Southern Pines, NC (PRWEB) May 23, 2006
Local businesses have little choice but to learn online marketing in order to survive. The Local Online Marketing Association (LOMA) now offers programs to help businesses navigate those cybershark-filled waters.
There are two compelling reasons why local businesses should be marketing online. First, their customers are searching locally on the Internet. Second, local Internet marketing is often more cost-effective in reaching new customers than offline advertising.
According to the Kelsey Group, 74 percent of US households use the Internet as a source when shopping locally. Twenty percent of all searches among this population are local, and 45 percent of local searches had a buying intent. These are facts that cannot be ignored.
For those businesses that are promoting online, many find they are reaching new customers for considerably less. In addition, with proven techniques, they are able to increase the life span of existing customers.
Unfortunately, out of the approximately 20 million local businesses, only 50 percent have Web sites, and of that 50 percent, only a small percentage have sites that are effective. The Kelsey Group notes, "A widening gap has emerged between consumers who are increasingly using the Internet to find local businesses and those same local businesses, which have so far largely failed to adopt online advertising in significant numbers.” Small and medium-sized businesses have "…not kept up with changing consumer behavior."
On one hand, you have the "changing consumer behavior;" on the other, the confusion and frustration that confront local businesses in building a successful Web presence. From this dilemma emerged the Local Online Marketing Association (LOMA).
According to Fred Waters, President of LOMA, “The Local Online Marketing Association was conceived in response to several factors. First, numerous local business owners kept approaching me to assist them in getting online. There was almost a sense of desperation in their attempt to figure out how to market on the Internet. For those who already had a Web presence, most spent an exorbitant amount of money and had nothing to show for it. The problem exists that many Web designers are clueless when it comes to Internet marketing.
LOMA helps take the complexities of Internet marketing and turns them into simplified techniques, strategies, and systems. Whether a business builds its own Web presence or hires a designer, LOMA members are in a position of knowledge - the knowledge to succeed online.
There are countless companies that claim to market businesses on the Internet. None of these services will do much good unless they teach how to build an effective system that converts prospects to customers. But not just any customer. Businesses want the kind of customer that continues to buy and who will refer others. Through LOMA, businesses learn that Internet marketing is more than just building a Web site. LOMA methods help businesses create an effective customer conversion system.
In addition to building customer conversion systems, LOMA teaches simple techniques that can provide quick and profitable results. For example, one member applied one of the basic procedures in search engine optimization. He saw his site skyrocket to the top of the search results. A local realtor created a pay per click advertising campaign in a few hours, and a few days later saw a surge in buyer leads. When businesses apply proven techniques, they inevitably see results.
LOMA realizes that most local businesses lack the time and resources to immediately build a potent Web presence. That is why LOMA offers suggestions to get a business online immediately. For example, clients can learn how to list a local business with the major search engines and online yellow pages in just a couple of hours. A Web site is not required and there is no charge. In addition, LOMA recommends services where a business can build its own Web site in a matter of hours. The cost for the site, hosting, and a domain name is as little as $5 a month. These are the types of opportunities that reduce the barriers to marketing online, while allowing businesses to reach new customers.
To learn more about the benefits of local Internet marketing, LOMA offers a complimentary 54 page e-book, “The Indispensable Guide to Local Online Marketing.” Copies may be obtained at http://www.Lompro.com. For more information on becoming a valued member of LOMA, go to http://www.lompro.com.