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Do Local Businesses Need a Full Internet Marketing Service?

October 25th, 2013 | Posted In Marketing, Online Marketing

By Ben Oren, Head Consultant at Dynamic Search

Many Internet marketing service providers offer a package of services that are designed to work together to enhance a company’s marketing efforts. These marketing packages can be somewhat expensive and a smaller local business on a tighter budget might not need all of those services. Often a marketing company can offer an ala carte plan, working with you to determine what is or is not needed, yet still get great results for your business.

There are a number of areas where costs and services might be cut, without seriously damaging the marketing efforts. What are some of the factors in determining whether a local business really needs a full Internet marketing service?

SEO

SEO focuses on increasing the search engine ranking for a specific keyword. But a smaller company may not have the ability to compete well with a large, multinational conglomerate with vast resources. Fortunately, there are many ways to (Click here to learn more) enhance search results that don’t focus strictly on keywords.

For example, suppose a searcher needs to have his bicycle repaired. The search term “bicycle repair shop” might return links to shops all over the world. However, the search term “bicycle repair shop my town” will focus on local results, which is what he really wants, anyhow. The major search engines realise this and have avenues whereby searchers and local businesses can easily connect, with the less relevant national results showing later.

In the above example, trying to compete on a national scale for the given keyword might be next to impossible, given the thousands of bike shops around the country. But the local market is probably much more limited, meaning that the shop only has to compete with a few competitors. Optimising for the local result would be much easier, and less costly, for the Internet marketing service provider, and for the local business.

PPC

PPC can be good for time sensitive offers and discounts, but it can also be expensive. One of the prime advantages is that it will appear above the organic search results, making it more prominent. But with local search results displaying immediately beneath, there may not be enough difference to justify the extra expense. Also, many of the location based search engine features include places for directions, phone numbers and even coupons, so it may make more sense to minimize, or even forego, the PPC campaigns. The increased return might not justify the investment.

Local Marketing

When a business is operating locally, there are marketing aspects that shouldn’t be ignored. Getting listed in the search engine maps feature will help searchers locate the business, obtain directions, hours, phone numbers and the like. The importance of this can’t be overstated. Neither can the value of being listed in various directories, like the online yellow pages. The old fashioned phone book is nearly extinct but people still need all the information they used to contain.

Content creation is still important, too. Whether it is product and service information or a company blog, even local shoppers are influenced by quality content. It isn’t enough to show you exist; you also need to show that you are the best local choice, and proving your expertise is crucial.

Mobile

Mobile marketing can be crucial for a local business. People on the go want to know where the nearby shops and services are located, and how to find or contact them. Building a good mobile presence can make a big difference in your sales.

Full Service? Probably Not

So, while a local business might not need the full range of internet marketing offerings that a national company might, they still need to pay good attention to the channels that can do them the most good. A top quality marketing service is still essential. They might be able to save a little money, and the money they do spend will be well targeted and productive.