Columnists Brad Simon Internet Marketing Strategies: Gaining new customers thru Local Search Marketing

Internet Marketing Strategies: Gaining new customers thru Local Search Marketing

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How many of you would like to have more customers in your retail store?

If you wanted new customers in the past there were two main sources in which to advertise. They were the newspaper and the phone book.

It has been said that someone has written a book about the past two years in the retail jewelry industry, and the book starts with chapter eleven. Now, if you think that the retail jewelry industry has had it tough in the last couple of years, imagine being in the daily newspaper industry. Daily newspaper advertising is going away. This is not going be a source for us anymore.

Yellow Book pages were a prime source in which retail stores advertised. People are just not using these anymore. There is one good use for a Yellow Page book today. It makes a fantastic door stop. People are not using print yellow page directories anymore to find places to shop. They are not taking the time looking up places to do business with in it. Forget about advertising in it. It doesn’t work anymore.

Things change. We don’t run our business like businesses ran a hundred years ago or even fifty or twenty years ago. Things have changed dramatically in the last few years for retail jewelers and it’s not just the economy that’s causing that change. It’s the Internet.

Now, I know you have all heard that the Internet has been called the World Wide Web, but you say, “I’m a local retail jeweler. All I care about is advertising to my local area.” If you’re in Atlanta you don’t care if someone in New York City wants to buy an engagement ring. You’re not going to sell to them in your store in Atlanta. You don’t care about people in Australia and people in Europe and all over the world. You only care about your local market.

Things have changed on the Internet the last few years to target local areas. You can now advertise on the Internet just to your local geographical area. This started to change about two to three years ago. However, in the last six to nine months there have been drastic changes made. It’s called Local Search Marketing, because Local Retailers are using Search Engines to market their local Brick-n-Mortar stores.

Search Engine News one of the premiere Internet marketing newsletters said, “Local Search is shaping up as the primary source for local businesses to acquire new customers.”

If you build it, they will not come

There was a time ten years ago, fifteen years ago, where you could put up a website and you would get traffic to it. That will not happen today. I know many of you probably have websites and you can testify to this. You say, “I have this beautiful website and nobody goes there.”

In July of 2008, Google announced that there was one trillion websites that they have indexed in their directory. One trillion! That is a one with twelve zeros. If you put up a website, you are One in One Trillion. No wonder nobody finds you.

It’s not enough to have a website. You have to market your website on the Internet. And you want to do that marketing for a local geographic area because you don’t care if someone around the world finds your website, but you do want everybody in your community to find it.

What is Local Search

What + Where = Local Search

When you do a search on the Internet and you want to find out about diamonds, you type in diamonds in the search box, that’s the ‘What’. For Local Search you would add a ‘Where’ to your search such as diamonds 29302 (a zip code). That’s a Local Search. You want diamonds in this zip code. Zip Codes are very popular because they are easy to type and they localize a very small geographic area. There are several geographical qualifiers used in Local Searches such as city, state or zip code, saying I want to find this product (the what) in this area (the where) and that’s what local search is all about.

There are 2.6 billion local searches each month. According to Google over 20% of all search queries have a local geographical qualifier in their search. People are using local search to find local places to shop. It’s growing. It’s catching on. This is where the traffic is for finding new places to shop.

Of all the facts I’ve read about local search, to me the most important is that 82% of all local searches is followed by an in-store visit. That means over 2 billion people a month searching on the Internet for products to purchase are then finding a Local Brick-n-Mortar Store at which to buy.

People are performing local searches because they want to shop locally and buy at a physical retail store. People are searching on the Internet to find information about a product before they buy. Then they’re doing local searches and coming into local stores to buy. They are not buying on the Internet, they are looking on the Internet for a place to buy in their community.

Local search provides jewelers a highly targeted buyer who wants to buy jewelry in a local brick-n-mortar store. It is people who have a handful of money wanting to buy a piece of jewelry. And they want to find a jewelry store to buy it at. What better prospect is there? Someone who has the money in their hand saying, sell me something, where do I go? That is what Local Search is about. If you want new customers, local search is now the place you need to be.

Brad and Debbie Simon have been involved in the retail jewelry industry since 1977 and have been marketing on-line since 1999. Their company Internet 4 Jewelers provides Local Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Website Development exclusively for retail jewelry stores. For more information on their new Local Search Marketing book “Feet Thru The Door Marketing” log on to Internet4Jewelers.com/store.

 
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