Why you need the internet for your business

The Internet is the new frontier in advertising for all businesses. At one time, it was thought by most businesses that the Internet was for businesses that have products for sale online. This isn’t true anymore. It was also assumed by brick and mortar businesses owners the Internet wouldn’t work for them for advertising. This isn’t true either.

Here’s why all businesses need to leverage the power of the Internet. Print directories (e.g. Yellow Pages) simply aren’t being used anymore by consumers. Even if you are a local business, a large percentage of potential customers will not search the paper
directories but will usually go to the Internet to do research and find information about
local businesses.

Your market spends the bulk of its time online:

83% watch video clips
78% read blogs, up from 66%
57% are now members of a social network
RSS consumption is up from 15% to 39%
48% listen to podcasts

Let’s assume you have a business that sells widgets or a widget service in St. Louis. Rather than reaching for the big paper directory, most people now reach the computer and do a search on Google or Bing (and to a lesser extent Yahoo!). You might wonder how you will show up if someone does a search for widget services when there are widget providers all over the world……..well, people are smart and have figured out how the Internet works. Thus, instead of searching for “widget services,” people in St. Louis will search “widget services in St. Louis” or “widget services in Atlanta” or wherever. This allows your business to compete and show up when someone does a local search.

Now, just because you have a website and are located in St. Louis doesn’t necessarily mean you will show up on the top results when someone does a search for your product or service in your city. You actually need to engage in something called search engine optimization (SEO) in order to increase the likelihood that your site will show up at the top of the results. SEO is a way that you configure your website and other factors to accommodate the search engines (like Google) and thus increase the likelihood of getting higher rankings for the keywords for which you want to be ranked.

In addition to SEO, there are many other ways to use the Internet to get customers like pay per click advertising and social media marketing. I will blog about these topics over the next couple of weeks.