Search engine optimization is the fastest and most cost effective way to get your message to the consumer. For businesses that are looking to obtain new customers, there is no better time or opportunity than today. While the majority of small businesses are spinning their wheels trying old-hat advertising and marketing methods, a new crop of businesses have discovered the power of local search engine marketing. These companies are garnering new customers on a daily basis and are making considerable profits.

What can local owners do to make customers remember them? Customers are still buying, they’re just being smarter about how much they spend and where they spend it. In order to actually grow your business in a down economy, it’s crucial to spend your marketing budget targeting the exact clientele that is searching to buy what you have to sell. There is no better way to do this than search engine marketing through Search Engine Optimization. For local advertising, reach, and lead generation are everything.

Today many potential customers are turning to the internet rather than the yellow pages and other traditional methods of advertising to find a business that provides a product or service they want. In today’s competitive business world, having a website and being online is not enough for a business. Many websites are like a pretty woman that sits at home—they look good, but they don’t go anywhere or attract business. The foundation of any successful business is a combination of strategic marketing that get the attention of customers who are actively looking for the products and services that they offer. Your potential customers have to find you easily when they are ready to purchase your product or services. In plain language, purchase decisions are time and demand sensitive. A smart marketing plan incorporates approaches that allow the customer to easily locate you when they are ready. Your potential customers have to find you, not the other way around.

SEO is the key element in any online marketing campaign. A high ranking is critical to increase traffic to your website. Most searchers only look at results from the first page of their search. Search Engine Optimization makes your website more visible and to unpaid (organic) search engine results. Through using advanced SEO techniques, your business will have a strong web presence and excellent exposure to potential customers. SEO is the best long-term solution for any business wanting to gain market share on the web.

You will need a search engine optimization expert to get you to the top of the search engine rankings and keep you there so your customers can find you. “Knowledge is power.” Knowledge to make the technology work for you is found in hands-on, time-tested expertise. You don’t figure out the tricks by reading a book or going to school. You learn by getting markets to pay attention, over and over.

What you may not know is that eighty-five percent of all online customers use search engines to find and purchase products and services. Even more significant to your business is the fact that ninety percent of these customers will not look past page three of their search engine results.

Consumers search for local products and services in different ways, using various formats and multiple devices now. Consumers can now look for a restaurant or cleaners using their iphone, Blackberry, or Droid, get directions to shops, restaurants and entertainment, or find a plumber all from their home or coffee shop or any location, thanks to the power of the internet and the use of search engines. Your potential customers are out there, but you must make it easy for them to find you.

If you’re not actively competing in the market to get to the top rank, you’re falling behind those who are. Search engine optimization is not as expensive as you may think. In fact, in most cases, the cost of paying a SEO expert pays by increasing customers and profits.