button and go on to another local competitor.
Consumers are searching online for local businesses and are deciding who to do business with based on what they find online. You might say "my business appears online," but the question is What can a consumer learn about your business online? Is your business listed and optimized with the major local listing services? Are those listings written to showcase your business' point of difference? Do each of those listings lead to your website where potential customers can learn more about your business?
The more places your business is listed online and the more information that can be found about your services, the more likely your business will grow.