by J. Stephen Pope
To obtain more local customers for your business, consider expanding your local business through the Internet. Here are some ways of doing so.
1. Online Directories
Even without a website, you can get listed in online directories. Many times these listings are free.
For example, if you operated a restaurant, your being listed in local Internet directories could result in local residents and visitors to the area finding your restaurant.
2. E-mail Newsletter
You could also collect e-mail addresses from existing customers and regularly e-mail them about special events, menu additions, and other promotions. This would keep your restaurant visible in their minds and could result in repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.
3. Your Own Website
If you have your own website, the opportunities for promoting your business increase. A restaurant could give information about hours, prices, nutritional information, specials, awards, news releases, contests, employment opportunities, and so on.
4. Search Engines
Submit your website to search engines for increased exposure. Some search engines have listings by regional category so that local customers can find you easily.
5. Pay-Per-Click Search Engines
Advertise in pay-per-click (PPC) search engines that use geographical targeting. That way, you are paying mainly for responses from people local to your area.
6. Internet Auctions
Use eBay or other Internet auctions to reach out to local customers. On eBay, you can mention an item location which will help local people to find you. Not only can you earn some additional income from Internet auctions, but you may gain additional local clients.
By applying these suggestions, you, too, can expand your local business through the Internet.