|By Mark Bloom |
How do people find your business? Are they already familiar with your business? Do they find you by doing research?
Back in the “good old days”, people went to the Yellow Pages to find businesses nearby. If a local real estate agent wanted a refrigerator magnet, they might try letting their fingers do the walking to find your firm. While business still comes from the Yellow Pages, it is no longer the first place prospective customers look.
According to a recent behavior study, a fundamental shift has occurred in the way people search for local businesses. Today, more people who do not already know your business are most likely to use an internet search engine to find you.
A large study of behavior by Comscore, Local Search Marketing in a Multi-Tasking World, shows a fundamental shift in the way people are looking for local businesses. Today, more people who are unfamiliar with your business are going to a search engine and typing in words like "advertising specialty Waterloo Iowa".
The top ways people find local businesses now are:
- 31% Use an Internet search engine (like Google or Yahoo)
- 30% Look-up in the Yellow Pages or White Pages
- 19% Use Internet phone directories
- 11% Use local search sites like Google Maps or Yahoo Local
- 3% Get information from a newspaper or magazine
A large portion of people are now using the internet to find business services. Business services like yours!
Can people find your firm using the internet? Does a search for your product line in your local area in the major search engines bring up your firm's name? Improving your results in search engines can add to your sales. If those prospects can’t find you, someone else will get their business.
One important means of improving your online profile is to improve your results in search engines. You can do this by making sure your title tags are optimized. It is important to have your company name and contact information on every web page, as well as the product lines you offer.