June 30, 2009
The Local “Internet Search” Growth Explosion
Currently there are over 2 billion monthly search engine queries with local commercial intent, and the number is growing tremendously. Over 82% of local searches contacted a local business and 60% of these made a purchase. That is a phenomenal conversion rate. Statistics show that a trillion dollars is currently being affected by local internet searches, and that number is increasing rapidly.
If you are in business and not using the internet to find and keep customers, you will find it difficult to survive, let alone prosper. You need an online presence that really works for you.
Historically businesses have used ineffective and expensive “shotgun” marketing strategies because that is the way it has always been done.
Members of the existing advertising industry don’t want change. They don’t care if you waste money so long as they get paid for helping you do it.
Traditional Shotgun Marketing Doesn’t Work Anymore
If you want to hit your targets with a minimum expenditure of time and money, you have to put away the shotgun and take out the rifle. And you’d better learn how to use it really well.
Consumers are also too far away and protected from your message for you to hit them with traditional shotguns approaches. There’s TIVO, Do Not Call, news websites, etc.
Even if your advertising does get through to some, you have no idea whether or not those people are interested in hearing your marketing and sales message. Traditional marketing methods are becoming less effective every single day. We need a new approach, and right away.
Luckily there is a solution for those who take positive action before it’s too late. This solution uses new technology and the internet to focus sales efforts like a laser.
But this article is really not about the internet. It’s about profits. You must use the internet to find profitable new customers and clients. For the small business, that is all that matters right now.
The Profit Formula
The Sniper approach to Local Internet Marketing will have a huge impact on the bottom line. This can be shown using a simple math formula
R – C = P which means Revenue minus Costs equals Profits.
To show the impact of Local Internet Marketing on Profits we need a new equation:
[#C x R/PC] – [FC + VC] = P
Where FC = Fixed Costs, VC = Variable Costs, #C = Number of Customers or Clients, and R/PC = Revenue Per Customer (or Per Client).
Total Revenue is “revenue per customer” times the number of customers. Total Cost is the sum of fixed costs and variable costs.
With Local Internet Marketing there is: 1.an increase in the number of customers, 2.an increase in revenue per customer (R/PC), 3. a decrease in variable costs of sales (VC),and 4. a decrease in fixed costs (overhead).
By impacting positively all four components of the Profit Formula local internet marketing can multiply the profits of a small business.
The great thing about Local Internet Marketing and the Sniper approach is that it allows small businesses to rapidly increase gross income while at the same time reducing both variable and fixed costs. For some businesses this will be the difference between survival and failure.
When you’re in the battlefield, survival is all there is. — Samuel Fuller
How Local Search Engines are Creating a New Era of Marketing
I believe that any small business can multiply its profits within a 12 month period after adopting the Sniper approach. But not every business will actually make this happen. Far from it. There are just too many variables and things that can go wrong.
To be honest, the majority of businesses — and business owners — are not prepared for this kind of exploding growth.
Winning in business often comes down to intangibles like attitude. mental preparedness, level of energy and enthusiasm.
Failure is more frequently from want of energy than want of capital. — Daniel Webster
A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm. — Charles Schwab
Winners and Losers
Those who step forward right now to establish a competitive advantage for their local business and do what it takes to keep it will become dominant. The risks and the rewards have never been greater for local businesses.
If you thoroughly prepare yourself and your business and if you make the necessary changes, then you have an excellent chance to winthis race, and by huge margin.
The basic premise is that the internet requires an entirely new way of marketing small businesses.
The reality of the current economic slowdown is that more businesses are going to face difficult times. We can see the handwriting on the wall, but few have yet to hit the wall. But the wall is there waiting.
But there is a clear solution for those who can see the opportunity provided by the internet, and follow it quickly, right now.
Already most small business customers find that business on the internet first. And the winners will be those who are most ready to greet them.
What does this word mean to you? Thanks to Google, nothing will ever be the same again. We all got Googled before we even knew what hit us.
Thanks to Google, consumers go online before making a decision to buy almost anything now (as well as do a lot of other things). Other companies have been important too. Ebay is the largest seller of cars in the country. Craigslist publishes more ads than any other company.
No matter what business you are in on a local level, you can rest assured that before stepping into your office or store any new customer or client you get will have been online beforehand.
And this is your opportunity. You can attract the right consumers and through a good first impression gain a customer for life.
This is not a theory, but a fact of what happens over two billion times per month. That’s how many local internet business searches there are each month. (And that number is growing at an estimated rate of 50% per year.)
But there is another reality of the internet: there is not room for everyone to be seen on those tiny web pages and internet screens.
The truth is that when people search for a product or service to buy, most of the time they will only see the first few search engine results that appear on their screens.
There may be 100,000,000 results but the searchers only click on the first three about 80% of the time.
In fact, over 40% of the time the company that shows up in the #1 position on any search engine will be the one “clicked on” by the web seeker. The number two position gets about 25% of the action, and the third position roughly 12%. The other 99% of businesses share the remaining 20% of the clicks from searches, and most of these are others on the first or second page.
So even if there are a thousand pages of search results, you must be on the first one or your chances of being seen — and chosen by a potential customer or client — dwindle to almost nothing.
DoYou Want to Be #1?
Maybe you have figured out where this is going. The message here is that you had better be on the first page of Google when consumers use it to search for what you sell. Better yet, try to be in the top three if possible.
And if you are in the coveted #1 position of Google for search terms that matter to your business, if there are enough searches, and if you handle it right, you will no doubt see an expansion in your customer base beyond your wildest dreams.
The Right Way to Do Local Internet Marketing
So how do you figure out the right way to do internet marketing, and how do you become #1 in the search engines? That’s a topic for my next article but let me say this: there is no magic, and there is no chance, and there is very little luck involved.
You just have to know what to do, and then do it well. And you must do it consistently over an extended time period.
There is a way to make sure your business gets to the #1 and stays there in your specific marketplace. The detailed plan for your type of business and for your local geography will be unique to you, probably created by someone you hire.
Even though every situation is different, there are basic rules and strategies that apply across the board. These rules and strategies are revealed in my next article, “The Top Ten Strategies of Local Internet Marketing — How to Make Your Website #1 in Google and Dominate Your Local Marketplace.”
Leo J. Vidal, JD, MA, CPA consults with small businesses to increase their profits. He provides small businesses a turn-key solution to their local internet marketing needs as a way to experience explosive growth. Find out for yourself how Leo can make your profits explode.