Consumers have taken control and are now using the Web as their primary tool to guide buying decisions. It's all happening on Local Search, which gives your business fantastic visibility in the community for very little cost.
Buyers love it because it's not advertising. Yet it provides all the information buyers want about your business simply, easily, and quickly. That's why local search use is growing exponentially at 50% per year.
As a savvy business owner, you'll love it to. Finally, you can connect with buyers at the exact time they are looking for your services, without the high cost and diminishing effectiveness of advertising.
Compared to all other alternatives — Cable TV, radio, directory display ads, direct mail, etc. — local search marketing is low-cost, high-value, and very effective.
But there are only a few first-page positions available for each search keyword, and you cannot buy those positions from the major search engines -- the only way to become highly visible is to use a proper local search strategy. We're certified local search experts and know all the techniques to make that happen.
A local search is a simply a online search in a geographic area. For example, a Google search in Portland, Oregon for "veterinarian" provides a list of veterinarians in Portland, complete with a map of office locations and reviews from patients.
By the way, users are generally NOT looking for a business name or brand (only 10% do) — 90% use generic keywords to find a solution to their problem. That's why your business must appear on the first page of results for as many keywords as possible.
Local search has gone mainstream and has revolutionized the way clients make purchasing decisions.
With global smartphone sales will in excess of 250 million units per year, smartphones are exploding local search activity.
The oldest communication channel in the world — word of mouth — has been supercharged by the Internet, rendering much traditional business-driven marketing irrelevant.
Here's a great example of successful local search campaign that rides the wave of superior positioning and positive reviews:
In this case, we'll use "chiropractor, los angeles". Talk about a competitive market!
Let's focus on "Dr. Mike" (ADIO Chiropractic in the listing below). As this USA Today article explains, 80% of Dr. Mike's new business comes from local search. How is that possible? Simply because he's solidly positioned in the first page of search results. And look how many reviews he has compared to competitors . . . this is smart, low-cost, highly-effective promotion; his own clients have become his ultimate marketing team.
Online reviews are another key to local search because they pass the trust and confidence of past clients to your new clients. This MASSIVE TREND is already exerting a powerful influence.
Good reviews lead directly to more traffic for your business . . . even if you don't yet have a web site. (But for other marketing reasons, your business really should have its own domain and optimized site).
You might be wondering why reviewers even bother to post their thoughts. Well, generally, they want to . . .
Are you concerned about getting negative reviews? Don't be. Statistics show that 87% of reviews are positive in tone. Even tepid or negative reviews should be welcomed as feedback to improve your operations.
The occasional negative review is NOT a major factor in your search engine positioning, and it won't damage your business if you handle it correctly (your Free Bonus #1, What You Must Know About Your Online Reputation explains how).
It's far more important to (1) make sure your clients are happy, (2) put a proactive review program in place that generates a stream of great reviews!
Our Local Search Marketing program does exactly that: We do all the work to maximize your visibility, and also provide you the knowledge needed to encourage reviews and manage your online reputation.
Are you currently spending money on Google Adwords or similar pay-per-click (PPC) advertising? Roughly 10% of search traffic flows through PPC, the other 90% flows through organic listings, including local search. PPC can be great, but be sure to put your local search program in place first -- local search traffic is FREE.
Let's say I'm a potential patient living in San Francisco. It's Spring and my allergies are driving me crazy. I go to google.com and enter "allergist".
Since I'm using local search, I'm probably a buyer looking for a solution, not just a passive shopper. I've already committed to spending some money to solve my problem. I'm also busy — I want to find a good allergist without wasting time.
So, I take a friend's personal recommendation into account, but I also know that even my entire network of friends couldn't possibly be familiar with all the allergists around, so I do what 75% of consumers do: I search.
This is what I see on Google. (Yahoo and Bing are similar).
I quickly scan through businesses A - G (next to the map) — these are the top-7 allergists according to Google. There may be 85 other allergists in town. Why should I care? This list looks plausible, has reviews for me to consider, so I'll stop right here.
I want a good experience, and I don't want to waste my time or money, so I rely on the ratings and recommendations of former clients (also known as the "wisdom of the crowd"). I also want to read details about the doctors credentials on their web site. So I narrow-down the top-7, ignoring any businesses that don't have reviews or that don't have web sites.
Businesses A, D, E, & G either don't have web sites or don't have reviews; they are out!
Business F is not an allergist, so I skip them too. That leaves B and C, Advanced Allergy Solutions and Chinese Medicine Works.
When I click on Chinese Medicine Works, their reviews are solid, and if I was really looking for an herbal approach, I would go there. But in this case, I want a more mainstream solution, so I look at Advanced Allergy's reviews and site. Nearly all the reviews say it's great, and the site looks inviting and professional. I pick up the phone and make an appointment.
End of story!
Advanced Allergy is both visible and reputable; that's all I need to make a choice. My 1-minute decision process just earned Advanced Allergy Clinic hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars, leaving competitors to cry into their hypo-allergenic tissues.
Your business needs a continuous stream of ideal clients to prosper. How do you make that happen? Before you invest another nickel in advertising, put a local search program in place.
For virtually all service businesses and professional practices, local search return on investment (ROI) is outstanding. Often, the lifetime value of even ONE new patient or client will pay for your entire local search program for that year. Free Local Search results are the best deal on the planet to generate a stream of highly-qualified local clients.
Marketing is a process, not a one-time project. There is NO downside to creating a system that automatically brings ideal clients to your business.
Excellent visibility plus a solid reputation (reviews and ratings) builds buyer confidence and sales. The best clients, those connected folks with buying power and a habit of making referrals, like nothing better than to make a good find in local search and tell others about it. Word-of-mouth marketing at its best.
The traditional phone book is dying and will soon be irrelevant for most people. So start by reducing the size of your display ads and dropping ads in secondary directories. That will probably save you enough money to pay for this entire program. Go where clients are proactively making buying decisions exactly when they need your service or product — local search!
Remember that print ads, TV spots, radio spots, and direct mailings are often forgotten within days. Online ads evaporate the moment you stop paying for them. But local search listings create a permanent online asset that adds real value to your business.
Agencies, businesses in smaller communities, or businesses with multiple locations — contact us for discounted rates: Call 415-894-5040.
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