Still Using the Yellow Pages?

I recently came across a really great search marketing article with useful information for local search over at Search Engine Land. The data came from comScore studies commissioned by TMP Directional Marketing comparing this year with last.

The important bits for small business owners wondering ‘how will customers find me?’:

  • The percentage of people using the print yellow pages as their ‘primary’ source to find location business information has declined roughly 2% in the past year, from 33% to 30%.
  • In 2008, search engines surpassed the YP, with 31% of respondents using them as their primary source.
  • Including Internet Yellow Pages and local search sites, the Internet was the choice of over 60% of respondents.

But there’s more good news for local search too. A very high percentage of local searchers follow up with some offline activity:

  • 34% do an in-store visit following a local search, and 29% do so after visiting the Internet Yellow Pages.
  • 38% of local searches are followed by a phone call. And over 50% of Internet Yellow Page searches result in a call.

What Is This Information Telling You?
If you’re a local business looking for local customers, you simply can’t afford to NOT include the Internet as part of your marketing plan. The days of being able to place an ad in the print yellow pages and forget it are over.

Are You Ready for the Holidays?

The holidays are coming. Soon. Much sooner than you think if you don’t already have a marketing plan in place.

With a weak economy and high gas prices, the 2008 holiday shopping season may be a less-than-stellar one for businesses. Forecasts suggest that retailers should anticipate a heavily promotional season, as shoppers continue to seek the best deals. Many consumers – even those who haven’t done so before – are expected to turn to e-commerce sites to minimize the impact of higher gas prices.

But The Holidays Aren’t Just About Retailers
The impact of the holiday shopping season on retailers is clear to see. But from a business standpoint, it’s important to understand whether the holidays and the closing of another year offer an opportunity for your business. [Read more...]

Small Businesses – Go Local!

Thanks to the ongoing evolution of search engines like Google and Yahoo, and consumers’ ever-growing reliance on the Internet, there has never been a better time for LOCAL businesses targeting LOCAL customers to implement an effective Internet marketing strategy.

Here’s why: For certain types of searches, the web user clearly is looking for a local business. I’m unlikely, for instance, to want information about a veterinarian in Los Angeles if I live in Orlando. As a result, I’ve learned (as have many consumers) to specify an area when doing a search if I’m interested in seeing only nearby businesses. [Read more...]

Search Marketing Really Isn’t

Pay-per-click advertising with Internet search engines is commonly called search engine marketing. But as I tried to explain it today to someone unfamiliar with the concept (and there are still people out there who don’t know how search engines come up with their search results), I realized that search ‘marketing’ is something of a misnomer and a source of confusion for many people.

Search marketing, unlike most forms of traditional marketing, only happens when someone is actually looking for you. [Read more...]