Small business owners all over the nation are realizing the importance of making sure they can easily be found online. Today’s digitized landscape has changed the way most consumers shop for products, or even local service based businesses. It seems that quite a few businesses who once relied on word of mouth, or their ability to perform well have realized they need to shift their tactics to include a good amount of internet marketing.
Many small business owners that hesitated in allocating funds towards internet marketing campaigns early on are now kicking themselves for letting the fear get to them. James Reilley of Round Rock Plumbers LLC. said “I just didn’t see it working, and considering every click was going to cost me about 20$ (with Google AdWords) I just thought it probably wasn’t going to be the best way to spend my money.”
That was 3 years ago, and since then James has taken a very different approach to attacking his marketing. After realizing the value of the internet to a local business James has since created a website that caters to clients, and hired on a full-time SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Team to help with the work.
According to an article on SearchEngineLand.com 50% of mobile visitors that do search on mobile devices go on to make a call or visit a store directly after their search, and more than 60% have used local information in ads. Considering a plumber or home remodeler might make thousands off just one job, it would appear worthwhile for a company to invest a good amount in attracting leads towards their brand.
But it’s not simply being found that seems to influence where search traffic ends up going, but the fact that 88% of online consumers read and trust the reviews they are reading on pages like Yelp or HomeAdviser.com. This makes the task of creating a well-balanced SEO campaign a difficult one to plan out and execute.
According to Reilley “…I must have tried 3 guys that told me they could help with my marketing, and they didn’t do a single thing that I could notice. In the end I ended up having to spend an arm and a leg on a company I found reviews for (online) and those guys gave me a good return.”
Evidently the market has also produced a lot of people trying to get money out of the public trough without understanding the pseudo-science that is internet marketing; and choosing the right one seems it can be daunting as well.
With giant sites like Angie’s List, Yahoo, and Yelp taking over the front pages of most search terms it seems to be increasingly difficult for a local business to compete. But according to Nicholas Altimore of Lion-Rank Austin, “With the capabilities you have to market online using multiple execution points, it’s an absolute must for any small business. You can always diversify your portfolio using Facebook advertising, local listings, organic rankings, or pay per click… among any number of other avenues to help funnel traffic back towards your business.”
An overwhelming amount occurred in the internet marketing world with the invention and use of the smart phone. Now anyone that needs something fixed on their car, house, or what-have-you seems to pull out their trusty phone and search for a remedy almost immediately. And of those people, an astounding 18% will lead to a sale that very same day. For a plumber in an area where pipes could potentially freeze or something of the sort, it would make sense why it would literally pay to be found online.
This advancement in mobile technology also meant that a good amount of the websites that existed pre-smart phones had to get a facelift as well to work on the smaller screens. Things like click-to-call and many other advancements in technology have made it so that the days of having a website made and letting it sit, are also over now. It would seem that an active business now includes building out new website pages, blogging, making YouTube videos, Facebook posts, and a million other options to include in an internet marketing arsenal.
The internet landscape is ever changing, and many of it’s products come and go in a flash, but according to the overwhelming amount of analytics on internet marketing it appears it is a must for any local business.
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