How Do New Customers Find Local Businesses?
New customers used to find local businesses by reading newspapers, listening to the radio & watching local television stations. Learn how they find you today:
- The printed Yellow Pages are quickly being replaced by desktop computers, by tablets and by smart phones.
- More and more people are canceling their newspaper subscriptions because they can get the information delivered to them on their electronic devices.
- Many people are listening to Internet radio, podcasts and MP3’s instead of using a car radio, portable radio or a radio at home.
- Television viewership is on the decline because people are choosing to watch their favorite programs on their tablets, laptops or computers at a time that is convenient for them. When the shows are watched online, the expensive television ad you paid for is reaching a slowly shrinking audience because your local ads are replaced with national ads during online playback.
When your ad is seen in one of the mediums mentioned above, many people will still look you up online to see what others are saying about your business.
If you have no online reputation or you have a bad online reputation, your potential customer will fire up their favorite search engine and find a local competitor that has a better reputation than you do online.
94% of surveyed new customers revealed that they used the search engines to find a local business to patronize and 70% of households revealed that the Internet is their go to source to purchase local products and services.
These people want to research the product, service and business online then buy it and either go to the store to pick it up or have it delivered to them.
The days of browsing the aisles of the stores to find what they are seeking are fading fast as the pace of life increases.
Being at the top of the search engines is not enough
You can spend a lot of time and money to get to the top of the search engines but that does not guarantee that you will get the call over one of your competitors.
Your listing is just one of 10 that show on the first page and unless your listing stands out above your competitors there’s a good chance they will get the business instead of you.
The easiest way to stand out above your competitors is to have your local listing claimed and optimized for search then have a system in place that encourages your customers to leave a steady supply of glowing reviews about your business on the local directories.
Stanford University did a study on Yelp that showed that a one half star increase in the Yelp rating yielded a 19% increase in business in the niche that they studied.
The Harvard business school did another study in a different niche and it revealed that a one star increase in the customer rating yielded a 10% increase in business.
The only thing the two businesses that were studied did differently while they were being studied by the colleges was to get more customer reviews posted on the local directories.
When two prestigious colleges do studies to see how customer reviews on local directories affect local businesses and the results show that much of an effect, do you think your business would get more customers if you were to work at developing or improving your online reputation?
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