Local Businesses: Why It Is Imperative To Implement Local Search Engine Marketing Strategies

Local business owner that neglect to implement Internet marketing strategies are missing out on mines full of gold

Being a home-based business owner, I am aware of the many challenges one could face while operating a local business. Today’s prevailing changes to the marketplace is a major challenge, but let’s not forget political factors such as wage rates and possible union issues. Under-capitalization is another huge challenge that haunts so many well-meaning entrepreneurs. So how is implementing an Internet marketing strategy going to overcome these challenges?

The Internet has become a majorly useful tool to have in the business toolbox. While it may not be able to ward of the government and their regulations, it does work magic for creating buzz, building brand loyalty and generating new business & referrals.

I cannot speak for you, but when I think about my friends, co-worker and even myself, we turn to the Internet (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) when we are looking for a solution. This can be any kind of solution for example, “Oh my stomach is growling & I don’t feel like cooking. What’s around here to eat or order in?” or “My back is really soar from that car accident the other day. I need to find a chiropractor and perhaps a lawyer while I am at it!”. Let’s take a look at some facts taken from: comScore, Google, Kesley and the NPD Group:

• 97% of American Internet users use the Internet to shop of which 57% characterize their behavior as “shop online, purchase offline.”
• 90% of online commercial searches result in offline bricks and mortar purchases
• 82% of local searchers follow-up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase
• 74% of Internet users perform local searches
• 73% of online activity is related to local content
• 66% of Americans use online local search to locate local businesses
• 61% of local searches result in purchases
• 54% of Americans have substituted the Internet and local search for phone books
• 35% of all searches are local
• For every $1U.S. consumers spend online, another $5-$6 are going to offline purchases that are influenced by online research
• What’s most impressive to me is that 90% of online commercial searches results in local offline purchases.

Ok, so with so many local search statistics, what does this mean for your local business?

All those statistics mean is that finding businesses locally is becoming an Internet driven task. Thanks to local search tools and mobile devices such as Smartphone’s & iPad’s; real local businesses are increasingly visible to local consumers online.

As a result, the Internet continues to provide e-commerce but is now driving local sales as well. And as consumers continue to move online and become connected by mobile, their reliance on online tools to perform searches for local information, local businesses, and everything else local, will only continue to grow. This is why a local business owner can be missing out on Archers of Diamonds without a well thought out Internet marketing strategy. Let me make it clear.

61% of Local Internet Searches Result In A Local Purchase

When you think about it, a high local search conversion rate makes perfect sense. Most people are not going to look for a local restaurant, lawyer, dentist, yoga studio, plumber, accountant, or any other local business for that matter, unless they plan on using it. When people search for a local seller, they are more than likely motivated to buy.

Shopping Around On The Internet

Think of local Internet searching as the new way that consumers “shop around”. Instead of driving from business to business in search of the best value; they turn to the Internet to seek the same value before making a purchase often getting a referral from an online friend.

Now let’s take a look at Google and even Facebook. Did you know Facebook is the second ranked website for the most daily traffic only behind Google? And that they also have their own search function and advertising?

Go to Google and Facebook if you have an account. Now in Google search using a phrase that people looking for your product or service would type in. In Facebook, search for your company’s name. Are any of the top search results your business or links back to your business? What is listed, is it showing off your business in glory or is it painting a dark cloud? Local search engine optimization for a local business is a huge positive for the bottom line.

If you have not realized yet, most of the Internet is free to use; Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc are all free to use for the most part. This along can save thousands of dollars on advertising expenses while building long-term leverage.

The Bottom Line

The marketplace is experiencing significant changes and local search is here to stay. While it is still in it’s infancy, if the local search marketing is embraced, it can significantly fuel the growth of your local business. It can open the doors to every customer located within the area you service at little or no cost. The possibilities are endless. If you offer products and/or services that can be delivered in digital format or shipped; an e-commerce website can act as a 24/7/365 store-front that is ALWAYS open to take your customers’ payment.

Tip Of The Iceberg

What I have just shared with you is just a glimpse into the power of the Internet. It’s a value tool that is at your local business’ disposal. Having the awareness of it’s potential, you are now faced with a few options as to what to do next:

Do Nothing: Just keep doing what you’ve been doing thinking that you don’t have time for his stuff while you let you competitors take business from you. Yes, you may have a website already but it is like a billboard next to an abandoned road. Remember this:

“If you keep doing what you’ve done, you’ll keep getting what you get”

Do It Yourself: Spend hours and hours trying to figure this stuff out on your own through trial and error. While getting confused with keyword research and not communicating properly in the social arena, you also manage to wasting money messing up the ad campaigns. In the end, you cross your fingers hoping all of your hard work will pay off.

Hire A Large SEO Company: Great idea if you have the ad budget of large fortune 500 companies.

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How To Set Up Google Places for Local Business Owners

So you are a local business owner looking to start with internet marketing services for your business.

One of the best places to start is by using local business directory websites such as Google local, Yahoo local, Bing local, Superpages, Yellowpages, Foursquare, 411, mapquest, local.com, MerchantCircle…. to name a few of the top local business listing websites and local business website services.

As Google controls about 65% of all search, Google local is perhaps the best place to start, second being Yahoo local, third being Bing local. These local business listing websites on search engines and mobile search engines can have a tremendous impact on most local business owners bottom line if the submission process is executed properly.

Now if you are a business owner and think that you have no need for using these local business directory websites, you are sadly mistaken, and we can prove it. Simply search in Google, a keyword pertaining to your business along with the area you are in- I.e- “NYC carpenters”. You should see numerous local listings search results for just about any service or business in a specific area. By performing a simple search, you should see that your competitors are already using Google local maps for their business and possibly the paid Google local pay per click service for Google maps business listings.

Local Google Listing Tips For Business Owners –

  • First and foremost, keep keywords in title, description, and anywhere else keywords could be used that pertain to your business and also the area your business services – I.e”NYC carpentry”
  • add all pertinent information- categories of industry, keywords, store hours, brands/products,main services
  • add videos
  • add pictures,logo
  • tracking 1-800 phone number
  • Add offers and coupons frequently to your listings

Google Local Business Listing Services

Once you have added all relevant information to your businesses Google maps listing, you will be asked to confirm all information of the listing. Once you have confirmed your business information, you will be asked how you want to confirm your Google maps business listing with Google for final approval. There are generally two options, one being a postcard, which is sent out by Google to your business address. On this postcard is a special pin number that you will need to enter into your Google maps business listing before Google lists your Google maps business listing in search engines and mobile search engines. The other option for final confirmation of your local Google business listing is by confirming by phone/mobile phone. This method works similar to the first option, meaning you select the “phone confirmation” option, Google then calls the business phone number entered in your Google business listing dashboard with a pin number, you then simply enter this pin number in the input field on the same page you selected the phone confirmation option.

After your Google listing is confirmed, your local business listing should be live within 24-48 hours.

Does this sound a little to confusing for you? If so,you could use a Google local business listing service or a Google Maps listing service to get this type of internet marketing completed for your business.

Local Business Marketing and Local Advertising Online

It is highly recommended that your business not only uses local business directory websites, but also other forms of organic search engine marketing services and internet marketing services. By doing so, your business would receive more exposure to its storefront, website, local online business listings, social media profiles, and content and media sites. Effectively using internet marketing services and mobile marketing services can ultimately provide more traffic, exposure, phone calls, leads, and sales for your business.

The question you need to ask yourself is- Can your business afford NOT to use internet marketing and internet advertising services, mobile marketing and mobile advertising services, and local internet marketing services?

We will leave it you, your business, and your main competition…

How To Earn Money Online As A Local Business Consultant

Even if you are just starting to think how you can earn money online, an Internet businesses, like yours, can quickly gain the skills to help businesses local to your home area. Why you should seriously consider this lucrative strategy for a new internet business may not be that clear at first. You may also wonder how to start. I will give you some answers in this article.

If local businesses are getting business from the internet as part of an overall marketing strategy, why not make it your business to earn a share of that marketing budget? Think about why local search helps customers and how you can provide internet marketing services to businesses and start to earn money online for yourself.

Something like 40% or more of searches on Google include some sort of local phrase. People are more likely to search for say “Birmingham Accountants” than just Accountants, if they are local to Birmingham. Customers are changing how they find things, and comparatively few internet marketers have taken advantage of this growing trend in local search. Now is an ideal time to make it your business to help businesses locally, before your competitors steal this opportunity.

Now we have mobile websites and mobile apps. There are more than 3 times as many mobile devices out there as PCs, you can see why developing and selling a simple mobile website might be a smart move. People use internet access to get information and to find local businesses, as soon as they think about it. People no longer need to rummage through local papers and directories to find a product or service. They can easily find what they want and get more information about local business services, including a location map from any device that gets them online.

Local search marketing has made a ridiculously huge impact to how customers behave, which is why local businesses need to include local search into their marketing strategy. Local businesses may not know how. Internet businesses do. You can claim a share of their marketing budget. That’s how you benefit. Google Maps, Pinterest and Video makes it easy for you to offer marketing services that will get local business ranking highly, but on a budget. Your internet business has the opportunity to offer internet marketing services using a system you can learn, that can be used in any local area (not just US or UK).
Provide the service your business customer wants, build a relationship, get repeat business and referrals. Join business associations in your area which provide an opportunity for promoting your services to people in business locally. Many people have discovered how to earn money online simply by explaining what they can do to other business people.

Competition for keywords with a local word (like Birmingham) is far less, so it’s easier to offer a highly targeted service. If you want a domain starting with Accountants, you will be lucky to find accountants.co.uk or.com available, although you might be able to buy it from the present registrant at his price (high). If the domain you want is say, Birmingham Accountants there will be less competition for that, more chance of it being found by local customers and of greater value to the local business. This is a quick way to get your local business customer’s website on the first page of Google (even after recent rule changes) so their clients can find them.

Some local businesses are more likely to need your internet business services than others. Look for local businesses, ideally medium sized, with a modest marketing budget and who rely on repeat business. Help those proprietors get more leads, more prospects and better cash-flow into their businesses. You will then get paid for your internet marketing services.

You do not need to be an expert at every aspect of internet business to earn money online. Spend just a little by outsourcing the work to the right people. Learn how to outsource internet services wisely. Spend just a couple of hundred on an optimised website and your local business customer will be more than happy to pay you much more. By using outsourcers and being the manager of your business, you free up more of your time, have more resources earning you money at the same time and increase your own internet cash flow.

Internet marketing is not core business for most local businesses. Most prefer to stick with what they are good at (e.g. accountancy, repairing locks, selling handbags, building houses). They need someone to deliver affordable internet marketing services that will get more customers. Local businesses need your internet business. When you find the right internet business training and support you can quickly build a business providing valuable services to local business. There is no point in re-inventing the wheel. Just learn from someone who has made the mistakes and enjoyed the successes before you. You don’t need to duplicate that effort to have a highly profitable internet business and earn money online.