Local SEO

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Local Search on the Rise

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Local businesses are forced to get online or get out of town; not having a presence on the web isn’t an option anymore.  As more and more people begin to jump online, local business owners can no longer view the internet  as a place for Big Corporations with huge marketing budgets.

In today’s market, consumers aren’t hesitating to buy any and everything you can imagine online.  People have begun to purchase consumable goods, such as pizza and health foods, as well as physical items, like cars and clothing over the net.

The fear of  making purchases over the internet has slowly diminished with the interaction and development of social media sites.  Social sites have broken the barriers for children, teens, adults, and even the elderly.

That’s right… don’t be surprised to find your grandparents ordering take out online, and hanging out on dating sites.

The statistics aren’t lying, now is the time for the street smart business owner to claim his stake in cyberspace.  There’s nothing but opportunity for savvy local business owners who are willing to invest in their marketing.

But there is only one problem many local companies face.

They don’t have a clue about online marketing.  The times have changed so fast, many brick and mortar owners are working in the dark.  Basically, operating under the notion, that someone’s bound to ride by their location, see the open sign, and stop in for drinks, food, or whatever it is they are selling.

And a small number of individuals will stop and spend money.

But… in today’s society, with everyone being in a rush, people are starting to plan there day before they leave the house.  And to no surprise — most of the planning is done on the internet, on a blackberry, or over an i-phone.

So what are local business owners going to do to rectify the situation.

Well, from my point of view, they have two choices: learn to market online or hire someone who knows how to market online.  The first choice, learning to do it themselves, requires to much time.  Most small businesses are barely making a profit and can’t afford to spend 3 to 4 hours a day learning internet marketing.  So that leaves option number two… hiring an expert.

This is where the land of opportunity lies for a good internet marketer.  Yes, I said good, because you don’t have to be great to dominate the local search market.  If you’ve been researching Search Engine Marketing for a couple of months, then you probably know enough to take over your local market right now.

The only thing you could possibly be missing is lack direction and confidence.

Whatever the case may be, the local market is an excellent place to get your feet wet.  Just follow a few basic guidelines  listed below:

1)  Geo-Target your keywords

2) Use local search engines and IYPs

3) Enhance profile on national data providers

4) Display full address with zip code on all  pages

5) Include a local number

6) Get links from local business associations

These are a few basic guidelines to help you dominate your local search market and have clients literally banging down your door.  To get a more in depth look into marketing online visit Super-6 Training.  And remember to research your market and educate yourself before taking a leap of faith.

Dexter Fulton, CEO and founder of Atlanta Marketing Minds, a search marketing firm outside of Atlanta, co-founder of 8 Hour Lunch Break, and the lead instructor at Super-6 Training, an Atlanta based educational workshop for developing fundamental online marketing principles; has been performing SEO since 2007.