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How do your customers find you? It seems like that should be a simple question to answer, but the reality is it can be tricky. Potential customers have more and more options to find the product or service they are lookingfor –and it’s your job to make sure your business can be easily found.
70% of consumers say
A recent study by eMarketer compared how frequently people used search engines to find local businesses as opposed to using traditional methods such as yellow pages, print directories, store circulars, emailed coupons and newspapers. For all age groups under 55, consumers used search engines most often. For those under 35, search engines were used more than 50% of the time.
Obviously it is critical for small businesses to manage their online presence. The term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is new to many small business owners, but understanding it can be the key to gaining new customers and increasing revenue. The concept might seem menacing to people not familiar with Internet marketing, but it really is quite simple when broken down into simple steps, which we do here.
By definition, SEO is the process of making a website as visible as possible in search engines. But SEO is important even if your business does not have a website. That’s because your company is still listed on the Internet in various directories. You want those listings to be found because they can draw in new customers.
And “new customers” is the name of the game. SEO is not about someone typing your company name into Google, Yahoo or Bing and your website or directory listing popping up. The goal of SEO is to be found by people who DON’T know about your business. For example, if your business is Green Thumb Landscaping, you want your business to show up if someone searches for “green thumb,” “landscaping services” or “new paver patio.” It’s also important to be found for localized searches such as “green thumb Columbus OH” and “new paver patio Columbus OH.” SEO can help you do that.
As consumers become more Internet savvy, it’s imperative that businesses take ownership of their Internet presence and manage it. Your company can show up in various places on the Internet without your knowledge through public records, directory listings, personal blogs, etc. No matter who put your company information out there, you should take it as an opportunity to increase awareness of your company.
This article was distributed orignally by MANTA, I thought it was very interesting and thought it should be shared.
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Lake Norman Executive Board ( 2010 ) - 6/20/2013