Local consumers are going online to find local businesses. It is important to have an Internet presence in order to gain new and to keep existing business. 82 percent of local consumers use search engines to find local businesses.
Traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore. The fact of the matter is that the marketing techniques that worked for local businesses to reach their market in the past (even just a few years ago) are no longer working. This means the “old school”, Yellow Pages ads, newspapers and other types of hard copy advertising are simply not bringing in business, because people simply don’t use them anymore.
Local businesses that are still using those “old school” outdated forms of advertising are throwing away thousands and thousands of dollars on ineffective marketing every month. If you are one of those people still investing in such ads just stop, and then ask 10 people where their copy of the Yellow Pages is. Or I can save you the effort. They put it in the recycling bin shortly after it landed by the front door.
Consumers are looking more and more to the Internet to find information about the local services and products they are looking for. So if local businesses want to reach new customers they must have a quality Internet presence. And that does not mean just a lame website that a kid could have put together!
Ideally your blog will be part of your website. Yes, I don’t care what your business is, you need to blog about your business. Write about your industry, your talent, your services, and promote it in all your social media networks. Blogging not only helps increase awareness of your business, but you will learn more within your field (become an expert!)
The smartphone is the new yellow pages and mobile search, as a percentage of total Web traffic continues to increase. Experts predict that mobile usage will overtake desktop usage by 2014. Local business thrive on mobile searches as conversion rates searching on local terms are higher. This being the case your website must be optimized for mobile and is easy to use. If your website appears cluttered and loads slow, they will move on to your competitor.
Be sure to use Analytics, the best, free analytics tool on the Web is Google Analytics. It takes less than two minutes to sign up and implement the code, and you can start collecting Web traffic data immediately. Data includes number of Web visitors, how long they browse your site, where the visitors are located, and how they arrived at your site.
In addition to your website, Adding your local business to Google+ Local is the next must for a local business to implement. More people search for local businesses online more than anywhere else, and adding your website and business information to the Google local business directory can help. And the best part is it’s free and simple.
When you are establishing an internet presence for your local business, another must is to spread the word about your local business through social networks. Sign up to the business pages of Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to promote your business to your friends and network. Make sure set up your free Facebook Fan (business) page to use to promote your local business with out violating the terms and conditions of your Facebook account.
When properly implemented, blogging, can be a game changer for your business. However, you can’t simply throw caution to the wind and hope everything plays out the way you’re wishing. Instead, you must devise a blogging strategy that uses the best resources of what today’s technology has to offer.