Welcome To The “Internet World”
As a local business owner, did you do anything to really welcome the internet? But no matter whether you like it or not, consumers are getting used to it and love using it every day and night!
Firstly, let’s look at today’s consumers shopping behaviors (according to Kelsey Group and Accenture).
– 78% of all searches on the Google network are local searches (which includes a geographical identifier); and 86% of those people followed up with a phone call, while 61% of those people ended up making a purchase offline;
White Paper: Local Shoppers Look Online First (by eMarketer)
Reported by eMarketer on March 15, 2010
90% search online for nearby businesses
The most common online tool used for local research was search. Nearly one-half of respondents used Internet yellow pages and 42% checked comparison-shopping sites before heading to local businesses.
“The Internet has indeed become an integral part of consumers’ local commercial activity,” said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey, in a statement. “The data suggest we’re at an inflection point where the balance of power in local shopping is shifting to online.”
Local advertising dollars will follow eyeballs; BIA/Kelsey expects the Web to get an increasing share of local ad spending over the next several years, reaching one-quarter of the total in 2014.
Over time, the researchers have noted an increase in the number of sources used for local shopping research, suggesting audience fragmentation that can be challenging for advertisers.
“These challenges may be outweighed by the targeting opportunities available with tools like coupon promotions and appointment scheduling, the latter being among the best lead sources possible, since you know where people are actually going,” said Peter Krasilovsky, vice president and program director, Marketplaces, BIA/Kelsey, in a statement.
What Will You Do?
All of those deliver a strong message that local businesses are transferring their traditional marketing means to an online medium.
So, when would you catch up with this marketing strategy or would you wait until your competitors make the transfer and grab all your potential buyers?
You may ask that how I could know that there are actually local people are searching for the product or service. The answer is that I don’t know but Google and all other search engines know.
So let’s go to Google and get the data from it. There is one great tool Google provides for free, which can help you to have a clear picture of how many local searches in any particular month. That tool is called Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
Here is an example. Let’s find out how many local searches for “Vancouver lawyer” or “Lawyer Vancouver”. Below is what Google tells us how many local people search for these two keywords and other related keywords in Feb 2010.
You can easily find that local English speaking Canadians search for Vancouver lawyer and similar keywords about 56,900 times in Feb alone. And could you imagine how frequently people are searching for Vancouver lawyer, 2709 searches per business day!
In the past you might assume that people will look for a lawyer on a local phone book or local newspaper. But they don’t! Well if they do sometimes, they still cross check them online. So ask yourself these two questions: Will you choose a lawyer with professional web presence or the one without? Will you likely pick up the phone to discuss your case with a never-met-before lawyer, or check his website to get to know him first before making the call?
The customers are right there, 56,900 searches a month by real local people. How will you reach them? By word of mouth, yellow page ads, newspaper ads, TV ads, or online marketing?
Well, you might think your niche would have much fewer local searches. Why not go to Google Adword Keyword Tool to find out now!
Tips: To find out all local search volume including non-English speaking people, press “Ctrl” key and right click to select multiple languages on the above right section in Google Adword Keyword Tool.
Next, when you find out how big your potential market is, you want to know how you can approach those potential customers. But before that, you need to know…
“Online marketing isn’t for you, if…”
See you in the next chapter,