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Small Business Powered By Local Search

Are you an individual who runs a locally owned and operated business? If you are, your targeted market is likely the individuals who live in and around your community. Although your first though may be to reach your targeted market though local newspaper advertisements, radio advertisements, the yellow pages, and other local advertising techniques, you may want to start thinking about using the internet, namely search engine marketing.

It seems as if many locally owned and operated business owners have come to see the internet as an enemy. After all, with the popularity of online shopping on the rise, many business owners need to compete with online retailers. Yes, the internet may bring you and your business competition, but you shouldn’t completely write it off.

Did you know that the internet, if properly worked, can actually bring you customers? It can if you use it as a form of local advertising and it can bring you business in more ways than you could have ever imagined.

As previously mentioned, search engine marketing is something that you may want to take the time to familiarize yourself with. Search engine marketing is a term that is used to describe a marketing approach that has been implemented and proven successful by many online business owners, but it can also work for locally owned and operated business owners, like yourself. What you need to know is that the way that customers shop and find companies to do business with is changing. For instance, did you know that 70% of shoppers surveyed by Nielsen/NetRatings use the internet to research local businesses? They did and this is something that you and your business can capitalize on.

One of the many ways that you can use search engine marketing to help you with local advertising is by having an online website and having it optimized for the search engines. You can either do this yourself or hire the services of a search engine marketing specialist or company.

By having applicable content on your website, internet users can find it when they perform a local search. A local search is when a business owner uses the internet to help them find a local business. Local searches are often performed with phrases like “fine dining restaurants in New Haven,” or “children’s clothing stores in Norwalk.” By having applicable content on your website, your prospective customers can find it by performing a local search.

When customers use a local search to find a local business, they want to know what type of items you sell or what services you offer. That is why it is important that you have an online website outlining that information. You will also want to provide your prospective customers with your business address, so they can visit it should they like what they find online.

Also, you may want to provide your prospective customers with easy ways to contact you. This can be done by placing your telephone number online or even by creating a business email address for yourself or your business.

What is even more interesting than the fact that 70% of those surveyed said they use the internet to research local businesses is the fact that 89% found their local search either “somewhat effective,” or “very effective,” according to Nielsen/Net Ratings. What does this mean for you? It means that if you aren’t already using search engine marketing as a form of local advertising, you may be losing a considerable amount of money.

Ray Napierala
Director, Business Development
Inside Pasadena
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