If there’s one thing that the internet is known for, it has to be its long reach. The internet allows us to communicate information at incredible speeds across remarkable distances: the 279 million North American internet users can chat in real time with the 210 million others in the Middle East, or the more than one billion in East Asia. This long-distance communication is a huge part of why the internet was invented in the first place.
So if you run a local business here in Orlando, you might reasonably wonder what the internet has to do with your company. After all, you don’t need to reach customers in Asia. You just need to reach customers in Orlando. Does the internet really matter to you?
As it turns out, yes it does and you can use local companies to master your local internet strategy.
The internet is everywhere
As you’ve surely noticed, the internet isn’t just a way to get long-distance emails anymore. The internet has crept into almost every area of our daily lives; today, we use the internet to order takeout and to meet our romantic partners (tellingly, both of those internet uses are highly local).
Part of why we use the internet so much these days is that so many of us use smartphones. There are north of 250 million of them in the United States, and about three out of every four people own one. And we use our smartphones for everything, including finding local businesses.
The local internet
There have long been websites of local interest, but the internet was not always a critical thing for local business owners. Part of why that changed is that the major search engines (particularly Google) decided that it should.
Google realized that many people who searched for things like “auto repair” didn’t just want to read online encyclopedia entries about auto repair or check out nationwide auto parts retailers. They were trying to use Google like the Yellow Pages and were looking for local businesses. Google reacted by incorporating “local search,” which used searchers’ IP addresses to deliver results curated to their area.
Local search has come a long way since its inception, and variations of local search engine results and mapped results exist in Google, Google Maps, Bing, Apple Maps, and even within review apps like Yelp. Your customers are using these apps to find local businesses here in Orlando. If your business isn’t online and ranking well with these searches, you’re going to see a lot of customers follow their Apple Maps directions away from you and toward your competitors.
Investing in the internet in Orlando
So what can a small business owner in Orlando do? Simple: They can invest in web design, search engine optimization, and digital marketing. A great online presence is absolutely crucial in this day and age, say local experts in Orlando web design. Competing here in Orlando means having a great website that inspires consumer confidence and that ranks well with major search engines. You want a clean, professional site with great copy (that features the right keywords) and calls to action. Maintaining a social media presence is a great idea, too, especially since it will allow you to offer online customer service.
The better your online presence, the more your local customers here in Orlando will trust your business and seek out your goods and services. In the modern world, competing locally means competing on the internet. So call in the right professionals, get the help you need, and put the internet to work for you right here in Orlando.