Online Search: Small Businesses Level The Playing Field
Seventy percent of US households use the web when shopping locally, and about 25 percent of all searches are looking for local information. As more and more households make the switch to broadband connections, this trend will continue to escalate.
Search engines have eclipsed print and TV ads as the primary way consumers find local products and services. But until now large national and international brands had a stranglehold on Internet search marketing. Only they had the manpower or outside resources to plan and implement a multiple site, online search marketing program.
Why should your business get into the online search pay-per-click (PPC) arena? Let's do the math. A recent US Bancorp Piper Jaffray study indicates that the average lead from a search engine costs $0.29. Yellow pages and direct mail leads cost $1.18 and $9.94 respectively. So, a search engine delivers four leads for the price of one Yellow Page lead and 34 for the cost of a single direct mail lead.
But that is not all. PPC advertising:
Some businesses will look for ways NOT to take advantage of this opportunity. I don't have a website, they whine. How will I figure out which sites I should advertise on? How will I manage all those keywords across multiple sites?
Google and Yahoo! answer some of those questions. If you do online PPC with either, they will distribute your ads across multiple sites. However, you'll still have to manage much of the program yourself.
New services are now available that allow small local and regional companies to effectively and efficiently hook customers online and only in the geographic areas where the businesses operate.
ReachLocal is my favorite of the new services. It is the one I'm using for my own business and for that of my clients. It selects the sites on which your ads appear, manages keywords across publishers, optimizes your keywords on a daily basis and even provides a free website for those businesses without a web presence. Additionally, it makes all of your leads measurable. You get daily reports on web visits, emails and telephone calls generated by your program.
PPC is perfect for high cost local transactions such as home purchases, mortgages, or medical services. So, no more excuses. You now have the ability to level the playing field with national competitors. Go local.
Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR, http://www.hoover-ink.com He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX and Verbatim.
Your Business and the Story of a Tree; Part One
This morning, I went to take a short walk outside. I've been feeling a little more flexible since this weekend, and I figured a stroll would help me keep that liquid feeling in my bones that I've missed so much.
The Hidden Treasure in Your Business
I started working with another new client last week. He has been in business for about a year and a half. Yes, he has managed to make plenty of mistakes, like we all do. But, he has done something so very right that I thought I'd share itwith you.
Choosing a Truck Wash Location in Nevada, Case Study
There are several well-known truck washes in the Great State of Nevada. Truckers need to get their truck washes as they travel West into California after coming off the mountains thru the weather, which dirties their trucks. There are two truck washes in Reno and two in Las Vegas, another strategically placed in Fernley to catch traffic coming from Las Vegas to Reno and on I-80 before the traffic. When picking locations from truck washes you must consider many factors and look for well-traveled crossroads, which are heavy on the truck traffic.
Competition Relations in Auto Detailing
There is significant competition in auto detailing and car washing. Even more between types of cleaning businesses, as each company attempts to expand into other services which are the mainstay of similar business models. Many times the line blurs between a car wash, oil change business, truck repair, auto accessories business, electronics installers and auto detailing. What can you do? Well first let's talk about what you should not do. You should not start a war against all your competition. Instead you should maintain good relations with them, even if you find them to be somewhat unethical by nature.
10 Filler Activities for the Summer Business Slowdown
Summer is a time for the outdoors, for that well-deserved vacation, and with everyone out and about, it's also a time that you may notice a slowdown in demand for your products and services. So what can you do during this summer slowdown? Well, it's a great time to do the work that otherwise never gets done during the busy business year.
Franchisee; Vacation Managing
Do you own a franchised business? Over 400,000 franchised businesses currently operate in the United States, which is a true testament of free enterprise. There are many advantages of franchised businesses, which anyone who owns a small business has thought about. One thing they probably have not considered; whether they are franchisee or not is that in a franchise system; your local franchise runs as store exactly like yours. They are aware of every single aspect of your business. So it makes sense that if you want to go on vacation you should have the closest franchisee watch your store for you and you can return that favor for them later.
Using Holidays to Put Some Extra Cheer in Your Cash Box
No matter your age or station in life, we all look forward toholidays. They give us a reason to decorate, celebrate, and mostof all, spend.
Dont Let Your Small Business Fall in the FDCPA Trap
When someone owes your small business money, you certainly feel like a victim. But did you know that if you aren't careful, you could break the law by trying to get the money back?
Family Business and Conflicts
What is a Family Business?A family business is basically any business in which the majority of the ownership or control lies within a family. Involvement of members of family in a business can bring with it its own complexities because the line between the business system is sometimes separated by a thin line from the family system. Sometimes these 2 positions overlap causing all sorts of conflicts.
Pressure Washing Heavy Equipment
One of the best ways to make money in the pressure washer business is to power wash heavy equipment. It is not necessarily easy work and you will get quite greasy but it is steady work and there is lots of it. You will need to know the different types of equipment and the issues which are of concern to preventative maintenance technicians, operators and owners.
The Game Plan ? The Difference Between Small Business Success And Failure
It is an American dream to own a business. But sadly, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, only 1 in 5 businesses is still in business 5 years after it opens.
Small Business Strategies - Four Critical Success Factors
Contract Cleaners ? A Guide for Business Part 2
In the first part of this article I put forward 7 questions that I believed were important to ask of your potential cleaning company. In this article I will explain the relevance of the first two questions and the answers you get to you as a business.
Outsourcing ? A Positive Approach For Small Businesses
Outsourcing is the strategic use of outside resources to perform activities traditionally handled by internal staff and resources. Small business owners can outsource non-core functions to specialized and efficient service providers. It is required of businesses to hire special contractors for particular types of work or to meet the demands put forth by sudden spurts in the workload. Recently, the trend of partnering with firms whose capabilities complement their own giving them an access to resources that were beyond their individual reach has come up. The difference between simply subcontracting and outsourcing is that outsourcing involves the wholesale restructuring of the corporation around core competencies and outside relationships.
Pressure Washing Business Case Study, Tractor Cleaning
So often small service businesses fail to exploit niches, which have little if any competition. I know as I built my companies we always tried to identify all the market niches and go after them. We were not always able to succeed at everything, occasionally we would fail; it happened more than I would care to admit, but those are lessons learned. The best way to get to success is to learn from the challenges of the past and so in my office I have a huge trashcan, bigger than any executive you will ever meet. And it is always full. That's okay. Let me tell you about one of the more successful niches we discovered in the pressure washing business; tractor cleaning.
SBIR - A Nice Add-on Business
If you are a small business and qualify to participate in the SBIR program, it is a natural enhancer to your existing business. If you are small enough you may be able to start a company using SBIR funding, but you will soon come to realize that if your sources of income are not diversified (with SBIR being only one source) you might fall victim to funding cycles and no income. Although the Government provides funding to spawn technology its dual mission is to help that technology grow into viable commercial technology. If you can not bring your SBIR funding to fruition via commercialization, then you may find yourself receiving less and less funding as the years unfold.
Marketing Your Small Business with Success Stories
-- The One Pager Shortcut Series --
The Triple A Way to Spark Your Companys Profits
Winning small and home based businesses today must continually shake things up to stay in the game. Whether it's adding new marketing twists on existing products and services or anticipating customer wants with compatible new items you can add to your product mix, hatching new ideas and concepts is vital to a profitable company.
Small Business Failures in America - Cash Flow Issues
We are noticing an increase in the length of time it takes Large corporations to pay on their invoices to our team. Fortune 500s are tending to pay their vendors more slowly, which will hurt the already strapped small businesses in America. These same small businesses employ 2/3 the population and do a great service in supplying the needs of corporations.
Batting Cages Business - Making Profits With The Swing Of A Bat
There is a Batting Cages Business for those people who love baseball and/or softball. This business will make you a profit and will help raise the self-esteem of the children who come to your facility. Batting Cage complexes are popping up all over the world.
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