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This news is hardly surprising; however, in a recent study (March 10, 2010) by biakelsey 97% of all consumers use the internet to research the products or services they plan on purchasing and then shop for them locally. Of this figure, 90% use search engines for this task.
So the question that must be asked by small businesses is. "Is our website and marketing plan set-up to maximise sales opportunities from the local market ?" If the answer is "No"... Then why ?
Consider these facts: There are more than 200,000,000 active websites on the internet and this figure grows daily. By default the big three search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing show 10 listings each in their first page search results. The conclusion is obvious, unless your listed on the first page of these search engines your business is virtually invisible online.
In my experience, most businesses when deciding to market themselves online, make the fatal mistake of competing in an already saturated market place.
Let us look at the following example. Imagine you live in Sydney, Australia and you have a carpet cleaning business. Now, since I used to run a carpet cleaning business in Sydney, I can talk from experience.
Many carpet cleaners naturally want a larger slice of the Sydney pie, so they aim their marketing around the keyphrase carpet cleaning sydney. If you were to look this phrase up in Google you will see that 2,840,000 others had a similar idea. However, if you decided to focus your efforts to a local suburb eg Baulkham Hills and searched on the keyphrase carpet cleaning baulkham hills, you will see that the competition is significantly less at 120,000.
Local Internet Marketing
If I was to launch a new carpet cleaning business today, I would much rather aim at being ranked in the top 3 results of the main search engines for many smaller suburbs that have less competition and therefore are more winnable. That was the main way, how I managed to achieve and hold a 1st place Google ranking for close to 5 years before selling my carpet cleaning business due to ill health. A result which is something that is almost unheard of.
However going for smaller markets alone wont guarantee results. So I've put together my list of top tips for achieving search engine success with local internet marketing.
1: Get yourself a good Keyword Research tool and Research your micro market. Some micro markets have such little traffic that you may need to add to your list of local markets to give you results that you would be happy with.
2: Hire a good SEO company, preferably one with experience in local internet marketing. Meet with them and tell them your goals and get them to search engine optimise your website for your target market keyphrases. You will save yourself a lot of money by doing your own keyword research.
3: Link build by using non-reciprocal links or one way link building. Try getting your local newspapers, magazines, directories, niche blogs etc to list your site.
I hope this has helped you. Please remember to share with your friends.
If your interested in taking action on your website that will result in long term free traffic and increased sales.
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