Often times for many local businesses don’t understand the necessity in developing an online presence in today’s day and age. They don’t see the extreme value in having an online presence and how it can boost their business. So below, I’ll define why you need one, and how your business can boom with one.
You’re Clients are looking for you online!
If you’re looking for a local service, like plumbing for example, the first place you’ll look is most likely Google or Bing. You’ll pull out your phone, or go to your computer and type “plumber in city name” to find a plumber. Or if you’re looking for a local Chinese restaurant, odds are that you’ll go straight to Google to search for a local Chinese restaurants. And for any type of service, you’ll do this to find out where and how you can get in contact with a local business to provide you with those services.
An online presence is something that is very important for any business. And as time goes on, the more important it will become. Last year, there were over 1.2 trillion search queries in Google alone. That’s over 40,000 per second. So there’s an abundance of potential traffic which can be tapped into online.
How to develop a presence?
The two most effective methods of online marketing for local businesses is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) Marketing. And there are three places you can potentially show up. You can either show up in the PPC Advertisements, the Local 7 Pack or Map Listings, and last but not least, the general search results which you can see below. Pro’s and cons of each will be discussed below.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pros: Pay Per Click Advertising works instantly. You go to Google Adwords, deposit some money, setup a campaign and your ads start running instantly. So there is no long waiting to start getting traffic and you online pay for the clicks you receive.
Cons: Depending on the market you’re in, the cost per click can be quite high, and there can be a lot of competitors bidding to get the top spot. So a lot of tweaking and monitoring has to go into this type of marketing to make sure your getting the most out of your advertisements. In the picture below, you’ll see the average monthly searches, competition, and suggested bid for various plumbing related search terms in Mississauga.
Another negative for PPC marketing is that it produces a lower click through rate. Stats have shown that people click on results in the 7 pack, or the general search results more than the paid ads.
Local 7 Pack & General Search Results
To get into the Local 7 pack, or general search results, you’re site and online brand profile must be search engine optimized and these are the golden spots to be listed in. And in many cases, a well optimized site will be listed in both the local 7 pack and general search results, such as MrRooter.ca as seen above.
Pros: There are no continual costs. Once your business is listed here, you don’t have to pay per click, per visit, per phone call or anything like that. So if you were a plumber in Mississauga, and you were listed here, imagine what that would do to your business! So basically, there is a huge return on investment in the long run if your website is optimized to be shown here.
You also get a higher click through rate, and if you’re business is listed in the 7 pack, it’s very easy for a search engine user to click your phone number on their mobile phone, and initiate a call with you.
Cons: A slower process. Search Engine Optimization doesn’t just happen overnight. It can take anywhere from a month to over 6 months depending on the competition in the search results.
Having an Effective Website
People are attracted to a functional and attractive website. Moreover, with the rise of smart phones, many people people will be looking for your business on a phone.
A business can have the best optimized website in their market, and get a lot of traffic to their site. However, if their site is not designed beautifully and functionally, a lot of that traffic will not convert into proper sales. And if you’re website is not mobile-friendly, you’ll lose a lot of potential customers. So a well designed website that is functional and mobile friendly is key to get the most out of your online marketing campaigns.