According to a recent survey, approximately 40% of all the searches done on the Internet were to find something local to the searcher's area. Also, 60% of local consumers use the Internet to find products online. However, on the other hand, 90% of the consumers searching for a product or service made their actual purchase offline.
Internet search companies get where the trend is going and have built numerous local search portals. This industry has a great future and is bound to continue growing. Already the number of options can be confusing. What we definitely don't want to do is make our decision based on which service seems the least expensive. In any case, a service that costs just $5.00 a month, but brings you no new customers equals a much greater opportunity loss than the $70.00 a year for the service.
Local search provides your business with more than just a link and address. Unlike the “old media” such as phone books or printed industry guides, there is really no limit to the amount of information a business or industry could list on the Internet. The only Internet limitations you see are due to the "old media" companies stuck in decade old business paradigms. Your business is much more than just a name, a product or service, an address and phone number. Any Internet business listing service should allow you to show all elements of your business like your products and services, hours of operation, brand names, locations and directions, what makes you different than the competition, and anything else a potential local searcher might need to know about your business or industry.
It also has the ability to change and update your listing easily and frequently. Business is always changing, and your listing should change with you. If you add new payment methods, new services or products, or even have holiday store hours, you should be able to update and change your business listing whenever you need to and the updates should take place immediately.
Connect with your customers at the exact moment they are searching for you.
People who search for products and services online use all kinds of different methods to try and find your service. Consider this short list of the ways people search that can effect whether or not they find you.
If your local listing provider only has one method to list your information, you would probably only get one of the customer searches and that's it! You have to be sure that your local listing provider uses a mixture of ways to connect with your customer and works across the industry to provide your business exposure to the largest number of customer search behavior available.
About the author
Gorge Khera is a PPC optimization specialist at LocalPages.com. Be seen with LocalPages.com on every local listing in all the major search engines - like Google, Yahoo, Msn, & Ask!
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