SEO / Local Search Marketing for small businesses in Derry & Donegal – Is it worth their while?
I’ve been out and about with our recent flier campaign and talking to some local small business owners to get some feedback on how they view online / local search marketing. One of the most common views seems to be “Ah sure that wouldn’t be any good to me”
Being involved in online marketing myself for quite a while now, I couldn’t imagine having any sort of business without some sort of online presence. However, the general response I received from small business owners this last week or so:
- Surprised me that so many didn’t think increasing their visibility online would benefit their business
- Made me wonder whether or not they had a point!
Before I go any further I must point out that I was not on the verge of losing faith in my whole profession, I was merely toying with the notion that maybe business owners in small towns don’t really benefit from an internet marketing campaign!
Brrrrr….With this in mind we decided to find out what methods people in Donegal and Derry use to find local businesses and off we skipped to the streets of Derry with clipboards and camera in hand. Having struggled for five cold hours outside the Richmond centre persuading people of all age demographics to stand in front of our cameraman and answer questions for three minutes we returned to find the sound quality was a disaster!
I’m aware that many readers will be largely suspicious that this is a bit of a tall tale but I can assure you that I still have the sniffles and some rubbish inaudible video to prove it! Luckily however, it was not a total disaster, we had enough data from our clipboards to come up with a fairly reasonable if not wholly scientifically conclusive survey.
Of the 28 people we managed to convince to partake in our survey (thank you everyone), we asked:
How do you search for local products and services?
14% use the Golden Pages
7% use the Red Book
79% use Google
Are you generally happy with the results you get from Google?
89% Yes all the time
11% Most of the time
Do you ever go beyond the first page of search results?
Do you know what SEO means?
Would you choose a local business with high ranking but very few reviews or one with low ranking and lots of positive reviews?
79% would choose the local business with the most positive reviews
17% would choose the highest ranking (as long as it didn’t have very poor reviews)
4% would choose whichever is nearest
So what can we take from this?
The overriding majority of local people (79%) use Google to find local products and services. This is a stat that every SMB owner in Derry and Donegal should be aware of. If comscore’s stat 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, pone call or purchase is to be believed, this becomes all the more important.
Another interesting finding is that 89% of people surveyed were generally very happy with the search results they received yet had no idea how Google decides which websites should deserve their ranking on the first page.
Conclusion: Is it worthwhile for Donegal & Derry SMBs to engage in local search marketing or SEO?
Yes! Unless you want to hand 79% of your potential customers over to your competitors!