Marketing seminar: Nearly 100 percent of consumers look for information online

GetListed.org recently began its Local University tour of cities that "don't get the attention they deserve" in the realm of local search. The company's goal is to hold seminars that provide knowledge and insight and introduce novice business owners into the world of internet marketing.

The seminar itself lasts four hours and covers internet marketing basics, with a focus on local search. Search optimization tips and techniques to increase long-term visibility are also discussed.

Furthermore, the meetings regularly feature representatives from Google Places and Bing Local. Considering those companies represent two of the most popular search engines today, attendees will certainly benefit from their discussions about the features of their business listing programs.

Local University recently visited western New York, with workshop presenters from a variety of blogs, marketing companies and web design firms. A featured speaker at the conference was Cecelia Stewart of Google Places, who explained to attendees how to properly use Google's local products to "acquire new customers while engaging and retaining existing ones," according to GetListed's website.

A plethora of statistics were relayed at the seminar. Some of these included the fact that 63 percent of small businesses still don't have an online presence, despite the revelation that 97 percent of consumers are looking for information online.

In addition, mobile search is on the rise, as 40 percent of local searches now take place via smartphones or mobile devices.

The importance of blogging was also covered, and it was revealed that websites with a blog receive an average of 55 percent more traffic than those that don't. Blogging also increases a business' image as an authority in its field.

In terms of online reviews, it was found that 70 percent of users trust them to be accurate. Being featured on Yelp, for example, is a great way to add credibility to a website and business, SEO Best Tips explains. The most effective way to create a legitimate presence on Yelp while enhancing SEO is to add keywords to descriptions and titles, fill out all forms, ensure that the company's address is 100 percent correct, include phone number and website URLs and add images.

However, owners should brainstorm different ways to guarantee that their businesses get reviewed, as Local University revealed that only 14 percent of people asked to add a review will actually do so.