Local SEO helps small businesses expand reach

Although some small-business owners are reaping Internet marketing benefits, the rate of adoption of online advertising has been very slow. Internet marketing can help local companies significantly expand their reach, but very few are utilizing their websites for local search. Many businesses have adapted to the times by updating their websites, claiming their Google and Bing listings and interacting with customers on social media sites, but a significant portion are still stuck in the past, according to Street Fight magazine.

The majority of small businesses do not have a website, which means many are behind in other online marketing activities, such as search engine optimization, social media, local search and pay-per-click advertising. In fact, based on the number of small businesses that had websites in 2009 compared to the number of small companies in the U.S., fewer than 1 percent of organizations are moving online per year despite all the advantages. Although some business owners may not see the need to maintain an online presence, they could be missing out on a valuable opportunity to reach a new audience.

Why small businesses need to plan for local SEO

SEO has become a significant way to drive purchasing decisions, but many small businesses are not taking advantage of this technique. Some companies avoid search engine marketing because they think it would require too large of a budget to achieve significant results. However, local SEO is a more effective technique for many small businesses.

Local search engine marketing helps owners increase visibility and target new customers in their areas. If customers aren’t aware of a company’s physical location, Internet marketing methods can help people find a specific business when they search online for a specialized product. Unless the small business has an online presence, consumers may never gain awareness of the company. Local SEO can target people in the area with special promotions and coupons to bring in new business.