The Internet Is Your Best Local Marketing Tool!
If you own a small business, the Internet is your most effective local marketing strategy! On Tuesday, I attended a great seminar called Encore Entrepreneurs, sponsored by the Houston SCORE Chapter and the AARP. Part of the program covered marketing strategies, and I agreed with everything the presenter said except for one statement — he said that the Internet was only for global marketing.
That’s wrong and has been wrong for years! If you own a small business that markets to a local or regional area, the Internet is your best marketing and advertising resource. Unless your target market is just people over age 65 who don’t use the Web much, the Internet will bring your business more visibility with prospective customers and do it at a lower cost than any of the traditional local marketing and advertising channels.
Google Knows Where Your Business and Your Customers Are Located
How does Google target a local base of prospective customers? Google and the other search engines try to guess if an Internet searcher is looking for a local business, and if so, the search engines will return local results. Your local business can and should be in those local results! The Internet search phrase doesn’t have to include a place name, for example, you don’t have to search for pizza houston tx to find a local pizza restaurant if you live in Houston TX. If the search engines identify your search as looking for local businesses, they will guess your location based on the IP address of the computer you’re using or your smart phone location, and use that location to send you the best local results. In the example below, I searched for pizza without specifying “Houston” and Google returned results for pizza Houston.
There are a couple of things you should notice in the search results. The first is that a website that’s optimized for “pizza Houston” came in at the top of the list. That’s despite the fact that the Houston Pizza chain is located in Canada. So if your website is optimized for “Houston Pizza” you have a good chance of appearing at the top of search results for Internet customers living in Houston. That’s one reason why Internet search marketing is such a powerful tool for the local businesses that optimize their websites for their locations.
The other thing you should notice is the the list of businesses right below the Houston Pizza website entries. Those are Google business listings, now called Google+ Local listings, and they are free. [They’re now called Google My Business listings] Businesses can claim these business listings and similar listings provided by Yahoo and Bing and add business information, pictures, logos, and customer recommendations. These listings provide first page of search results access for local businesses, but 90% of small businesses don’t even know they exist.
Hire the Experts at IX Brand SEO Services to Help You Dominate Local Marketing
So if you own a local small business what should you do? You should hire a search engine optimization company like IX Brand SEO Services to optimize your website for local marketing. If you do business in a competitive marketplace like Houston, this will be a continuing process instead of a one-time event. You should also hire a local search marketing company, like IX Brand SEO Services, to claim and improve your local business listings.
Some small business owners have the Web-savvy to do much of the work themselves and they can cut their costs by doing so. However, a competent Internet search marketing company can still serve as an advisor to ensure that the do-it-yourself SEO is always headed in the right direction.
If you have any questions about any of this, please give us a call at 713-234-6346 or use our contact form to send us an email. Save money and grow your business by taking advantage of local search marketing!