I always tell clients that I use the Internet like I used to use a phone book. I need local, geographic specific information, but instead of going to the phone book, I am utilizing the Internet. It’s convenient, accurate, and … a growing, popular trend. My fingers still do the walking, but they walk along my keyboard instead of through a big, yellow, floppy book.
So why is local search important for the brick and mortar businesses? Let’s explore the facts and figures:
• Current estimates say 40 percent of search engine queries are for local businesses and services
• Research shows that 92 percent of local searches convert, but at a later date and offline
• 54 percent of people use the Internet instead of the phone book or newspaper to find local information
• Trends indicate that the Internet will likely surpass the newspaper in the near future for local advertising
These impressive numbers have confirmed the emerging pattern of consumer behavior and the major search engines are paying attention. We’ve got Google Local, Yahoo Local, AOL Local, and MSN Local all vying for the local searches and continuously releasing improvements such as aerial photos, directions and even satellite mapping.
Small businesses are taking notice and shifting some of their marketing budgets over to Internet marketing. There are three easy ways to market your local business online and participate in the continuing growth of local search. Here are some ways in which your dollars will be well spent.
First, get listed on the major search engines local search. It’s easy!
• Sign up for Yahoo Local here https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/local. Option to enhance your listing for $9.95/month.
• Sign up for Google My Business here – https://www.google.com/business/.
• Get listed in CitySearch by submitting to www.citysearch.com (see below).
• Get listed in Bing Local. Bing’s business listings come from publicly available local telephone records for published telephone listings. To add your business, go to Bing Places. Bing’s local web results come from the indexed sites within their search engine. Make sure to include your full address on your website and that it is not solely defined within an image. Image based addresses cannot be indexed by search engine crawlers.
Second, purchase inexpensive advertising on geographic specific search engines or portals. Minor search engines and portals revolving around local search offer very reasonable advertising fees. Check out the following local engines:
• City Search – http://www.citysearch.com/. Offers pay per performance and sponsored ads. Also feeds Ask Jeeves local listings.
• American Town Network – https://www.americantowns.com/. Caters to NY, CT, Northern NJ, Boston and Detroit. Email ([email protected]), call (203- 256-3390 ) or write for advertising details.
• Escape Maker – https://escapemaker.com/. Caters to New England, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware. Basic listing is FREE. Enhanced options available.
• WhitePages.com – Online Yellow Pages. It only takes a moment to make sure your listing is correct. If you search for yourself and do not find a listing, contact switchboard.com for a FREE basic listing.
• Yellowpages.com offers a myriad of advertising options to get you noticed! Click here
• Albany.com – Check the nameofyourcity.com and see if they offer advertising. Usually city portals have impressive statistics and will send you targeted traffic. Mannix Marketing has developed many portals that are highly beneficial if you do business in upstate New York.
Third, don’t forget old fashioned optimization to get your local business found within the natural results of the search engines. It is still necessary to be placed within the natural listings of the search engines. The value of being found when a searcher types in your city and your specialty (keyword) is still unmatched.
Placing local businesses is not new to Mannix Marketing. We began marketing our local clients on the internet back in 1996. Our local clients are known to dominate the search engines for local searches (keywords with a city or state attached). Our roots and our hearts are with the local businesses. Call 518-743-9424 today for an individualized quote!
Don’t have a website? Don’t worry! Mannix Marketing understands that a majority of small businesses have yet to develop a website. Our design / development team is ready to accommodate you with a professional website. Call 518-743-9424 now and within a month’s time, you will have a website for future marketing!
If you are a local business, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of the Internet. It is a powerful way to expose your business. A few simple steps and you’ll be on your way to attracting searchers to YOUR specialty. It’s never too late to tap into what millions of small business owners feel is a necessary part of any marketing campaign.