Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guest Blog Post: Using the internet to get the word out

Hi everyone -


Today's guest blog post comes from Ryan of www.igotaguy.com.  The Chamber has an exclusive deal with igotaguy that will help your website with search engine optomization.  Check out the post below, and make sure that your business has an active profile on the sites listed.


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Over the last couple decades in the world of Local Business Advertising, businesses would take an ad in multiple local Phone Books in their area to gain exposure for potential consumers.  Why the phone book...? The Phone Book was known as the Source of information as to who was listed in the local area to provide that product or service.  Well established or marketing savvy business owners would sometimes take full or double page ads to brand their company name in their community.  The more you saw a company or it's logo, and the more you heard or read about them, the better the chances of that company being chosen when someone was searching for them.

Today, there is a similar concept - the internet, and it is just beginning to scratch the surface of its potential. The internet is a cloud of vast information, which in marketing can be a very good thing.  One of the benefits of the internet is that if you are willing to provide information that users or searchers are looking for, you can sometimes find cheap or even free real estate on the net. The primary focus of most websites is to generate traffic to their site.  How do you generate traffic? Simply by placing information you know people are or will be looking for.  The more information or better information you place on a site, the higher your placement on that site.

There are a multitude of websites local businesses can place themselves on as well as pertinent information about their business.  It is a good idea for business owners to make themselves aware of these site to not only take advantage of potential free listings, but to manage what people are saying about your business. Online local business listings allow business owners to edit the content of their existing listing, or to add a brand new listing. By verifying and claiming your listing, you can ensure that your basic information is up-to-date and provide additional details, such as photos, hours, and coupons.   Here are a few links to some of the major local business listing resources. 

Bing Local Listing Center: https://ssl.bing.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx  

Our site, www.igotaguy.com, is based on taking that concept of word of mouth advertising and utilizing the power of the internet. One of the differences about igotaguy.com is that it is a site designed ONLY for Local Businesses with products or services needed on a daily or regular basis.  These businesses are typically the same businesses that would belong to a local chamber of commerce.  The power in this kind of site is that it is both affordable and effective.  The more a community takes advantage of sites that offer free or affordable placement and allow consumers the ability to give experience feedback on the companies they have used so that potential shoppers may gain consumer confidence.  This eases their fear of being taken advantage of because if a business does a poor job or takes advantage of a customer, their reivews may show it and less people will be likely to use them. So the more people use these sites, the more the business owners and the consumers benefit from it.  So make sure to do a little research, find the sites that list local businesses and make sure to monitor and manage what people are saying about you!

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