For the vast majority of local business owners, the Internet can either be feast, or famine. With a comprehensive and effectively structured approach, local search can be used as a very powerful lead generation tool for your local business. Bear in mind that with local business search, the latest data shows that 97 percent of consumers take to the web for information.
Unfortunately, many local businesses are not maximizing their local marketing budgets. Make sure you're not one of them. Here are the top eight reasons why local search is not effective for many local business owners. For starters:
* many local business owners are not even using local search to generate leads — major mistake
* they have neglected to research and lay claim to a top web position for their niche by identifying and using search phrases that would relate to a local search for their specific type of business
* their poorly designed website does not have an effective and integrated online local presence that attracts and converts leads
* incorrect, or limited website contact information
* using dark background colors such as black with dark colored type as in medium or dark blue, or grey for content and contact information — the plain and simple reality is that color and contrast matters for lead conversions
* not utilizing local keywords such as Greek food "East Village New York," "day care center Overland Park, Kansas," or "sell jewelry Oakland, CA"
* not using the almost immediate and targeted traffic that Pay Per Click, also known as PPC, can deliver to your local business in today's geographically targeted search environment
* ignoring the new kid in the local search market, namely mobile devices
Today's business environment is constantly changing, and whether you embrace it or not, your website is always a work in progress (at least it should be a work in progress)
Let's take mobile as an example of how these new changes impact your business. Google recently partnered with Nielsen, a leading company in global information and market research that provides measurable insights and statistics about consumer viewing and purchasing habits. The partnership resulted in the development of a study involving over 6000 mobile searches along with the results and impact of these searches.
The takeaway from the research is that the use of mobile devices for search and local search is projected to dominate the market by 2014.
Taking these results into consideration, have you included mobile in your local search marketing? Is your website optimized for mobile? If not, what are you plans to make it happen? In order to make it happen, your timeline for action is about 3.5 months.