Don’t setting for being a little fish in a big pond
Consider the following statistics from Search Marketing Expo 2012:
- 73% of all internet search activity is for local products or services
- 42% of consumers claim to use local search to find what they want
- 80% of those who search local end with a phone call or in-person visit to the business
If you have a small business, you already know that your potential customers are using the Internet before consulting the telephone book or local business directory. If you’re already advertising online, via a website or online ad banner, you might be already reaping the profits of local search. However, if you aren’t, you could be giving your local business competition a clear advantage. To get the attention that your small business needs to survive, local search marketing is a must for these reasons:
1. People prefer to shop online, but buy from other people
For instance, I, like most people prefer to shop online, but I also like to buy in person from local shop owners that I’m familiar with over the cold transaction of internet shopping. I prefer to look up the business online and do my research that way, but after I know they have the product or service that I want, I like to go to their location and physically look their stock to make my final purchase. That means if you have a local online presence you will be found by those doing that initial research that will follow up with a visit to your business.
2. Domination of your search terms
By dominating keywords and phrases for your niche target market, not only will you outrank your competition in the search engine results—you’re success may completely push them out of the search results altogether. For instance, that way whenever an interested customer seeks your niche search term (i.e., “massage therapist Houston”) you will be the only result that is served up for pages.
3. Search marketing will be your most loyal employee—ever!
One of the greatest things about using local search marketing as your prime advertising is that this is a department that doesn’t pack up and leave the office at 5PM or even 7PM. Online marketing will be working for you 24/7, for 365 days of the year. How’s that for loyalty?
4. Think of it as an investment in your company
Like real estate investment, local search marketing is a true company asset. The web property you create will grow bigger and stronger month after month, and year upon year as your high page rank value grows.
5. Target your local customer market
The true beauty of local search marketing is that is targets a relevant customer base within close proximity to your business by localizing the keywords you use on your website. It’s really a matter of narrowing down your keywords so that your geographical address is captured in the keyword search and leads local shoppers right to your website (i.e., “baby clothes in Tampa). By narrowing down and localizing your keywords in this way (as part of your website SEO strategy) your web page will be featured within the top search results.
6. You have the “local” edge
Think of it this way; if you try to rank for “cake decorating” with no geographical reference in the search results you’ll be vying against cake decorators from Japan all the way to Alaska (and frustrating customers I might add). However, if you choose to localize your search by using “cake decorating Staten Island” suddenly you’re only serving a particular geographical area and your chances of being found by relevant customers are much, much better.
About the guest author: Caeden M MacGregor is a staff writer for Prestige Marketing, a company that focuses on PPC in Vancouver. Caeden has written for numerous blogs on a variety of topics ranging from guest blogging to landing page optimization.
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