Things have changed a lot in a very short space of time when it comes to marketing to your local community.  It is only a few years ago that the first place any one searched for a local business was the Yellow Pages.  And while the Yellow Pages aren’t exactly dead, they sure are ailing and have considerably reduced in size (my Yellow Pages have halved).

So what’s going on?  It’s simple.  More and more people are turning to the internet via their computers and mobile phones to search for business operators in their local areas.  Whether it’s for a plumber, accountant, personal trainer, or Italian restaurant, the internet is now the place where most people search.  Here’s what the experts say:

“Nearly 9 out of 10 people use search engines to find local businesses from which to shop… Local business owners who market themselves on search engines are in the best position to sustain and grow their companies. An entire generation has now grown up in the Internet age, rarely considering traditional offline advertising resources for their local information needs… No matter the age of your business clientele, search engines are the primary resource used to find your business.

A WebVisible and Nielsen//NetRatings survey, September 2007.

So for any local business that hasn’t factored this into their local marketing the message is clear – You are missing the opportunity to get more customers into your business.  And if you aren’t paying attention to local internet marketing, you better wise up because your competitors are and will be getting a jump on you.

Of course getting new customers is important but keeping existing clients is also critical.  Often they can be the most profitable for a business and it is important to maintain contact and build a relationship with them.  The internet can help with this too and in a very cost effective manner.

Small Business Champions is a company focused on getting and keeping customers for local businesses using internet marketing strategies.  We welcome the opportunity to analyse your local internet marketing, or in fact help you to get started.