There is a reason why many local newspapers and major national newspapers are struggling in this down turned economy, online marketing. Many businesses have slashed their marketing budgets and/or are choosing to spend what budget they do have as wisely as they can, to reach as many as they can, for as long as they can.
What many small to medium sized businesses are now discovering is that the $5,000 or more they used to spend with a local newspaper for a small one time ad can reach thousands on the internet for an entire year with Search Engine Optimization (also known as SEO), Pay Per Click advertising and targeted banner advertising.
Five years ago few business owners and business managers were even aware of SEO, but now many companies have tried and had successful results from SEO and have spread the word. As well, major business magazines have featured SEO as a viable marketing strategy and many business conferences now include this as part of their marketing content. In 2010 it’s rare to find a business owner or manager who isn’t aware of what SEO is.
Local SEO is predicted to be the top marketing initiative amongst small to medium sized businesses in North America in 2010. And why not when it can be found for as little as $1200 to $1500 for an entire year, ensuring not only top local results in Google, Yahoo and Bing but also the ability to stay and hold that spot year after year for a fraction of the cost of a local newspaper ad or Yellow Pages listing
Google is also helping to support this initiative by its Google Maps Local services. Business owners through a Google Account can login and verify their local business information and even go so far as to advertise coupons and discounts for free, all which will be displayed in the local search results at the top of a search page or in a search from within the Google Maps section.
So if your small or medium sized business is missing out on the local search engine action it’s time to start looking at working this into your marketing strategy as you are surely missing out on a lot of local traffic and exposure and the longer you wait the harder it will be to get top results as other businesses jump on the bandwagon.