Local Search Marketing and the Small Business

So much has changed over the last 5 years or so in the shopping habits of consumers. With the busy lifestyles, duel income families, kids in school, after school sports and then somewhere in there finding time for family time. It is no wonder why shopping habits for both products and services has moved to the web. For physical products it is a quick and easy way to comparison shop. From a single search you can review several different products from the convenience of your own home, find the best price, then either physically go the store and make the purchase when you have the time or buy it right there and then online.

When it comes to shopping for services like a new landscaper, heating oil delivery, even insurance, the internet makes the process so much easier. The consumer goes to their favorite search engine, types in the name of the service they are looking for and follow it with a city and state so they only get results that are local. They would then browse the websites of those results, immediately discount some of them because of their unprofessional look. Then move on to investigate the few that are left. At this point they are going to be looking for things like customer testimonials, maybe even before and after pictures if it is a business like a landscaper. They just want to be sure before they actually make the call that they are making the right choice.

Now, what if your business is one of those that looks unprofessional because your uncle second cousins son did it for you? While it is great to get your business online and have your very own website it would almost be better to have no website at all rather than one that looks unprofessional. Look at this way, this shopper has no clue who you are, doesn’t even know what you look like. But based on the esthetics of your website they will pass a judgment on your business because your website is the first impression they get of you. What kind of an image do you want them to have? One where it looks like you do things half fast and unprofessional or one that displays a clean professional look and screams I do professional work and I’m proud of it?

On the other end of the spectrum, let say you have one of the nice looking websites in your local area but for some reason no one ever finds it. That kind of defeats the purpose of all that work you put into it, doesn’t it? There are a number of things you can do to help promote your website. For starters put the web address on everything, vehicles, invoices, receipts, business cards, pretty much anything that can be seen or touched by potential clients. Next you will want to do some type of online advertising, things like pay per click and search engine optimization. Generally unless you are very tech savvy and want to figure things out for yourself you will want to consult someone that specializes in online marketing.

The bottom line is that in today’s day and age your business must be online and be able to be found by those that are seeking your service. They are going to find someone, the question is, are they going to find you or your competitors.

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