Netsertive Blog

Client Path to Purchase: Can You Be Found?

May 05, 2014

What marketing tactics have you put in place so that local customers can easily find your business?

What have you done to promote your brand so that you stand out above the competition?

Online Marketing Is Essential

Research from BIA/Kelsey shows that 97% of customers research online. This online research includes using search engines, online Yellow Pages, and comparison shopping websites.

"The Internet has indeed become an integral part of consumers' local commercial activity," according to Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. "The data suggest we're at an inflection point where the balance of power in local shopping is shifting to online."

The last sentence is particularly important. People use the Internet to research purchases, but then buy from a local retailer or dealer 9 out of 10 times according to Forrester Research. As we like to say at Netsertive, even if you don't sell online (e-commerce), you must be found online during every path to purchase.

This means if you're a small- to medium-sized business, your digital marketing strategy must include a specific effort to reach Internet-connected consumers in your area. Otherwise, you're losing market share.

Online Options For Local Businesses

There are numerous avenues available for local digital marketing initiatives. Consider a combination of local search optimization along with call tracking coupled with paid online advertising.

Taken together, these tactics will make it easy for qualified customers to find your business when they visit relevant websites to your industry, use their GPS device, or type relevant searches into search engines (for you and your top brands, products, and services.)

To make that happen, your website will need to appear in a strong position near the top of the first page of search results on Google, bing and Yahoo. Hire a qualified online marketing vendor who knows your industry, works with your brands, and is an expert in digital advertising to make this a reality. They'll collaborate with you on hand-crafted monthly program that attracts not just more website traffic, but qualified shoppers who are ready to buy.

In most cases, starting with display advertising will deliver maximum return on investment. These visual banner ads appear on relevant national and local websites frequented by your ideal customers.

Retargeting is also a great online marketing tactic. That's a second effort at marketing to a customer who, for whatever reason, visited your website but didn't take action by requesting more information or picking up the phone to call you. As a result, they're a cost-effective means of marketing.

Invest in verifying and updating your online business listings. Your name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and more appear across dozens of websites and mobile applications today. Local search optimization today means ensuring that your business has a strong digital heartbeat online, and business listings are more critical than ever.

It's imperative to run text ads that match search terms specific to your industry and your location. For example, if you're a retailer in Richmond, VA, does your business have an ad running when someone searches for "retailer richmond va" using Google, Bing, or Yahoo? Believe it or not, there are hundreds of searches for your this exact expression every month; just replace retailer with your type of business. And you only pay for the ad when someone clicks it.

Here at Netsertive, we offer a full suite of online tactics to promote your business and increase your top line sales every month. If you'd like to learn more, please contact us or call 1.800.940.4351. Let's collaborate on a monthly Internet marketing program that's customized to your business today.

Like this post? Subscribe to our weekly blog alerts or monthly newsletters to get more.