90% of consumers use search engines to research for products and services in their local area, according to BIA/Kelsey's research. That is a very telling and significant percentage. The internet has completely changed the way consumers shop for products and services and how they select who to purchase from. It is a lot faster and more convienent to access information from a Google search than it is to thumb through the white or yellow pages. It has become critical for businesses to re-evaluate how they spend their marketing dollars.
Eight out of Ten Consumers Shop Online at Least Once a Week—Compete
Social media has become extremely popular. Social Media is growing very fast and the search engines are paying attention. Having a blog and branding your business across social media platforms can help your business achieve higher search engnine rankings. Most small businesses that don't get involved with social media say it's because they don't understand how to use it or they don't have the time. Take a look at these amazing stats before you decide whether social media is worth the investment. Social media is what you make it. It doesn't have to eat up a lot of your time to be effective. Not to mention it is fastly becoming a bigger part of many businesses internet marketing strategy.
61% of small business owners use social media to identify and attract new customers. —Social Media Today
Universal search or blended search provides a richer user experience to searchers. When a consumer does a search, results come back for organic listing (websites), local listings (Google Business Listing), images, video, news, blog posts, maps, etc. This presents a business owner with a great opportunity to optimize their business for many of those search results. In larger markets where there is more competition, it is often times necessary for a business owner to invest in search optimization for many different search results in order to have an online presence.
Internet user's IP address is recognized by the search engine, which allows the search engine to bring up local results even if a broad search term is used. For example, when you type in the broad search term "plumber" in Google, local results come up based on the computer's IP address location. This makes it extremely important for businesses to invest marketing dollars in Local SEO for their Google Business Listing.
97% of consumers search for local businesses online—Google
Internet user's search history is saved by the search engines as a footprint for tailored search results to the end user's profile. Search engines factor in that people prefer to do business locally, when possible.
Time is a factor with search engine optimization (SEO). The search engines factor how long the business listing or website (domain age) has been around. This isn't necessarily the biggest factor in determining where your business ranks in search results (so don't worry that it's going to take forever to get ranked, because that's not the case). But in a situation where you and your competition have the same quality of search engine optimization other than the time factor, domain age and the age of your business listing might end up being a significant factor. Get a leg up on your competition and make local internet marketing a part of your business marketing strategy today.
Know your competition. What kind of online marketing is your competition using to promote their business? Do they have a website? Google Business Listing? Facebook page? Are they paying for local SEO services? If you want to go from feast or famine to a consistent steady stream of business, then find out what your competition is doing and one-up them by doing it better. Discovering how much your competition is utilizing local internet marketing should be enough to convince you why local SEO is necessary and smart marketing.
Smart phone ownership is on the rise. According to Google's research, more consumers in the U.S. use a mobile phone (feature phone or smartphone) than a computer (desktop or laptop). "Smartphones make up 40% of all mobile phones in U.S.", according to The Nielson Company. People with smart phones (e.g. Blackberry, Iphone, Adroid) can do searches online to find local businesses. Google makes it easy for them with super fast and easy searching in Google Places. This is a big factor why internet marketing is so important. Talk about convenient and easy access to information! For more information on why local seo is important for your business, check out this article/graph by The Nielson Company.
79% of US smartphone and tablet owners have used their mobile devices for shopping-related activities—The Nielson Company
Navigation systems in automobiles are becoming more and more advanced. They're no longer just for directions. Many of these navigation systems have an icon on them for Google Local. When someone does a specific search with their navigation system, it brings up somewhere around 20 local search results, starting with the ones that are located closest to the vehicle's current location. Not to mention, navigation systems are part of the standard package for a lot of new vehicles and they are inexpensive now to buy at a retail store.
Your business listing in Google Maps offers you a full page listing. You would have to spend thousands of dollars to have the same type of listing in the Yellow Pages or other media formats. Creating a Google business listing with Local SEO is effective and affordable. Having a full page listing allows the consumer to get to know you and your business better, which is exactly what the consumer is looking for. So it's not just about being more visible to the consumer, it's also about how you present your business to them.
Because consumers have access to much more information these days, they are expecting small business owners to provide them with more information. That way the consumer can make a well informed buying decision. With more access to information comes an age of the more savvy consumer. If you don't want to take the time to provide consumers with the information they crave, then they will go with a competitor that will.
Local business owners who market themselves on search engines are in the best position to sustain and grow their companies. Once you understand why local SEO is vitally important to your business's success, it's then just a matter of coming up with the right local internet marketing strategy. For more information on why local SEO is important to your business, give Better Business Listing a call and see what Local SEO can do for your business.