On this blog we often talk about how the way that consumers find local businesses has fundamentally changed over the last few years.
While traditional methods of attracting new customers to your location still may work, those local businesses who do not take advantage of online and mobile search directories, ratings and review sites, and social networks to find new customers will be left behind. In fact recent industry data shows that 2/3 of consumers use local search to find businesses at least once a week.
The good news is that many local businesses are starting to reap the benefits of this leveling of the playing field. Today, you can win by being found online without buying tons of ads that many small businesses can’t afford. But it’s not enough to just have your name and your hours published in your online listings across the internet. You need to be include your products, your services, your prices, and more so whatever people are searching for they will find your business if you have what they need.
According to Google, more than half of local searches don’t have a specific destination in mind. That means that your potential customers are searching for things like “flowers” or “buffalo wings” or “auto repair” near them and not just “Danny’s Pizza” or “Flower Barn.”
In fact, according to our own just released research, 78% of small businesses believe that they are getting new customers through search engines today and 85% of small businesses already believe it is important to be seen on major search sites like Google, Yahoo, TripAdvisor, Yelp and Yellow Pages .
While local businesses have traditionally been slower to adopt emerging avenues for getting new customers in the past, tons are already seeing the benefits of creating compelling digital storefronts across the web.
If you’re not putting your best foot forward by featuring your products and services on key search sites and mobile apps, you may be missing opportunities to reach consumers as they search for a great local business to visit.
Learn more by downloading our free eBook, 10 Facts: Why Small Business Owners Need to Pay Attention to Mobile and Local Search.