We did a posting on Mine Your Own Business on December 23rd on the explosion of ecommerce this holiday season and wrote about an article that presented some ideas on how brick-and- mortar businesses could compete. When we ran across an article titled Even for Brick-and Mortars, Web Search Marketing is Key we thought it would be worth a look as a follow-up to that posting. The first point in the article really got us thinking when it stated that "All businesses are Internet businesses - even if they don't have a website or sell anything online." The article described that according to an online marketing consultant up to 70 percent of offline purchasing decisions are based on research on the Internet.
The article then goes on to provide some tips for any business in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Effective use of these tools can draw people to your brick-and-mortar business even if you don't have a website and the reason is that 29 percent of all online searches are local. I make sure when I am researching something online I use the search phrase and then tack on St. Louis so I get local results.
There are a lot of good ideas in the posting on the effectiveness of each of the search marketing tools and the pros and cons of each. There is also information on what a small business can handle itself and when an outside agency is a better choice and not necessarily a large expense. There are also three great links at the bottom of the article to other postings with Internet tips.