In the pre-internet world, marketers said there were three things that were important; location, location, and location. It was important to be where your prospects could find you. In small towns, it might have been the square, or on a busy corner, as we moved to the suburbs it became the mall.
Successful businesses often worked to assure their buildings and signage projected an image. The kind of image that people would like, remember and want to return to. And of course no one expected to be successful in business without a prominent listing in the yellow pages.
However, I have had a number of discussions in recent years with business owners that don’t consider the Internet to be relevant, as if location no longer matters. Having a website, a digital store front on the internet is just as important as having a bricks and mortar storefront.
Having a prominent place in Google is just as important as being on a busy street. And like a bricks and mortar store front, your web storefront should be attractive and project an image consistent with the type of business you’re in. And I would argue that running ads in Google to grab attention is every bit as important as a prominent listing in the Yellow Pages used to be.
Why the Internet is important to brand
- The Yellow Pages are no longer relevant:
Think of how many people only have a cell phone. For these people the phone book has little value as none of their cell phone owning friends are listed in a phone book. Let me say this another way, the phone company relied on people with land-lines as an audience for their business listings. When people don’t have land-lines, there is no audience. I am not saying you shouldn’t be in the on-line phone book, you should, but if you click on a Yellow page link in Google’s results, what you get is another listing of the businesses you compete with. I would argue that most people are not looking for another set of choices and avoid clicking through to yellowpage.com listings.
- Smart phones move search to real-time:
With the Advent of smartphones, people are not waiting until they get home to find a resource. They are googling to find what they need in real time, as they think of it! And, people are not just looking up “air conditioning repair”, “plumbers”, “roofers”, “electricians”, to find a phone number like they would in a phonebook, they are doing research to find the best resource and then cross checking reviews and complaints against those businesses. People are checking Angies’ list, local forums, and they are asking their friends on Facebook (is your business on Facebook?)!
- Reality / Viability / Credibility:
Prospects want to check your website to see if your company appears to be a real business. Do you list your address? Do you have a business license, are you insured, do you have a BBB rating, are you a member of the Chamber of Commerce?
- – If people come to your location to shop, are there pictures of your place of business, is there a Google map so they can get directions (is your business listed in Google+ for Business)?
- – If you call on your customers at their location, are there pictures of your trucks and employees in uniform?
- Payment options:
Do you take credit cards. Is financing available?
- Service Area:
What areas do you service? Do you service Huntsville, Madison, Hartselle, Monrovia, Big Cove?
If you want your business to be found on-line, we can help!