Many companies are now jumping aboard ship to utilize marketing efforts more strategically. No longer does a company, nor do they have to, go door-to-door to solicit sales for their business. Once upon a time a business that was listed in the Yellow Pages with a full page ad was considered to be on top of its game. Now the Internet makes it possible for anyone with an idea to be an entrepreneurial mastermind.
The recent economy crash has been responsible for the rise of many new businesses. People out of work and eventually unemployment benefits had to find another means of support as looking for a job became more competitive. Rather than waiting to be picked up by some large company that offered no guarantee of a secure position, many out of work people found it easier to start their own company and using the Internet to launch their company was the first and most important step in this new endeavor.
Convenience of the Internet allows entrepreneurs to work from home and mobile devices allow work on-the-go. One of the challenges many entrepreneurs face is that while the Internet is a great tool and the technology is ever increasing which makes being found on the web is more difficult. There is a lot of competition out there.
Dallas, Texas is one of the country’s largest cities. How can small businesses compete? The first step is to think local and not global when it comes to online visibility.
The information below includes both online and off-line objectives for getting your website in front of local visitors:
1. Concentrate On Your Local City
Rather than trying to focus on the whole internet, focus on customers in the town you live in. Make sure your address is reflected on your website to match the town you live in. For example be sure to include text like “Dallas Moving Company provides service to …” on your page.
People in your city are looking for you. Most likely they will search locally for you. Make it easy for them to find your company by listing your address on your website and attaching a map to it. Be sure to include a phone number.
2. Register With Your Local Chamber of Commerce
This is a small investment that keeps you in front of other businesses who may need your product or service. The Chamber of Commerce offers volunteer opportunities that also exposes your company to a large crowd. Use this opportunity to pass out free promotional items with your company website on them. The Dallas Chamber of Commerce has a large membership, however there are Chambers all around the metroplex that offer great benefit and cost less to join.
3. Participate in Volunteer Educational or Consulting Activities
Offer your advice for free. Many organizations will allow business owners to share knowledge and expertise. Use this opportunity to collect email addresses of those present. Offer them an incentive for giving out their email addresses. Then follow up with an email that directs them to your website. Make sure to have good information on your site for them when they get there.
4. Register Your Website with Google Places
This is a free listing that every business should take advantage of. It is one of the most used features on the internet simply because of its map features. Google Places provides a link back to company websites. This is a great place to get free traffic. To claim your listing go to Google Places, look for your business and if it is not there list it.
5. Register Your Website with Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages, or YP.com is also free. It is a high traffic website and the online version of the big yellow book that surprisingly enough, is still being distributed.
6. Have Someone Responsible for Online Marketing Efforts
Many online efforts can be easily done but it requires time and consistency. Many companies choose to outsource online marketing activities, while others appoint one of their team members to manage this responsibility. Either way, online marketing should become a part of the business’ core operations.
There is still room for competition and growth on the Internet. These are just a few ways and a few tools to ensure online business success with local customers. Mobile devices and their portability will play a key role in the operation of online business. Why not be ready when it happens?