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Online Advertising is Very Effective for Small Businesses by Leo Vidal

The internet now offers small business owners an opportunity to lower their advertising costs while also obtainubg more leads and new customers. To remain competitive small businesses will have to adapt and learn how to use the internet as an integral part of their marketing plan.

Smart owners and marketers are realizing that a very effective and inexpensive way to capture online leads and customers is by using online search-engine advertising and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. The basis for search-engine advertising is the idea that the higher a website ranks in a search result, the greater chance it has of being visited by a user. Search engine advertising has the distinct advantage of bringing to your website only people who are actually looking for the goods and services you sell.

Search advertising offers many advantages over traditional, expensive forms of advertising. Websites excel in the areas of customer education and information, and also with direct response. Search engine ads are always targeted to what the person is searching for online, now matter where they are.

Advertisers have come to realize that search advertising attracts high volumes of quality and cost-effective leads for their businesses, if done correctly. So, if you're a website owner and looking to grow your business, increase sales leads, or just lower customer acquisition costs, then search advertising is the next logical step for you.

One of the most significant attributes of search marketing is that it reflects peoples' level of interest at every point in the buying cycle, from initial fact-finding to order fulfillment and purchase. It's an effective tool in bringing buyers and sellers together at the moment of their greatest mutual interest.

Search engine advertising has two main advantages over traditional advertising media: 1. You pay nothing for advertising that appears naturally in search engine results, and 2. For PPC ads, you don't pay unless someone clicks on your ad to go to your website. Wouldn't it be great if you could pay for your ads in newspapers and the yellow pages only when someone calls you after seeing one of your ads?

The business listed in the #1 spot in Google search results will get 40% of the leads, the #2 spot will get 25% of the leads, and the third spot will get 15% of the leads. Since more than 80% of local consumers visit the internet before buying, this is incredibly valuable free advertising for businesses in the top spots.

If you are not in the top three spots you will get very little traffic from natural search engine results, however. And if you are not among the other seven businesses on the first page of search results, you'll get practically nothing.

If you have a lot of local competitors you should do whatever you can to be in the top three positions and #1 if possible. Working with a good local internet marketing expert will get you there.

Because of the nature of web searches people will visit your site only when they are already looking for what you have to offer. You don't waste money on people who aren't interested, and you are only getting qualified leads. You will be able to save a lot of money on traditional advertising approaches and probably get a higher volume of qualified leads and new customers than ever before.

Some small business owners still believe that they don't need internet marketing or online advertising, and if you're one of these people then you are letting customers go to your competitors. If you don't take steps now to get your share of online customers you will be at a great competitive disadvantage, even if you are spending large amounts of money on traditional advertising.

Small businesses have found that they can save money and get more new customers than before if they properly implement internet approaches to marketing and advertising. And in future years this trend will grow even more. Some small business owners, though not many, have already implemented local internet marketing plans to capture a large amount of online business.

Leo J. Vidal, JD, MA, CPA runs Vidal Financial Consulting of Millersville, MD. He works with businesses to expand profits, including providing a turn-key solution their
internet marketing needs. You may contact Mr. Vidal to learn how to explode profits for your small or medium-sized business.

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