Canadian local businesses today have a huge opportunity to promote their products and services online. At Lighthouse Marketing, we have often commented on how much further ahead our American counterparts are in the area of online marketing. Local business owners in Canada can learn from their neighbours.
A recent study of twenty-five of the top Canadian retailers helps to shed light on how much we can learn. One startling statistic reveals that 80% of these top retailers do not have accurate, consistent, or complete information online.
That might surprise you. It might even dishearten you. If large Canadian corporations with massive marketing budgets and pools of technical expertise are missing online opportunities to convey a clear message to their customers, what hope is there for a small local business?
Take heart. These stats about big business can actually serve to encourage smaller companies in their online marketing efforts to promote their local business. Because of the scale of large retailers, it can be challenging for them to establish a solid local presence online. Small businesses can often make a large impact by implementing the changes outlined in this recent report.
The study looked at four main areas of the top Canadian retailers’ online presence. Instead of thinking about the specific large retailers, try to apply these areas to your local business online marketing.
1. Depth of information
Does your website contain clear and complete information about your business, your products & services? What about store location and contact information? Do you have quality photos of products? Can customers find current news and promotions? Businesses with deeper content experience higher conversion rates. That means online browsers turn into offline customers.
2. Visibility on the web
Is your website optimized so that search engines like Google can rank your website high enough to be found by potential customers? An SEO (search engine optimization) strategy can help your business be found and get your message out to more people.
3. Reach across various sites
Is your content clear and consistent on all your sites, including website, social media sites, and online directories? The easier it is for customers to find your business on any site or search engine, the more clearly your business will stand out in your local market.
4. Precision of online geographic locators
Does the Google location marker point precisely to your business location?
What can YOUR local business learn from this?
These four areas do require some time and effort, but clearly they are not out of the reach of local business owners. A few simple steps can turn into large possibilities for your small business.
Read Rebecca Maynes’ article, Local Listings: How Canadian Retailers Stack Up and What You Can Learn here. There is also a link in the article to download the complete free report.
Lighthouse Marketing Inc. specializes in visually appealing, mobile friendly website design. We are an independently owned 18 year old Canadian company based in the Lower Mainland of BC, and are not affiliated with any company bearing a similar name in other areas of North America.
In addition to our existing website services, the past 3 years has seen dynamic growth in the area of SEO services, particularly with regard to local search. Our evolution to a full service SEO company means that we now offer complete online business solutions that involve Google local search as well as an effective social media strategy.
Lighthouse Marketing services the Surrey, Langley, Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, White Rock, Delta, New Westminster, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Abbotsford areas, as well as other locations throughout the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley.