More than 50% of all consumers now reach for a computer or a handheld device to browse the internet for information on local businesses rather than looking in a telephone book such as the Yellow Pages. This means that many small businesses with a local market may be missing out because they don’t engage with online marketing.
Statistics from across the pond in America show that 95% of internet users who go online to a local business are ready to purchase. Therefore you need to make it easy for them to find your website and make that purchase. Apparently 80% of the local searches result in a purchase, visit to the actual store, or at least a telephone call. Over 65% research the desired product online but then make the purchase in store.
The majority of internet users looking to make a purchase will only browse those websites that come within the top of the first page of the search engine, so you may benefit from optimizing your position through search engine organization. Your website needs to include all necessary information, and needs to look relatively attractive. It should also be easy to navigate. Use social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. They are a good use of online marketing which are also free and user friendly.
Although local businesses will benefit from Yellow Pages, radio or newspaper, it is clear from this information that online marketing will push your sales even further. If your local business is presented in a positive manner it will generate familiarity and therefore trust. Businesses that do not appear in online local searches will get left behind, and customers will turn to those who have a presence on the internet.