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Promoting Local Business Online

As you well know internet usage keeps growing and growing daily. Every day more people are getting educated in computers and internet and more people are turning their search medium choice from Yellow Pages to search engines. Why bother flipping through the pages of thick telephone books when the answer you are looking for is just a click away? According to Web Pro News statistics Yellow Pages usage has dropped %10 in 2007 and keeps going down, where is the usage of search engines has gone up from %21 (according to 901am news). Among those searches %80 of them were done on Google, %12 were done on Yahoo and only %5 were done on MSN. The rest %3 are shared among a number of smaller search engines. (according to HitsLink).

Now you may think twice before starting to plan your advertising budget for the next year. Is it really worth paying for an ad in a telephone book or is it worth your while to keep up with the trends of the internet age?

In this article we will share some information on how small and medium size businesses can make their mark online and have an effective marketing campaign that can attract significant amount of new clients.

First, we will start with a definition. Direct Placement – is a program carried out by online advertising agencies where you can instantly place your website at the top of the search results provided by Google – the most popular online search engine. Obviously, you wouldn`t want every person visiting Google to see your ad and the chances are you wouldn`t be able to afford it either. That is why some agencies have introduced direct placement programs where clients can select specific keywords and geographic territory where they want to reach customers.

In order to set up a Direct Placement program you would need to sit down with one of the online agency representatives and explain what kind of customers you are trying to target and what geographic area you would like to cover. In turn, they will do some research and provide you with a suggested list of keywords from which you can pick those that you believe are the most relevant to your product or service. Once, you specify geographic area and the keywords it should be a matter of a day or two, depending on the size of the campaign, to set things up and rolling.

What are the benefits of using such programs right now?
a)    Small to medium size businesses can effectively compete on a local level against budgets of larger national corporations.
b)    The ad is exposed only to people searching for a specific product or service, therefore being much more effective
c)    As internet is still a growing industry and not every business is familiar with how to promote itself online you are gaining a strategic advantage over your competitors by being found online while they are still spending their money on Yellow Pages.

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