The 3 fears that all small businesses must overcome to be active in local search engine marketing are:
- Local Search Engine Marketing doesn’t work.
- Local Search won’t work for my type of business
- Search Marketing won’t work for me.
Afraid Of The Unknown – Overcoming Fear #1
Sharing statistics is the best way to help a potential local advertiser understand the importance of advertising on the web. The ability to relate it to other media, as in this chart from Screenwerk is perfect.
Next, breakdown the traffic by site, this is getting a little old ( July 2006 from Comscore), but it’s still the best study I’ve seen on local.
To overcome the fear that search isn’t right for the particular industry look at the competition.
Do a few searches on some of the sites mentioned above and look for others in that industry who are having success. Defining success is difficult… but the most convincing is time. If a competitor has been advertising on that site month after month… year after year… it proves it’s working for that industry.
Every Man Is An Island – Overcoming Fear #3
Copy is the key to overcoming this fear. Ask, “Why would someone choose your business over the competition?” The answer is very often the headline… and if you have a good headline… you want people to see it.
Small business owners are savvy enough to know that ad copy/promotional text/web design are important. They know it intuitively, but are not experienced enough to articulate it quite that way. So, this fear is the one that leads to procrastination… and if it’s a sales call… it will end with “I’ll think about it.” What they need to think about is the message but they don’t know it. If you don’t help them… then and there… you’ve missed it.
A small business will get involved with search, when they understand why and how:
Why they should advertise in Search Marketing.
How to do it effectively.
When these 3 fears are overcome, a small business will engage search marketing aggressively.