The Real Deal With Local Marketing
When people talk about marketing online, the first thought that usually comes to mind is selling their product or service to people who are not close to your business, so naturally many doctors, dentists, plumbers, or small businesses don’t think of the power of local marketing online. I am not well versed in the history of online marketing, but I am learning of the greatest benefits that spell out the future of local marketing online for local businesses.
To explain the basic importance of local marketing online, I want to first establish that there are several internet search engines and they do vary in their results, however, the one that tops the list may be Google and close behind are Yahoo and Bing, and not in that particular order. Now I’d like to point out the projects or business endeavors that Google has been involved in the past few years. This is important because it establishes the dominant factor for Google as the preferred method of searches by people around the world.
When it comes to local marketing the one thing I want you to focus on is Google Places. For most people using desktops or stationary computers (such as at the office or home), doing local search still involves placing the name of the city in the search box, but most have not discovered the left menu on a results page that gives them the “more” option and the “Places” page. Here, you can change a location of your search, particularly helpful when you are in one city and are making a local search for another city. Google remembers your search location until you change it.
What does Local Marketing and Google Places do?
Now that Google Places is clear, let me add to this party of knowledge, Google Places is geared to be used by mobile devices, so two things are important here. First, the user of a smartphone device who wants to find something will be given local searches according the GPS feature in their device. The second important item is for business owners, when they claim their Google Places Page they automatically generate a “mobile ready” page that gives potential customers facts such as name, address, phone number, a map, and other important attributes such as pictures, reviews, etc.
So what is the deal with the Google Places for business owners?
It’s a rather simple and a sad statistic. With a free page, mobile ready environment, top ranking ability, and overall increased exposure for a business you would think every small business would be completely set up, the simplicity of it is overwhelming. However, only 2% to 7% of small businesses are taking advantage of this free local marketing benefit, and that’s the sad statistic.
For starters, it’s easy to see that most people especially small business owners, it is not easy to identify future trends in marketing, even though the signs are right in front of them, in their hands (smartphones). Second, assuming that they see a bright future in local marketing online or internet, but don’t know how to approach and develop strategies to use local marketing online. And third, running a business leaves very little time for thinking outside the box, so there may be a fear that a marketing expert will charge them an arm and a leg and they are not sure how they will measure the results. Unfortunately most marketing businesses may promise the moon and the stars and focus their efforts only in one or two things, when you actually need a combination of at least ten different strategies, all used together, to allow a business to rank at the top of a search and ahead of the competition.
I will not elaborate on those strategies because they require… too many words for this article. I just hope my original message regarding local marketing online for small businesses is clear. Local marketing online is exploding because it is quickly going mobile. Small businesses need to tap into those free resources to attract potential customers. If I can give a local business the opportunity to receive 10 or 20 new calls a week, it is undoubtedly a huge potential for new customers and business growth, something a smart business owner would immediately understand and want! Notice that I keep addressing small businesses, that’s because most large businesses already know these facts and are quickly addressing the gap of their mobile marketing strategies.
As a business owner you need to get me on the phone and ask me the strategies you can use right away. Find out more information if this is a new subject to you. If you had a strong knowledge base, then I can only expect that your Google Places Page is complete and your mobile marketing strong with SMS, coupons, etc. The longer you wait and procrastinate, the more customers that will slip off your hands and the more you will delay the growth of your business. Local marketing online means mobile marketing, the future is here and you must take action and get those customers in.