Using Internet to Grow Your Local Businesses

Its not news any more that consumers becoming more aware and involved with using Internet for the search on health related information. They go online to find doctor or medical spa, whether its desktop computer or mobile phone. From the analytics i get from google, 86% searches coming from smart phones.

2010 was all about the rise of Social Media and Local Search. Keeping website up on the search result becomes all about staying current with new technological innovations. Websites that had SEO done time ago now have to redo it based with Local Search requirements and Geo tagging. Because if you located in Orlando Florida you don’t want people from California finding your website and calling you with questions, right? You want people who live in your town to find your site first and contact you with appointment to see you.

To recop 2010 innovations we integrated to our services:

  • Facebook announced business account and pay per click advertising. This amazing feature lets us target people by demographic location, age, gender and interests together with option to customize FB account to be like website. Here is an example of our FB business account for VIP Aesthetics.
  • Google™ introduced local search and Google™ Map with advanced features to improve search for local business first.
  • Switched custom website development to more advanced platform such as Word Press. It allow us absolute control and ability for future expansion, adding new tools to stay current with technological innovations, such as social media, mobile marketing, local search, analytics and much more.
  • Smart phones like, iPhone, Blackberry, Android became primary source for Internet searches. All our websites was converted to comparable with mobile devices
  • Introduction of Yelp, Groupon, Foursquare, Gowalla for local business promotion, helps to introduce local business to people in the area.

 So, what’s next coming in the year 2011.

Based on the recent article in the world recognised publication Mashable from 12/22/2010 “5 Predictions for Small Business in 2011“, local businesses will turn they advertising budgets more and more towards the Internet.

1. Increased Spending on Websites

Small businesses are predicted to increase online marketing spending, with websites taking the front seat, according to a recent survey. The survey found that 54% of respondents indicated that their businesses currently have websites. Unfortunately, most of those websites contain nothing more than general information, and less than half of them incorporate customer service features.

The importance of being easily findable on the Internet has still not been fully recognized by small businesses, but increasingly, smart entrepreneurs are taking notice. Next year will be marked with increased spending on website development, lifting small business sites from their current iterations as online brochures to more prominent positions as useful resources for customers.

Those making valuable upgrades to their online presences will increase functionalities revolving around e-commerce, reservation systems, corporate blogs and social media integration. Furthermore, we may see increased attention on better web design.

2. Smartphone Revolution

A whopping 49% of small business owners use smartphones, outpacing the rest of America in smartphone adoption, according to a recent Forrester study.

As more small business owners are exposed to smartphones on a daily basis, it’s inevitable that they will begin to innovate with mobile technologies. In 2010, business owners were tweeting on the go, using location-based services and investing in mobile advertising.

In 2011, the smartphone revolution will continue to ensue, with ever increasing smartphone adoption. Mobile devices will continue to change the way that companies of all sizes do business. With most business needs at the tips of their fingers, small business owners will experience more flexibility than ever before.

3. Social Shopping and E-Commerce Advancements

While a number of small businesses benefited from social shopping in 2010, others were left wondering if group buying was really worth the risk.

Regardless, it’s evident that e-commerce is a huge advantage for small businesses taking part in it. Offering their products online, businesses have widened their customer bases beyond their local markets.

While only 30% of small business websites currently incorporate e-commerce abilities, the increased buzz around online and social shopping will probably push more small business owners to experiment with the medium in 2011.

4. More Focused Social Media Efforts

This year was a time of social media experimentation for many small business owners. Testing many social media services in the past year, small businesses are becoming more knowledgeable about which platforms their customers use most and how their companies can benefit from staying connected on each platform.

It isn’t uncommon to visit a small business’s website to find a mass of social icons pointing to less-than-utilized profiles all across the web. It seems that anxious entrepreneurs have spread themselves thin in the social media realm this year, trying out every platform that got buzzed up.

The simple truth is that not every platform is right for every business — it’s all about where your customers are.

Having answered quite a few social media questions from small business owners this year, I have a feeling that next year is really going to be about paring down to the crucial based on proven successes and strong metrics.

5. Increased Adoption of Cloud Computing

Earlier this year, a group of Internet and tech experts and social analysts predicted that Internet users will “live mostly in the cloud” by 2020. While I don’t have the expertise to analyze that prediction, I can point to the fact that I and many of my friends and co-workers already do live and work mostly from web-based and mobile apps, relying less on software installed on our desktops.

Cloud services have already simplified many processes for businesses. Google™ Apps and Google™ Docs, for example, make hosting and collaborating on spreadsheets, presentations, forms and word processors much simpler. and Dropbox have also made online file sharing and collaboration much easier. Meanwhile, 37signals supports a full line of business tools for project management, CRM, internal communications and group chat.

In 2011, businesses will be increasingly exposed to cloud services as tech companies introduce more and more products geared toward moving our digital lives into the cloud.