This recent survey showed what we have already seen and what we were suspecting: Finding Local Businesses through the Internet is increasing AND Local Businesses aren’t doing a lot to capture those searchers.
Local advertising has usually been the realm of newspapers, yellowpages and the vehicle the owner or service person drives. Unless there’s a budget for it, radio and TV advertising are usually too expensive.
99% of business owners have a hand in their own marketing, but the frustration of what to do and when and where usually results in doing the easy things that take less time – such as saying “yes” to the yellow pages sales rep to run the same ad year after year.
51% believe their website is only fair in gaining new customers, yet only 9% of them are satisfied with their online marketing efforts. That means that 91% of your local search competitors aren’t doing everything they can to find customers online!
Let me throw this out: If more and more people are turning to researching your company online, they must NOT be going somewhere else.
I stated before that the yellow pages have their place, but a website becomes a salesperson that will work for you 24/7 – all you have to do is start making your site Search Engine Friendly.
This site is full of useful tidbits on how to start gearing your site to become more powerful and generate more customers from the search engines.
I’ll leave you with four thoughts on local SEO:
1. You Don’t Need a Slick Website
It’s true. When people think about redesigning websites, they fear they have to outperform every other site, be slick, be innovative and be top notch. Nope. Though my web designer friends would kill me, you can still create a relatively simple site that will bring customers to you as long as it functional, answers what people are looking for, and is clear on who you are and how to contact you further.
2. Don’t Neglect Your Online-Researching Customers
It’s time to realize that there are now customers out there who will NOT do business with you if they can’t find you online. People will judge your services and your credibility by what you say and don’t say on your site.
3. Don’t Advertise Through 3rd Party Online Ad Listings
If you do want to advertise online start here and educate yourself on the next steps to taking charge of your online marketing. Too many “reps” are out there just to take subscription dollars without really educating you on what you are doing and what you can expect.
4. Define What Sets You Apart From Your Competition
If you want to stand out, you need to brand yourself with qualities that will shame your competition. The right keywords and phrases built into your website will make a world of difference where your competition won’t do anything.
Your goal is to be where your competition isn’t. You’ll notice that you are starting to upset the waters when they start mimicking you. It may seem like they’re going to try to kick you in the butt, but as an elderly local businessman put it “the only way they can kick you in the butt is from behind.”