Local Business & Services – Intro

Local business owner that neglect to implement Internet marketing strategies are missing out on mines full of gold

Being a home-based business owner, I am aware of the many challenges one could face while operating a local business. Today’s prevailing changes to the marketplace is a major challenge, but let’s not forget political factors such as wage rates and possible union issues. Under-capitalization is another huge challenge that haunts so many well-meaning entrepreneurs. So how is implementing an Internet marketing strategy going to overcome these challenges?

The Internet has become a majorly useful tool to have in the business toolbox. While it may not be able to ward of the government and their regulations, it does work magic for creating buzz, building brand loyalty and generating new business & referrals.

I cannot speak for you, but when I think about my friends, co-worker and even myself, we turn to the Internet (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) when we are looking for a solution. This can be any kind of solution for example, “Oh my stomach is growling & I don’t feel like cooking. What’s around here to eat or order in?” or “My back is really soar from that car accident the other day. I need to find a chiropractor and perhaps a lawyer while I am at it!”. Let’s take a look at some facts taken from: comScore, Google, Kesley and the NPD Group:

  • 97% of American Internet users use the Internet to shop of which 57% characterize their behavior as “shop online, purchase offline.”
  • 90% of online commercial searches result in offline bricks and mortar purchases
  • 82% of local searchers follow-up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase
  • 74% of Internet users perform local searches
  • 73% of online activity is related to local content
  • 66% of Americans use online local search to locate local businesses
  • 61% of local searches result in purchases
  • 54% of Americans have substituted the Internet and local search for phone books
  • 35% of all searches are local
  • For every $1U.S. consumers spend online, another $5-$6 are going to offline purchases that are influenced by online research
  • What’s most impressive to me is that 90% of online commercial searches results in local offline purchases.

Ok, so with so many local search statistics, what does this mean for your local business?

All those statistics mean is that finding businesses locally is becoming an Internet driven task. Thanks to local search tools and mobile devices such as Smartphone’s & iPad’s; real local businesses are increasingly visible to local consumers online.

As a result, the Internet continues to provide e-commerce but is now driving local sales as well. And as consumers continue to move online and become connected by mobile, their reliance on online tools to perform searches for local information, local businesses, and everything else local, will only continue to grow. This is why a local business owner can be missing out on Archers of Diamonds without a well thought out Internet marketing strategy. Let me make it clear.