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             27 November, 2020
 

    
Category:  Articles » Business » Small-Business

 

Does a Local Small Business Really Need a Web Presence?

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         Views: 1291
2007-07-30 11:41:16     
Article by G Michael Simmons

Many business owners who provide products and services to a local market consider the web to be a regional, national or world wide medium. While this was mainly true in its early years, today the internet can become a local business's most productive avenue to advertise their services.

With the emergence of local web searches, such as Google local, a growing number of prospects are searching online for local results. In fact, some statistics now put the number of people using search engines in this frame at over 50% of all localized searches. This means that the web is quickly replacing those clunky, hard to read and no real information provided yellow pages.

What makes a local web search so inviting? There are several reasons:
1. Results from a local search are plotted on a map. Links are provided to fill in a starting address and driving directions are provided.
2. Many local searches provide a page for customer reviews, where a searcher can read beforehand about the businesses services or products
3. If the business has a website, the searcher is just a click away from visiting it and garnering additional information about the business
4. A searcher can modify the search to a zip code, radius from an address, type of business and many other filters
5. Results are instantaneous, no more fumbling through a book to find exactly what you are looking for

How does this relate to a local business owner? The opening is now to begin, if you haven't already started, a strong web presence optimized for local searches. The logical place to start is with a website.

While most businesses may already have a website, most are not optimized for use in local marketing activities. For instance, the number of websites without a simple form to capture visitors email addresses is staggering. If you are, for instance, a local meat shop; why wouldn't you want to market to your local clientele via the web on a regular basis? Coupons, specials, recipes, market trends, new products, the list goes on and on. Yet most local business owners don't even consider the possibilities.

Also, with the explosion of video and free hosting sites such as You Tube, inclusion of a video highlighting your products is both powerful and inexpensive. Imagine putting together a commercial and running it on TV at little or no cost! Yet, that is exactly what web video does for businesses

Another area where the web can be utilized for local business marketing is email, and particularly opt-in newsletters. Building a list of current and potential customers email addresses, and using that list to keep in contact with them, is one of the most overlooked uses of the web by local businesses. Most of them will spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a month on flyers, yellow page ads, and traditional advertising. Yet at a fraction of the cost, email marketing is both targeted and effective.

All said, the web provides a local business with an interactive platform from which they can promote their wares. With a well thought out plan, any business can achieve results in a short period of time and with little capital outlay. It can become the driving force that brings many businesses marketing plan into the 21st Century.

The author, Michael Simmons, owned his own business for 27 years before going into web marketing. He now specializes in optimizing the web presence for local businesses through website development. You can visit his website at http://www.gmsimmons.com He also utilizes video, developing web video ads thru http://www.proweb-video.com

Specialized in: Small Business Web Strategy - Internet Business Strategy - Business Online Advertising - Small Business Online Marketing - Pay Per Click Strategy - Internet Business Consultant
URL: http://www.gmsimmons.com
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