Seasoned small business owners are notoriously suspicious of Internet marketing, especially those who rely on local trade. There are many common points of contention, all of which are valid in their own way. However, many of these anti-Internet arguments ignore tons of supporting data that prove the necessity of an online presence.
For every person who dismisses social media and SEO as a “fad,” there is a strong argument that Internet marketing isn’t a choice for business owners in 2018: it’s a necessity for anyone who wants to succeed. To explore this notion further, here are the three main reasons why local businesses need to adopt Internet marketing as part of their strategy.
The Importance of Local Search Visibility
You’ve probably heard Internet marketing experts waxing lyrical about
search engine optimization (SEO) and how it can help businesses to tap into a global audience – but what if your business is only targeting local customers? Local search visibility is similar to SEO, but it is an entirely different discipline, and it’s one you should adopt if you want to stay above the competition in your market.
SEO is a complex digital strategy based on algorithms, and it certainly has its place. There’s only so much SEO can do for local businesses, however, particularly if they don’t have an online store. Instead, local search visibility campaigns focus on keyword research that determines how people look for business in your area, concentrating on sending local signals to search engines, promotion strategies, online reviews, and regional link development. To help you improve search visibility for your business, consult a local SEO company that specializes in small business strategies.
Changing Consumer Expectations
People’s expectations are different these days, and while it was once commonplace for local business not to be found online, nowadays most prospective customers want to be able to see your business in search engine results. With 3.2 billion Internet users worldwide, don’t you think at least some of those users will be interested in learning more about your brand? If you don’t have a website, people may doubt your legitimacy as a business and shop elsewhere.
Moreover, research indicates that most people now prefer shopping online. One reason for this is that high-speed Internet and mobile-friendly websites now make us more dependent on technology and less dependent on physical stores. So, by not providing the option for customers to shop online, you’re narrowing your potential for sales and missing out on a lucrative marketing tool that will only grow with time.
Competition and Convenience
If your local area is saturated with other businesses, you need to find ways to stand out from the competition. By engaging with local customers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you’re getting ahead of the game and making sure those people remember you even when they’re back at home scrolling their social media feed. Being online makes you available around the clock, too, so if there is a concern, complaint, or enquiry, then so long as you have your phone or device to hand you can run your business from anywhere in the world.