Local Search Marketing provides you, the Port Elizabeth 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 Port Elizabeth 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 a few kilos 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.
– 74% of households use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally.
– Approximately 45% of local searches had a buying intent.
– 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 rands to the Internet.)
As local Port Elizabeth 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 Port Elizabeth 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 South Africa things are pretty limited. There are a number of small directories that are trying to emulate the large search engines and be all things to everyone and then there are a few niche sites. The trick is to be seen amongst your competitors and to start competing there for your Port Elizabeth business. You can only do this by listing in subject and area (Port Elizabeth) specific directories. Start your search for these directories by using such keyword search terms as ‘(your industry) directory’ or ‘(your town) directory. You can even search for your competitors web sites on the major search engines and then see which directories they are listed in or which web sites link back to them and request a link on those web pages as well. The rule of thumb is quite simple – if you appear in a static html directory amongst your competitors all using similar keywords, then collectively, the page that you all share will rank higher in the search engines and give all of you more traffic. Shy away from directories that list more than 50 links on a page and that display many banners, lots of text is good. First prize is a directory that will allow you to have a fairly lengthy description, a set of keywords and allow you to display your Port Elizabeth business address with contact telephone numbers. Some search engines and directories such as www.MyPE.co.za will also allow a few lines of product specials as well as allowing you to modify your link and also get a premium listing which makes your business really stand out. BEST of all – you can get a FREE listing on http://www.mype.co.za/ just to test the water. All you need to do is to browse to a category that best suits your Port Elizabeth based business or web site and click on the ‘add url’ button to be found on each page. Go to: http://www.mype.co.za/directory.html to browse the listings and categories.
Many on-line marketers 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.
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 Port Elizabeth 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.
So – the first prize is to get a local directory listing that has many competing Port Elizabeth businesses listed in a well categorised searchable directory with very few banner ads, lots of complimentary text, displaying your business phone number and willing to make your site a ‘premium link’ for much less than an entry in the famous Yellow Pages.
You have come to the right place to list your Port Elizabeth business or web site in the www.MyPE.co.za searchable directory.
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