When it comes to online marketing, you might not know what the next big thing is going to be, but it’s a pretty sure bet that it’s going to show up sooner rather than later. One minute, online videos are the hot thing, only to be replaced by social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter soon after. Maybe that’s why a lot of small business owners decide to dabble here and there, without committing too much energy to any one site or project until it really takes off.
Except that sometimes “later” can turn quickly into “too late.” For some small businesses, that’s probably going to be the case with local search-optimizing your website to help you find new customers in your neighborhood via the major search engines.
Here are two really good reasons to get started on local SEO right away:
The numbers are there. Google has reported that roughly one of every five searches now contains some kind of geographic element. In other words, people are increasingly using search engines to find local businesses and vendors. What’s more, they’re factoring geography into search results regardless, so if you aren’t getting the increased business, someone else just down the street is.
Local search isn’t slowing down any time soon. It can’t. Why? Because more next-generation mobile devices (also known as smart phones) will be sold this year than traditional computers, meaning that more and more searchers are going to be looking for local businesses while on the go. While iPhone and Droid users can technically use them to access anything on the web, experiences show that they tend to look for local destinations more than almost anything else.
These two trends add up to one inescapable fact: that there’s never been a better time to add local search optimization to your small business website, so get started now before it’s too late.
The rise of local search is actually a great thing. While it’s always hard to make a transition in your business, especially when it comes to changing the way you market, we can promise you that local search (that is, people in your neighborhood who find you on sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing) can be the best thing to happen to you in years, if you’ll let it.
Here are four quick reasons that local search is better for your small business than the Yellow Pages ever were:
Search engines let searchers be more specific. Looking under “lawyers” or “doctors” was never all that helpful. Luckily, with local search, searchers can type in exactly what they’re trying to find, meaning there’s a better chance of your perfect client locating you in a hurry.
Local search includes maps and driving directions. Not only does this mean fewer calls asking the quickest way to your location, but also encourages walk-in business from people who were out and about. Again, the easier you are to find, the easier you are gain new clients.
Ads don’t sell nearly as well as online reviews do. With the Yellow Pages, shoppers never had any way of knowing whether you were really as good as your ad said you were. Now, they can see online reviews in a matter of seconds. So, if your business has built a reputation on quality, that can help you find new customers faster.
Search engines are easier to access via mobile devices. Tens of millions of people access the Internet via iPhones, Droids, and other next-generation smart phones. Using local search terms on your small business website makes it easier for them to find you.
BusinessCreator, Inc. is a full service web solutions provider, with a dedicated marketing team that specializes in local search and reputation management. For more information or to obtain a free proposal, contact: