Posted by Jan at 2:59 am
Can local shoppers find your business?
Local customers are shopping, but are they finding your store?
Over and over I talk to local businesses who are still convinced that their customers are not looking online for their particular products or services. The biggest problem I see with this is the fact that these same business owners have no way of knowing how much business they are actually losing by not being visible online.
Missing customers are invisible
If 500 customers a month find your competitors online you will never know they are being siphoned off systematically week after week after week. Ironically, most small business service providers only need 3 to 5 new customers every week to really turn their profit margins around. So you would think the possibility of capturing even 20 new eyeballs a month would be exciting to them. for many local businesses the opportunity to talk to customers, while they’re in their decision-making process is the basis for their business. So why have local business owners have been slow to use the Internet appropriately to market their business?
Local businesses are tired of being ripped off
Unfortunately, many have been ripped off and scam into buying expensive websites that don’t generate any money for them or by buying ads or listings and directories that are equally ineffective. It’s understandable that trying to decide which programs are important to follow through with and which Internet marketing or advertising programs are waste of time and money.
Adwords, is just one example of how local businesses can spend a fortune while not making a cent. In certain markets the competition is so stiff that local business owners have no chance of capturing good leads from adwords without spending anywhere from $10-$25 a click. But don’t give up because your local customers really are looking for you online
91% of U.S. internet users do comparison shopping and research online and of that group 51% explicitly characterize themselves as “shop online, purchase offline”
Local businesses that succeed
Local businesses that succeed capitalize on what they do best – communicate personally and professionally with their customers. E-Mail, blogs, articles and videos are all simple and effective ways to enhance your ability to communicate with local customers. Simple, search engine optimization can help these parcels of information show up in the places where your customers are searching for information. It is becoming less and less important that your website show up on the first page of Google, and more important that your information shows up there. Regardless of where it’s published- good information that consumers want to read can lead people back to your store, website or encourage them to call you directly.
Local businesses that use these strategies are more successful because they are reaching customers where and when they are searching.
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