SELLING LOCALLY USING THE
WORLD WIDE WEB
by: Mark Laing
Smart webmasters and small business owners are discovering the power of the
World Wide Web to attract customers from their own hometowns.
While the Internet's global nature makes it an ideal medium for advertising
and selling over a distance, it can also be used effectively to attract
local business. After all, the web is an economical way for a small business
to advertise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without the high cost of print
and television advertising. A website can be updated instantly when pricing
and other information changes.
As more consumers become net savvy, they are using the Internet to find
information on a wide variety of products and services ... and they are
searching for local suppliers as well as national and global ones. By
creating a website that caters to local customers as well as global ones, a
business can attract new business and encourage repeat purchases, cementing
customer loyalty in the process.
However, the strategies used to leverage a local presence are
somewhat different from those used by companies looking for global exposure.
Webmasters should keep the following tips in mind when building a web
presence aimed at a local audience.
1. Create relevant content, and add a local flavor to it. Content is
king on the World Wide Web. It helps a site achieve high ranking in the
search engines, and it establishes credibility ... show people that you know
your business, and they will feel comfortable buying from you. If a local
angle is inserted into your content, it creates an emotional connection with
local visitors by reinforcing the perception that you are from the same part
of the world as they are. When given a choice, people like to buy from their
2. Include your geographical area (and all variations of it) in your
keywords. By optimizing your site for the search engines in this way,
you will ensure that people looking for a locally based service will find
3. Advertise your website offline. Print your URL on your business
cards, receipts, invoices, business vehicles, menus, and anywhere else it
will fit. As well, don't hesitate to ask your customers for their e-mail
addresses, so that you can periodically send them news about your business.
4. Publish an opt-in e-newsletter. This keeps your business in the
forefront of your customers' minds. It builds credibility and loyalty, and
encourages repeat purchases. Keep in mind that an effective newsletter must
have some value to its recipient. Adding tips or advice is a good way of
5. Provide incentives for locals to visit. Offer a 'web only'
special of some sort. People don't visit a site to read about how great a
business says it is ... they want something they can use. Everyone can use
savings and coupons.
Small businesses interested in more tips on creating an effective online
presence are invited to visit
http://www.web-tips.net , where they can download a free e-book entitled
'The Service Sellers Master Course'.