The days of consumers picking up a newspaper or phonebook to locate a local business to meet their purchasing needs are quickly drawing to a close with the rapid growth of the Internet and high power technology portable enough to fit in a pocket or purse. Local search marketing offers enormous possibilities to small and medium-sized businesses in a time where newspapers and phonebooks are struggling to stay alive and as our society continues its steady journey into the technology age.
Internet users that conduct local searches are highly desirable consumers to reach, as they have a specific need in mind and are typically very close to making a final purchasing decision. Businesses that make themselves available through local search marketing will most often win the sale. For this reason, it is vital that community and regional business owners keep up with advertising trends for local marketing in order to have a significant search engine and directory presence.
Local search advertising is growing at phenomenal rates to meet the increasing demands of consumer searches. Studies show that there are more than 320 million search engine and directory searches each day and that over 80% of Internet users utilize it to locate businesses. Today’s shopper typically has at least one computerized device in the home and finds that an online search is quicker, easier and definitely more fun than looking through a phonebook or newspaper. Modern generations of consumers are computer savvy, impatient and make swift purchasing decisions. Businesses not reaching out to this customer base face lost opportunities that in today’s economy can significantly decrease their chances of survival.
Doctors, lawyers, restaurants, retail boutiques, hair salons, tattoo shops and other smart businesses use local search marketing as an affordable and effective source to provide information such as hours of operation, location, phone number, products and services, pricing and sales promotions. By providing a link to the business website, customers can be exposed to a further impression of the business through pictures, logos, videos and text.
Advertisers can target consumers by local Internet Provider addresses or by using local keywords in national campaigns. While tourist areas with may do better with the national promotions using local keywords such as the name of a city, beach or attraction, IP-targeted local campaigns may be best for other businesses. After determining keywords being typed into search engines by consumers, advertisers may choose to target some of the less competitive keywords that still have high traffic to increase chances of reaching that top spot in the search engines.
Local advertising, without a doubt, is rapidly moving to local search marketing. In fact, it is already there. Businesses that move with this trend will have a distinct advantage over their competitors. Those who resist the challenge will soon find that they have been left behind and will be faced with the intimidating struggle of catching up. Successful marketers will learn that it is better to get started sooner rather than later. Those that stay on top of new strategies are the businesses that will thrive and stay alive.