Millions Now Find Local Business on the Internet Even Though Yellow Pages Lie on a Shelf in a Closet

What keeps you awake at night, indigestion boiling up your esophagus, eyes open, staring at the ceiling? What do you secretly, ardently most desire? Is your business growing to satisfy all of your needs?

Is your local business getting enough phone calls?

With the radical changes in the economy and people moving away from Yellow Pages, newspaper ads and other old school advertising media, your customers are looking on the Internet for you. They search the Internet, and then they go down the street and buy what they want and need. If they don’t find your Local Business in their search, they are not buying from you.

Times have changed, indeed. The Internet is still new; but, it is everywhere, and it is not going away anytime soon. The Internet has transformed our world, shrunk the whole world into a computer you hold in your hand, heretofore known as a cell phone. If you don’t get your business in position to be seen on that small screen, your customers are going someplace else.

WARNING: Your customers are looking for you online right now!

If your Local Business is found on the Internet, you can sell. If…

Perhaps, a few statistics will shed light on this mystery:

Over 1 Billion local searches performed every month — growing over 50% a year
80% American consumers are using the Internet [2009]
80% of people first search online before making a purchase
97% Internet users use the Internet to shop [NPD Group]
90% Internet searches result in offline brick & mortar purchases [Comscore]
82% Internet searches result in calls & contact with businesses [Comscore]
74% Internet users perform local searches [Kelsey Group]
73% Internet searches are related to local content [Google]
66% Internet users use Internet for local searches [Comscore / TMP]
25% Internet searches have purely local commercial focus [ Kelsey / Bizrate]
Pepsi, FedEx pass on 2010 Super Bowl ads — shift ad dollars to new marketing efforts mostly online.

What are your customers looking for?

Old school marketing is still King. Times have changed, and media change, too. None of us alive today remember the King’s herald announcing news from the official scroll. Some of us recall barkers calling out theater or carnival sideshow attractions to passers-by. Most of us have bought something from a newspaper advertisement, or called to order something prompted by a Yellow Page spread.

The Internet and computing devices are new media. Applying old school marketing principles to new media is a wise idea. That’s exactly what we are about to show you here.

Can your customers find your Local Business on the Internet?

Local Business Search Results

Don’t worry — if you’re a Fortune Multi-National Conglomerate, you don’t need to appear in the Local Business Results.

One of the best kept local Internet marketing secrets is the Google Local Business Center. Until your business is registered here, it cannot be found in the search results map. Google implemented this feature in early 2009, and it’s been evolving ever since. For those buying locally, however, this is the first thing most searchers see… and probably the first links on which they will click. Once here, not only are you at the top of Page One — look at that map! They now know where you are and how to get to you…

If you’ve seen maps and GPS on cell phones, this is how your Local Business shows up on mobile devices. The Mobile Market is enormous and truly the wave of the future.

Organic Search Results

Additionally, you need to be at the top of the normal, Organic Search Results, the traditional results area on the left, mostly below the Local Business Results. When your web page link is in the top six Organic Search Results — your Local Business has another clickable link on this first search page. Multiple clickable links on the first search page increases your odds that your customers will go to your web site… once there, we believe you can close them.

Your Organic Search Results are a function of the quality & credibility of your Local Business presence on the Internet. You want all online roads leading back to you and your web site. There are virtually unlimited credible and respectable sources throughout the Internet, and from there nearly infinite routes back to your Local Business web site. Remember traditional referrals and testimonials from old school marketing? Referral links back to your web pages from everywhere on the Internet are testimonials to your Local Business relevance.

The local business with the most links wins!

Content Search Results

Furthermore, your online content must also appear in the top search results! All content relevant to that search adds more links back to your Local Business on the first search page. You and your Local Business are going to be viewed as the top authority on all matters regarding this search. Google loves rich, relevant & rewarding online content!!!

Online Videos (YouTube.com)
Online Press Releases (PRweb.com)
Online Articles (EzineArticles.com)
Social Content Sites (Squidoo.com)
Online Classifieds (Craigslist.org)
Online Business Directories (MerchantCircle.com)
Online Review Sites (Kudzu.com)

But, wait, there’s more!

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

You want to be in the Pay-Per-Click and/or Sponsored Results up there in the top yellow box and down along the right side. Pay-Per-Click is Pay-As-You-Go — your ad only shows up when somebody searches for your specific key words. Your ad is only shown to your best customers who are searching specifically for what you have to offer. You set how much you are willing to pay, and you only pay when somebody clicks on your ad — the fully qualified buyer.

So, the question is, How much is each fully qualified customer on your web site worth to you???

Geo-Targeting Your Ads

Furthermore, you can also target your ads to local customers in your area. By focusing on local customers, your ad is only seen locally. Locally seen ads are more likely to attract local customers, are cheaper for you, and you do not compete with companies on the other side of the world.

For example, a consumer searches, “I need a plumber.” Google knows where the local plumbers are. When you only show your ad to people in your city for these “generic” keywords, you get cheaper clicks, targeted traffic and less competition.

What if your web pages sit atop the search engine results?

What if you are the #1 Authority online?

Imagine what that will mean for your Local Business! How many more customers do you want coming to you every single day? every single week? every single month?

What will it do for your Local Business when you have your online market domination plan in place?

If you have a Yellow Pages ad, you are already spending marketing money. What is your return on that investment???

Every search engine result page can present only the most relevant web pages that fit into the limited space on one page. Only an elite few Local Businesses can possibly be seen there.

Do your own homework. Look for yourself. Do a search using keywords that your best customers will use to find your Local Business.

Which Local Businesses are on the first search page? How many Local Businesses are on the first search page? Is that your biggest competitor there in A. or B. in the Local Business Results? Are your best customers going to your Competitors because they find them — NOT YOU — in the search results?

As you see, nobody can possibly do a credible job placing more than six Local Businesses in your market on Google page one. Furthermore, when you consider your goal is to have multiple links to your Local Business on that same Google page one, you must carefully consider the sales hype of typical SEO geeks! There can be only one Number One — will it be you and your Local Business?

5 Things to Think About When Starting a Home Based Business

There are a lot of home businesses trying to get started online just to get extra income. But what are the basic steps to starting a business from home? Well, fret no more since here are five steps you can easily follow to starting your own business from home.

Step one to starting your business from home is to of course first decide what services or products you would offer to your prospective customers. A few questions you should be asking yourself aside from what services or products you are to offer are: are you skilled enough to provide the services you have come up with? Does the service or product you offer meet a specific need of the client? If you are to offer a product, would it be popular even after a few years? Are you putting up a business from home simply to make money or it’s something you’ve dreamt of doing?
Basically, the Why you are starting a business.

Step two in starting up a business from home is to know who you’re competing with and know the twists and turns of the market place. If the business you are to start would be your main source of income then you should definitely enjoy it. It is quite difficult to get motivated if you find putting up your own business a daunting task. Again ask yourself these questions when putting up your business: who would buy your products or your services? Will you market these services or products to other businesses, customers or both? What do you expect your customers to be like? Are you meeting the customers’ specific needs or not? Is there something great about what you have to offer aside from your potential competitors? How would you make a difference among all your other business competition? What are your business from home price options and the advantage of your business compared to the competition?

Moving on to the steps of putting up a business from home is step number three which is to make sure that you can easily do the tasks needed to be done before you start your small business. You should already prepare your body and mind for the tasks that may arise when putting up a small business. You can easily h ire someone else to watch over the business but what point is there in hiring someone if you can’t tell them what needs to be done? So again here are a few questions you should ask yourself when putting up a business from home: Are you capable of handling small tasks such as setting up appointments, book keeping, ordering supplies, filing and marketing, answering customer calls, checking and replying to emails?

Know your business needs, if you can’t do the technical work don’t sweat it. There are numerous freelancers out there who would be more than happy to do the work for you so you can spend your time working on the business

Step number four to putting up a business from home is to determine the costs of your business’ startup. Startup costs refer to the amount of money you would need to get your business up and running. It is always best to take time especially with determining how much you’d need to get your business up and about.

And the last step to putting up a business from home is to gauge the support your family will be giving you for starting up your own business from home. Let us face it, there may be members in your family that would sacrifice something or get used to the idea of having a business set up in their own home so it is best to explain to them what is going on. Aside from that, allow them to explain their sides and try to come up with a solution that which is not putting off the business.

There’s nothing worse for your business than a discouraging spouse. Don’t try to hide your business from them and be able to explain what you are doing so that they will understand. Often times something you may think that they will think is ridiculous your spouse will be more supportive than you may expect.

How a Small Business Can Get Customers From the Internet Without a Website

If you run a bricks and mortar business that survives purely from customers who walk in off the street, you may wonder what would be the point of being on the internet.

The answer is that it is becoming even more important to have some sort of presence on the internet and the good news is that you don’t have to have a website to achieve it.

The days where people pick up their local edition of the Yellow Pages or Thomson Local when searching for a service or product are numbered and potential customers are more likely to switch on their computer and search online.

Online search has grown massively in terms of searching for local businesses. Google states that 73% of searches are made looking for local content.

Google soon realised the potential of local search and as a result launched its Local Business Center which enabled any business to get a free listing regardless of whether they had a website or not.

Just over a year ago Google introduced Place Pages. A Place Page is a webpage for every place in the world, organizing all the relevant information about it. To tie in with Place Pages Google recently improved and re-launched its Local Business Centre under the new name of Google Places.

The new version includes all the features of the old Local Business Centre and a host of new options.

A Google Places business listing provides potential customers who are performing a local business search with valuable and relevant information such as opening hours, payment methods, photos, videos, reviews, special offers and real-time updates. Businesses can also include extra incentives for customers to choose them by offering coupons, including ones specially formatted for mobile phones.

It is important that local businesses claim their Google Places listing to give them a chance of attracting local search traffic specific to their business type and location.

To claim your listing you must first of all have a Google Account. Once you’ve opened your account and signed in you need to go to Business Solutions then Business Information. You can then add a new listing.

It’s not however just a case of entering in your business name, address and telephone number. There’s much more to it than that. If you don’t optimise it correctly then you won’t appear in Google Places.

Here are some of the options:

1) Specify the geographic area you service.

2) List your website and email details.

3) Choose your business categories – you can list up to 5 and one has to be from Google’s list.

4) Business Hours.

5) Photos – add up to 10 photos per listing.

6) Videos – upload up to 5 videos.

7) Payment Types Taken.

8) Coupons: Create online coupons to give people an incentive to visit your site. There’s a separate “coupon tab” that appears on your ‘View Report’ page.

9) Privacy: If you work at home and have no storefront you can choose to make your address private in your listing.

10) Reviews – get your customers to write reviews about your business.