Friday, March 12, 2010

Online Marketing to a Local Audience

Do you sell to a local market? Where are you putting your advertising? It used to be that you could buy a big ad in the Yellow Pages, buy an ad in the local newspaper and mail circular and your business would be thriving. More people are using the internet and smart phones to find businesses that meet their local needs. According to Web Pro News, consumers are going online for 70% of their business searches. This includes search engine searches, internet yellow pages, local search sites and mobile phones. If you aren’t going after this market, you are losing 70% of your potential business. The way things are going, it looks like you will lose an even larger share in the future. Local newspapers are closing right and left for lack of readership. Yellow Pages are going the way of the horse shoe. There will always be people who use them, but the majority of younger people just do a search with their phone or computer.

Of the online searches, Google has a 65% share and growing. Yahoo is next with 18%, Bing with about 10%. Ask with almost 4% and AOL which used to be a strong presence has less than a 3% search rate.

It only makes sense with these statistics that you need to get a website and market on Google at the very least. You can rank high for specific keywords that target your business so when a consumer puts the keyword in the search, your website will be one of the first that he sees. This is done through search engine optimization, having pertinent content on your website and through content marketing, i. e. writing articles about aspects of your business and doing videos about aspects of your business showing yourself as an expert in your field. This is all free marketing. You can also use pay-per-click marketing to have a sponsored ad on Google so when a customer types in an appropriate keyword for your business, your ad will pop up even if other businesses have beaten you with search engine optimization to rank higher for content. The more you are willing to pay for pay-per-click, the higher your ad will appear on the page.

I am not suggesting that you get rid of your Yellow Page ads all together, at least not yet. I am just suggesting that you slowly move your advertising dollars to the internet to maximize the exposure for your business. People will gladly print out internet coupons as they will cut them out of the newpaper or circular. Having a website also allows you to have contests and run surveys to maximize your business results.

I am putting together an ebook to help business owners who would like to set up their internet advertising themselves. I am an expert with online marketing and will be happy to help you market your business online if you do not have the time or expertise to do it yourself. You can email me at to get a quote.

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