Most local business owners just don't "get" the internet as a marketing tool
In a previous article, I discussed where customers are looking for local businesses. The answer was ONLINE! If you have not read that article, take a couple of minutes and read it now. It's important to understand that marketing online isn’t an option these days, it’s a requirement for businesses that want to compete in the marketplace.
As important as it is to understand this, not every business is taking advantage of what amounts to the cheapest form of advertisement available. I have spoken to many business owners and their reasons are varied.
- Some just don't understand the internet
- Some are skeptical because they get bombarded by sleazy companies calling them every other day trying to sell them some ridiculously expensive "package"
- Some do not believe that there is enough business in their niche to justify the costs
If this sounds like you, I would be happy to take the time to discuss why these aren't good reasons to miss out on all of the benefits available to you by using online marketing in a cost-effective way.
Incredibly, over half of all small businesses do not have a website. When I speak to business owners, the number one issue is the cost. That is why the next article in this series will be on how to value a customer, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Only 44% of local businesses have a website - good or bad. If you are one of the 44%, make sure that your website is current, provides useful information, and reflects well on your business. If you are in the 56% of local businesses that do not have a website, what are you waiting for? You are literally ignoring the 70% of people that will "rarely or never" use a phone book and instead will be looking online for your product or service. With so few local businesses actively engaged in online marketing of their business, you can not only compete, but chances are you can dominate your local market.
Do you need another reason to get your business online? Well how about the fact that 79% of Google searchers claim that they ignore paid advertising and only click on organic search results? In other words, good local SEO reaches more customers than paid online advertising.
How do you take advantage of this information?
- Make sure you have a professionally built website
- Optimize your website for search
- Make sure your Google+ Local Business page is correct and complete
- List your business in local online directories
- Optimize your site for mobile devices
- Keep information on your Facebook page up to date
- Create valuable content about your products and services, include reviews, and make sure it’s easy for potential shoppers to locate your store or get information
So, if almost all of your potential customers are looking online to find you, and your business is not there, not found, or doesn't reflect well on your business, your potential customers will be buying from your competitors instead of you.