Local marketing is the hottest area online to market your brick and mortar business. Local online advertising is the 21st century replacement for the old Yellow Pages. Local ties closely together with mobile marketing, giving your customers a chance to interact with you and help spread the gospel of your business.
Local online marketing is an important facet in search engine optimization for the website of a brick-and-mortar business. A listing on Google Places, Facebook places, Bing or Yahoo places can only help with SEO: it's directing more users to your website and your business.
The traditional model for local and small business advertising -- of advertising in the Yellow Pages -- no longer works. Over 70% of searches for local goods and services are now done online via search engines and local directories (using smartphones). It’s a failing product trying to hold on to an outdated business model. The two largest publishers of printed business directories (Yellow Pages), RR Donnelly and IdeaArc, both filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009.
Another traditional venue for advertising, newspapers, is in similar trouble. Advertising revenue for newspapers is in freefall. And readers are leaving in droves: I cancelled my subscription to the local fishwrap three years ago. Like so many others, I get my news and entertainment online, where it's up-to-date, not stale. And I certainly no longer look at those print ads.
And studies by the EPA show that 44% of direct mail advertisements never get opened, wasting important resources.
The writing is on the wall. Local/mobile online advertising is the present and future of small business advertising.
The web has fundamentally changed the way people find, discover, share, shop and connect.
“83% of U.S. households now use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services… the Internet will soon surpass newspapers as a local shopping information resource.” Source: The Kelsey Group
Ranking high on local search engines is no longer optional, it's critical to the success of a brick-and-mortar business.
Google maintains an immense database of businesses, their addesses and phone numbers, inherited from the yellow pages/phone book directory, tied together with map locations in the Google Maps database.
Google allows business owners to claim ownership of their listing, letting owners add important details to the business description, hours of operation, payment methods accepted, phone number, website and much more. Google places also allows business owners to offer coupons on their Places listing, as well as accept and display reviews by users.
Google Places is a truly effective method of spreading the word about your local brick-and-mortar business. iNvision Studios can help you claim and optimize your Google Places listing. The result? More customers walking through your doors. And buying.
Google sells advertising space through their Adwords service to enhance your local free listing. That's a quick way to generate a lot of online traffic, but our ultimate goal is to generate organic listings through the search engine. A study by research company Eyetools of the Google search results page shows that most users click on the first three organic listings, and almost never go beyond the first page.
Once you have an online presence established, we'll work to get you included in a number of online local search directories like Bing Business Portal, Yahoo Local Search, and many, many more, depending on your business.