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Growing your business? We have answers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Get the Information You Need to Make Informed Decisions About Your Online Marketing Strategies
Marketing your business online can seem overwhelming. We know you have questions and we are always happy to answer them. Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about internet marketing.
Why isn't having a website enough to generate business?
If you think of your website as a destination, the next question is how do you get people to your destination? With 947- million active websites, this is a challenge for all businesses. Through online advertising, you are providing road signs to your destination, so people can find you.
So while having a website is necessary, it is not sufficient to grow your business. LocalDirective solves this problem by using dozens, if not hundreds of online sources, to drive traffic to your website.
LocalDirective offers a complete solution, whether or not you have a website. Our solutions include specially-designed landing pages that convert shoppers into buyers. We know that all you want is more business, so we provide everything you need to bring more customers to your door!
Why can't I place online advertising myself?
Some of the search engines try to convince you that you could place search engine advertising yourself. However, if you did that, and you wanted visibility in all places your prospects might find you, you would have to place advertising in all of the five major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and AOL), in addition to dozens of local search engines and portals, depending on your type of business and location. This might include Local.com, SuperPages.com, YellowBook.com, Insider Pages, CitySearch, and more.
For each of these search engines, you would have to choose hundreds of keywords (search terms), bid on each one of those terms, and then design numerous ads associated with those keywords. Finally, once you do this at each of the search engines, you would have to manage across each of them, to allocate your budget where you are getting the greatest response. You would then continue to tweak your ads and modify your bids based on the results you get. You would have to be knowledgeable about how to maintain a high 'quality' score on the search engines, since this affects the keyword pricing.
After you finish all of that, you would need to design appropriate landing pages to take the traffic to, if you wanted to generate the amount of response you would require to make online advertising cost-effective.
In a nutshell, if you had a very knowledgeable full-time employee (or more) to do this, yes, you could manage your online advertising yourself. But most local and regional businesses simply do not have the time, the knowledge, the tools or the money to make the kind of investment necessary to manage online advertising themselves.
Why does LocalDirective emphasize vendor-neutrality and what does that mean?
Vendor-neutrality is necessary so we can focus on you. The founders of LocalDirective have been involved with online advertising for over a decade, and have had numerous decades assisting local businesses with direct advertising in the yellow pages. We believe the local business is best served by a vendor-neutral company because it allows us to keep your best interests in mind.
For example, if a representative of a search engine company wanted to sell you advertising, do you think they would place your advertising everywhere you needed to be for the best results, even with a competitor? Or would they suggest only (or primarily) their product? Same with yellow pages publishers. Would they suggest search engines first or their online yellow page directory?
LocalDirective is an authorized representative with all the major search engines and dozens of other online portals and publishers. We make it a point to have the certifications and the relationships that deliver results to you. But, we are beholden to no one. That allows us to keep our focus where it should be – on serving you and your needs.
Where will my online ads be placed through LocalDirective?
LocalDirective closely monitors the changing landscape of online advertising options available to businesses, to make sure your advertising dollars are always spent where they are most effective. Unlike national search options, the local search space is growing at breakneck speed and there is no dominating player (as is Google in the national search space). And there are lots and lots of local search engines as well, such as local.com. Therefore, as the landscape changes, LocalDirective ensures your advertising dollars will continue to be placed in the most effective online locations, covering at least 99% of the locations that local consumers look for information.
At this time, LocalDirective solutions include Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, AOL and Ask. Business directories submissions are made to 411 Directory Assistance, YellowPages.com, Google Maps, Yahoo Local, Superpages.com, Yellowbook.com, Yelp, Acxiom, Localeze, InfoUSA, TrueLocal, CitySearch, Magic Yellow, RHDi (Dex), YP.com, iBegin, YellowBot, Insider Pages, Merchant Circle and more. Additional search engine, directory and portal placements may be made based on your business type and geography.
How does LocalDirective keep my online business listings current?
After your business information has been submitted to business directories, we validate the accuracy and completeness of this information with you on a regular basis. If changes need to be made, we do it for you. We stay on top of this so you don't have to!
Why does LocalDirective emphasize landing pages as part of my solution?
Attracting attention on the search engines through relevant keywords and compelling ads is only part of the picture. Once your ad has been clicked on, prospects must be transported to a destination page that relates to what they are looking for, based on the search terms they entered into the search engine. Studies show that a person will only view this page for up to eight seconds, and if they don't see what they are looking for, they leave.
Because of the critical need to capture attention quickly, LocalDirective has developed an expertise in this 'post-click marketing.' By developing high-conversion landing pages and mini-websites as part of our packages, we assure you of the maximum number of leads possible. Your number one goal is to get more business, and our number one goal is to get you the prospects you need, so you can convert them into customers.
Since I only serve a local community, aren't I wasting my money to advertise online on the World-Wide-Web?
The world-Wide-Web has come a long way from the early days. As internet users have become more sophisticated, many now search on keywords that include geographic modifiers, such as their city name or zip code. And the search engines have become smarter, too. Google, Yahoo and the others now present search results for a geographically- limited set of users. So businesses can specify that their ads should only be presented to those within a radius of their location, or within certain zip codes, etc. What once was 'world-wide' has now become very local and very targeted, indeed!
LocalDirective works with many businesses that only want to focus on a local audience, and our team has the expertise of having developed thousands of successful local online advertising programs.
How long does it take to start seeing results from my online advertising?
You'll start to see an impact very quickly – often the same day a campaign is launched. This is not surprising since more people now go online than look in the printed yellow pages. We will tell you the number of people that have seen your ad, clicked on it, took action on your website, emailed you, called you, printed your map, or anything else you want to know.
However, most online marketing experts (including many at leading search engines) will tell you that it takes about nine months to fully 'optimize' your advertising program. This means that even after your initial program is set up, there is a bit of tweaking to make sure you have the proper keywords, your bids are putting you where you want to be, that your ads are attracting the prospects you want to attract, and that your destination landing pages are providing the compelling message necessary to motivate conversion. Many of LocalDirective clients see sustained and growing results around the three-month point of their programs.
How is search-based direct advertising different from the printed yellow pages? And what are keywords?
Printed and online yellow pages are category-based direct advertising media. Search-based advertising is based on keywords.
The advantage of keywords is that they more directly reflect what the consumer is looking for or what problem they are trying to solve, whereas with category-based advertising, the consumer has to adhere to the categories the publishers decide are important. The use of categories puts an artificial constraint on the consumer that makes it more difficult to find what they are looking for because they have to think about which category to look in when they use the yellow pages. This is why online search is growing so quickly; it is easier for consumers to use.
The downside of keywords is that the marketer has to work harder, and this means coming up with all the keywords and keyword variations a consumer may use. There could be dozens, hundreds and even thousands of keywords that pertain. This is an area of expertise of LocalDirective: we have the tools and know-how to determine the best keywords for your business.
How does search marketing differ from online banner advertisements?
In the offline world, you could choose either directional or creative advertisements, and the same is true in the online world. Offline, yellow pages is considered directional because that is where people look when they are ready to make a purchase, and newspaper display ads are considered creative because people may or may not be ready to purchase when they see your ad. In the online world, search advertising is considered directional, for the same reasons: people search for products and services through search engines when they are ready to buy. Banner ads on portal or content-sites, on the other hand, are considered creative. When people see those ads, they are not necessarily looking for a product or service.
Depending on your business goals, you may elect either search marketing or online creative advertisements. If you want to create brand awareness, you may choose online banners. If you are looking to connect with people who are ready to buy, most of your advertising dollars should go to online directional advertising, such as search marketing. LocalDirective will work with you to deliver results, whatever your business goal.
Do consumers really use online to find local businesses instead of just buying online?
There have been exciting changes as people have become more accustomed to the internet. One of the major changes is that in any local community, more people now go online to find products and services they intend to buy offline. In fact, in 2011, over 76% of local consumers went online to find local businesses from whom to purchase.
Now That You’ve Got the FAQs, Call Us
If you have any questions as a result of reading the FAQs, please feel free to either complete the quick contact form on the left side of this page or give us a call, toll-free at 1.866.925.9524. One of our advertising consultants will help you determine which package is most appropriate for your business needs. You will be happily surprised at how affordable it is to begin your online advertising program today, and then you will be amazed at your return on investment.