Does Your Small Business Have a Strong Online Presence?

Does Your Small Business Have a Strong Online PrescenceNow, more than ever, consumers are looking online to find the best locations in their communities to eat, shop and do business. If you’re a small business owner, you can’t neglect your online presence and hope that people driving around will spot your business and stop in.

Fortunately, there are many websites that allow you to easily create a sophisticated and appealing online presence for your business, helping you make the most of your marketing money and bringing in new customers.

Many small business owners treat online marketing as a fad, but it’s only increasing with time and can’t be ignored.

“The advertising of the future is going online – and going local,” according to “This hot trend is growing rapidly and shows no signs of letting up. There’s no question that consumers are using the [Internet] to navigate their way to local brick-and-mortar retailers.”

The recent explosion of online marketing has given consumers the expectation that they can find any business online — regardless of size — read about its products/services and hopefully read reviews.

“In fact, by 2015, local online ad spending will make up nearly one-quarter of all advertising by local businesses, according to BIA/Kelsey, eMarketer Digital Intelligence reports,” states the staff at Business News Daily.

Many consumers are even using smartphones or tablets to check out a local business while in its parking lot, in order to determine whether to head inside or move on. The importance of mobile advertising will only grow in the coming years.

“Within local online and interactive advertising, Borrell Associates estimates that by 2015, two-thirds will come from mobile ads on tablets , smartphones and GPS-enabled laptops, the report said,” according to Business News Daily.

Businesses that previously drew in their customer base through word of mouth will need to increase their use of online marketing in order to maintain business. Online reviews are increasingly holding more weight with consumers. Because it is so easy to search online for information about a local business, consumers may even be discouraged from asking friends and family for personal recommendations.

“Approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business,” states Myles Anderson from  “There has been a significant jump in the number of consumers using the Internet to find local businesses, and the regularity of their ‘searches’ has also increased.”

There are many tools that you can use to reach out to potential consumers in your area. Some of the most popular ways that small businesses market locally work through search engines, such as Yahoo! Local and Google Places. In the coming years, social media will begin to occupy a larger percentage of a small business’s online marketing budget and time commitment.

“Here’s how business owners ranked their overall local advertising in terms of effectiveness, according to Business News Daily.

1. Search Engine Marketing

2. Created Profile on Social Network

3. E-mail Marketing

4. Other Online Methods

5. Coupons or Direct Mail

6. Print Yellow Pages

7. Print Newspaper

8. Online Yellow Pages

9. Blog

10. Banner/Display Advertising

Making sure that consumers can easily find your business online and that they like what they find will round out your current marketing strategies and ensure that no potential customers are discouraged if they cannot find your business online. Growing your online presence is a great way to grow your small business.



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