If you have or are thinking about a website for your business, you need to also think about how that website will be found by your customers. Think of your website as a store that you’re building. Building a website without adding an internet marketing program is like building a store but never turning on the lights. If the lights aren’t on, people can’t see you’re open and come in to shop. If you had a website built but haven’t promoted it online, it’s the same concept. People won’t be able to find you…but they will find your competition, and that’s where they will shop.
You have an objective you wish to accomplish with your website (or you wouldn’t have created a website). Regardless of your company size or market, you need to bring your website closer to accomplishing those objectives. For most people, they want their website to bring them more customers. Considering your objectives will help you set specific goals like the functionality of your website but also how you want to market that website.
For many years “The Yellow Pages” (print version) was an effective source of advertising a business. These ads can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month. Today, more and more people are searching for local businesses online. Small businesses are at a disadvantage if they aren’t claiming, updating, and maintaining their local business listings.
Here are some benefits of local internet marketing:
- Local search results – when someone searches for “Italian Restaurants in Altoona PA” your business can appear in search results if you have your business optimized on local business listings.
- It helps advertise your business where local customers are looking.
- It allows you to promote discounts, special offers, promotions and these offers can be changed as often as you like.
- Photos or videos can be displayed in the online ads. Print listings can’t offer this service.
- Lead generation – because people are searching for local businesses online, your local online listing will expose your business to more potential customers.
- Cost Effective – Local internet marketing is much more cost effective and offers a higher return on investment than print advertising.
Some local listings will keep you updated on how many people have viewed your ad. This will help you make ongoing improvements on your ad. Plus, all of the local online listings provide a link to your website where potential customers can get more detailed information on you and your business.
Don’t just build a website…turn the lights on so your customers know you’re open!