Online advertiser's task list

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David Reeve
David Reeve

In 2006, WebVisible hired Nielsen//NetRatings for a benchmark survey examining Internet consumers' use of search engines to find local businesses, particularly those in the service industry, such as dentists, plumbers and carpet cleaners.

The insightful results explained how consumers behave today and how local businesses can position themselves to succeed online.

I've packaged the data below for you as an “Online Advertiser's Task List” for an easy cut-and-paste into your Outlook Tasks.

As consumers change the way they shop, it's vital to your business to change with them.

Enable my Web site visitors to contact me
Consumers use up to four different methods to contact you.

Presumably, your Web site should be ready to handle these different methods in contact. How does your Web site stack up to these consumer behaviors?

  • 68 percent use the phone number on a site to contact a vendor.
  • 16 percent contact a vendor by the e-mail address on a site.
  • 11 percent contact the vendor via a form on a site.

Advertise my Web site
Having a Web site is not enough. Just like your business, you must advertise your Web site to reach consumers. There are many ways to do this, and I advise you to use them all. They include pay-per click, banner advertisements, search-engine optimization and business-profile landing pages.

  • 70 percent report using search engines to find a local service.
  • 90 percent are happy when using engines to find local businesses.

Track my off-line conversions
Many small businesses don't make a connection between their Web site's visitors and those that call or visit the business. The majority of consumers find your business online, then make a purchase off-line. You may not know it. It is important to connect these behaviors in order to better understand the customer's experience.

  • 35 percent saved the phone number after visiting the site.

Using these three simple tasks will drastically improve the way customers find you, contact you and measure the effectiveness of your advertising efforts.

David Reeve is marketing manager at WebVisible Inc., Irvine, CA. Reach him at dreeve@webvisible.com.

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