Local Business Mistake #5: Not Advertising

Online advertising is the quickest way to drive targeted traffic to your website

“The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time”

Thomas Jefferson

Online advertising is one of the best ways to get visitors to your website. Websites that offer advertising reserve their most prominent online real estate for advertising. You can rent the internet’s most valuable space by advertising.

The goal in local business online advertising is to put your message in front of the right people at the right time to get conversions. Conversions can be anything from a getting a phone call to having a prospect download a white paper.

Your competition is already advertising online. At this time, they are enjoying the most prominent listings on the internet. They’re getting visits to their websites. Those visits are turning into either foot traffic in their stores or phone calls. In short, your competition is buying internet traffic and getting business from it.

If you’re not currently advertising online, then start. According to Borrell Associates, only 11% of local businesses are advertising online. The numbers are dated so that’s probably a lowball estimate. Still, with so few people advertising, you can still grab market share before other competitors jump in the game.

Here are two things to consider when advertising online.

#1 – What Model of Advertising?

Online advertising is typically divided into two categories: Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and pay per click (PPC). CPM advertising is usually not optimal for local businesses – but it is available. With CPM, you pay for your ad to show up and visitors may never come to your site.

For more info, check out CPM vs CPC vs CPA

PPC is a better form of advertising for local businesses. With PPC, you only pay when visitors click on your ads. Yes, those clicks are more expensive than impressions, but you get what you pay for. That usually means a more interested visitor. Most of the following placements are PPC.

#2 – Where Do You Advertise? (Placements)

The best place to advertise is on the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.). Since consumers usually start their search for local products and services on the search engines, that’s where you want your company to be. You’ll need to advertise in each search engine to show up in their results. Here’s where to go to sign-up:

Google Adwords

Yahoo Search Marketing

Microsoft Adcenter (Bing/MSN/Live)

The second best place to advertise is the online directories or the Internet Yellow Pages (IYP). Consumers still believe in Yellow Page-like listings. By advertising there, your business will command those site’s best placements.





The third place you should advertise is on relevant websites. That’s where your ads display on websites that discuss something related to your company. If you know where your prospects go online, consider advertising there.

You can also advertise on relevant websites in Google’s Content Network. This program serves up contextually relevant advertising on independent websites. The great thing about Google’s Content Network is that it’s integrated into their advertising program, Adwords.

Regardless of what you do, advertise your business. Nobody will know about your company if you don’t tell someone you’re there. Advertising is the quickest way to get your message out. If your tree falls in a forest, make sure someone is there to hear it.