Customers Are Turning to the Internet to Find Local Businesses – Are You There?

As more and more people are spending increasing amounts of time on online. They are starting to use search engines to find local businesses. This is especially true with the rising popularity of “Smart” cell phones. These fun little devices put an virtual “yellow pages” in the owners hands.

Marketwire reporting on a study found local searching, the practice of searching using the web to find local businesses surged in 2008. They saw a 58% increase in local searching by consumers. The study was conducted by comScore, Inc., a web behavior research firm.

Here is the interesting part of this report: They found the overall growth of online searches only grew at 21%. This means local business searches grew at twice the rate of regular web searching.

Are Smart phones responsible for the growing trend?

More and more cell phones are becoming smarter. A popular feature you are starting to see is the ability for cell phones to have internet access. All you have to do is watch prime time TV, and see all the cellular providers commercials for proof. They are falling all over themselves grabbing for this market.

Armed with these phones you no longer have to turn to a phone book to find a nearby business. You just open up your phone and Google the name, or the type of business need to find. And within a matter of seconds you have a listing of local results at your finger tips. It’s become very convenient and easy to use.

This is a trend you want to get in front of soon

Local businesses need to position themselves to take advantage of this rapidly growing trend. A strong web presence is critical to have so customers will be able to find you. Even if you have a website you need to make sure you are ranking high in the search engines.

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