We’re already nearing the second decade of the new millennium. While time flies fast, every industry tries to keep up with the latest Internet trends and with it, with the competition. In the past few years, we’ve seen some major changes in the ways search engines like Google and Bing help businesses grow. This especially goes to local businesses, since they are able to attract local customers without much effort. Without doubt, the benefits are numerous and the risks – well, there aren’t any real risks. Business owners count as risk the losing of a few hundred bucks on the website’s creation, although the chances for failure to occur are little to none. What will you gain?
What’s so great about advertising businesses locally? To begin with, it’s easier for marketers to focus on people living in that region, rather than choosing countrywide audience. Thus, the budget for advertising is smaller, depending on the industry.
In 2018, around 35% of all local businesses have created websites and started advertising products and services online. The ones doing it first soon become well-known ‘carrier brands’, meaning they don’t need to advertise as much simply because the customers (and search engines) are doing it for them. There’s still time for other local businesses to become brands, as industry monopolies are meant to be disrupted.
New Lead Generation Sources
While Bing is slowly starting to keep up with Google, the latter has already become a major lead generation provider with its famous Local Service Ads program. Almost 2/3 of all marketing professionals agree that Google is practically a ‘homepage’ for every local business.
The amount of organic traffic coming from it cannot be compared with any other source. Basically, most leads and sales are being generated for free (or via paid campaigns, depending on the business). Anything from leaving positive reviews, looking for suggestions, asking questions, and so on, only shapes the natural SEO process of the business via Google.
Having a website is crucial
Almost 1/3 of the local businesses leave the ‘add a website’ option blank because they don’t have one. By simply putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, there’s much to be done. For example, every customer interested enough in your business will want to see more about the company. While they may not be able to visit it physically, it’s best to check out the website.
Without it, you’re certain to lose the majority of potential online customers. Another important thing is to set up e-commerce on the site itself, for people to buy online. Giving them paying options to choose from creates satisfaction and increases trust between the company and customers. Developing local content, on-site optimization and local link building ensures success and an ongoing competition, until the unused portion of customers is divided respectively.