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Local Search Marketing Makes The Phone Ring Or A Call Is Worth 15 Times A Click

Local Search Marketing provides you,​ the​ business owner,​ with the​ most targeted and cost effective customer acquisition opportunity.

Your customers are more and more often searching for businesses like yours on​ the​ Internet. Studies show that these customers have a​ serious buying intent.

As a​ local business you​ need to​ figure out how to​ cost effectively reach out to​ these customers and start the​ business relationship. you​ need to​ do this even if​ you​ don’t have a​ web site and don’t want one!

The Internet has changed the​ way that customers are looking for your business. the​ days of​ pulling out 2 kilos of​ two or​ more volumes of​ phone books are coming to​ an​ end. People are still letting their fingers do the​ walking but it’s on​ a​ computer keyboard. the​ Kelsey research group published these statistics and trends.

q 74% of​ households use the​ Internet as​ an​ information source when shopping locally.
q Approximately 45% of​ local searches had a​ buying intent.
q The percentage of​ respondents who used yellow page directories decreased from 75% to​ 62%. (If you​ have a​ yellow page ad,​ it​ is​ time to​ consider buying a​ smaller ad and shifting your marketing dollars to​ the​ Internet.)

As local business owners you​ need to​ take action now. you​ need to​ keep your existing customers,​ and gain new customers,​ so you​ need to​ be found where they are searching. Local Search Marketing is​ where your future clients and customers will come from.

So where do you​ start?

Most likely your customers will have a​ default setting on​ their computers and this will be set to​ one of​ these sites for search; Google,​ Yahoo,​ MSN or​ AOL. These search engines all index web pages and have some form of​ paid advertising referred to​ as​ Pay Per Click. This is​ fine if​ you​ have a​ web site but what about many small and local businesses that have little or​ no web presence at​ all? And even if​ you​ do have a​ web site,​ does it​ show up in​ the​ search engines above?

Okay,​ so what other choices have you​ got?

Well,​ for example,​ in​ Australia things are pretty limited. There are those folks,​ you​ know whom I am talking about,​ who will place you​ not only in​ a​ hard copy directory but also have services on​ line. the​ challenge is​ in​ what the​ financial cost is,​ BIG,​ but hey,​ they have been around a​ long time and have deep pockets. the​ other issue is​ that they often advertise in​ the​ search engines and you​ will find them there BUT if​ you​ follow the​ link to​ them,​ you​ need to​ do your search all over again! What a​ pain.

There are other commercial “local search engines” and some of​ these are good value but many are not comprehensive. if​ there are only a​ few thousand businesses in​ a​ local directory most users will leave given the​ limited amount of​ content.

So what you​ need to​ do is​ use a​ search engine like Google and search for “local search directory”,​ make sure you​ limit your search to​ the​ country you​ are in. For this article I am using Australia. the​ results include Yahoo local search and a​ number of​ local directories. you​ should check these out and see what it​ takes to​ participate in​ the​ directories that make the​ first page of​ the​ Google search.

Many on-line marketeers forget the​ key point to​ being found on​ the​ Internet. What is​ the​ “Action” that you​ want to​ happen once someone finds your web page or​ directory listing? if​ you​ can’t or​ don’t sell products from your web site there are only two actions you​ want. First,​ that they call you,​ or​ second,​ that they email you.

That’s it!

You want a​ call or​ an​ email. These are the​ only two outcomes that can lead to​ interaction,​ a​ relationship and the​ potential to​ do business.

Many small businesses already know,​ and the​ current research is​ proving them right,​ that a​ “call” is​ worth 15 times a​ click.

Why is​ this?

Email is​ to​ often being viewed as​ spam,​ sometimes it​ never even gets through “filters” and it​ lacks the​ emotional and personal “touch” of​ voice. So what we really want is​ a​ phone call. We want that phone to​ start ringing. But ………

Why people don’t call as​ much any more.

It is​ getting harder and harder to​ get people to​ ring these days. They “hide” behind email or​ resist picking up the​ phone with fear that one of​ these things will occur:
1. Please press 1 for …. and 2 for …. or​ 3 for ……,​ or
2. We value your business and you​ are number 17 in​ the​ queue,​ or
3. This call maybe recorded for training and quality purposes!

No one wants this response to​ picking up the​ phone and making a​ call.

So what is​ the​ alternative?

It’s called Pay Per Call,​ but all it​ is,​ is​ a​ “push to​ talk” button. Someone presses a​ button on​ a​ web page,​ puts in​ their phone number and they are connected to​ the​ company that put up the​ button. It’s simple,​ easy and direct.

Not a​ click,​ it’s a​ call!

This is​ what we see as​ the​ future of​ local search. People finding companies that are in​ their area and pressing a​ button to​ talk with them. Could be a​ local cleaner,​ carpet layer,​ pool builder,​ alarm installer,​ baby sitter. you​ name it. These are the​ local people you​ want to​ attract and do business with. to​ do this,​ you​ need them to​ find you​ and talk with you. if​ they can find you​ through an​ Internet search and know that they won’t be placed on​ hold,​ since you​ are calling them,​ you​ win. Now it’s business as​ usual and your back in​ control of​ the​ sales process – not the​ Internet!

These complimentary features of​ local search and push to​ talk buttons are available today in​ Australia at​ AussieWeb Local Search. Google just announced that they are beta testing this with Pay Per Click advertising in​ America. Wonder where they got that idea?

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