While there are many ways to advertise a local business, many small business owners build a web site, hope that it will be a way to advertise their business online. After all, there are millions of people turning to the internet to find the products and services they want to buy – and small business owners hope that their web site will help them find new customers online.
One of the biggest problems with advertising your local business online is the intense competition. After all, there are literally billions of web pages out there – and getting your business web site or listing to appear when a prospective customer was searching for the products and services your offer used to be a significant challenge.
Did you catch that? “Used to” – see there’s a lot happening on the web these days and most of the change is being driven by the new web enabled smart phones that are quickly being snatched up by everyone from age 12 – 92. These new smart phones are changing the way the web works for local business owners.
While the yellow pages used to be where these customers turned for information, today rather than search for a huge, bulky printed directory – consumers are overwhelmingly turning to the internet – either via their phone or computer to find the “who, what and where” of where they’ll do business.
One of the most exciting developments for small business owners is the development of what is known as “local search”. If you’ve ever searched for products or services on the internet – from baby doctors to funeral homes – you have probably seen one of these handy dandy local search maps which prominently appear showing you local businesses that sell what you’re looking for.
What makes local search so exciting – other than the fact that it’s new – is that it provides free online advertising for small business owners. Not only are these listings free – but they’re incredibly effective. Many business owners who have claimed their free listings are surprised at how many customers now find their business easily on the web.
There have been hundreds of thousands of online directories in which you could choose to pay to promote your business – but never before have such directory listings been featured so prominently in search results.
There are lots of effective methods of advertising your business. You can use radio, newspaper and even television to advertise your small business. However, you won’t find a more effective free way of promoting your business online or off than claiming your local business search listings. Be sure to check out our Guide to Local Search Listings to see where you should be claiming these free online listings.