If you own a local business, you may not think the internet will help you. After all, it is called the world wide web. This may suggest that it is only for large companies with outlets in many cities. While the web is great for big business, it is also a huge boon for local stores and services. In fact, it may actually be easier and cheaper to target a local market than a large national or international market.
Find local business directories that target your location or market.
Many local directories will allow you to submit a free listing. They may charge for upgrades to that listing, but you can probably start out by looking for free services.
One major example of this, that is very effective, is Yahoo! Local. Basic listings are free, and they are very popular. I know that I, myself, have used that guide when I wanted to find a local restaurant, doctor, or other service. If you. do not have a listing here, you are probably losing business because your competition will certainly be taking advantage of it.
You can also lead customers to your front door by using smaller directories that only concentrate on your home town. These are becoming very common, and even the smallest towns seem to have them these days. Large cities even have neighborhood directories. They tend to gather a local group of visitors that bookmark them as a source of information about the place they live.
Niche directories can bring in interested visitors.
You should not just look for local search or local directories either. You can probably find dozens of directories that concentrate on your type of market. They may list local businesses that can serve consumers who do not want to buy online.
For example, you may be a self employed CPA who wants to attract more small business clients. You might look for small business websites. The very clients you are seeking come to these websites for information. These people are likely to search for your services, and they are likely to trust information from a website they frequent anyway.
Do not ignore the power of social networking.
Most of us have signed up with a social networking website. These are great ways to connect with friends, but they are also powerful marketing tools. Many businesses have their own page While you are catching up with your best friend from third grade or your first love, you should also be plugging your business.
Internet forums are still effective marketing tools.
One last suggestion is to look for forums. These could be related to your own city, or they could be about the type of business you do. You can participate in these forums. Try to gain respect as a valuable member because you can provide suggestions or answer questions.
Even though different discussion forums have their own rules, you should be able to slip in some inks to your own website. You can probably add a link to your forum signature or profile. If you want to be sure you are following the rules, go ahead and ask one of the moderators.
Aso learn more about getting your own business online.