One of the biggest failings many small businesses fall into with Search Engine Marketing is overestimating their name recognition, what could be called 'brand awareness'.
If you have a small business (let's call it "Tom's Bike Parts") in an area with even a reasonable-size population, you can rest assured that no-one knows who you are. That's not to say you won't have a loyal group of customers - you will. That's not to say that the regular foot traffic won't be aware that there's a bike store along their daily route - they might be.
But, except for that group of loyal customers, no-one knows your name.
So why are all your marketing efforts directed at people who are already your customers?
At the start of this month, we reported on the ongoing rise of social media among baby boomers in Australia. Now it's time to look at local search and the benefits for Aussie business.
According to the latest Comscore search report, 10.29 billion online searches were conducted in the US alone in June 2010. Fortunately, Comscore also includes some choice snippets regarding local and mobile search, incredibly relevant data for real-world businesses.
Given that the population of Australians online is roughly 5% of the US, it's possible for us to extrapolate what this means for local businesses.
I'll give you the short version: local search is on the rise. If you own a local business you need to start making use of local search now.