With the emergence of the internet as the most widely used form of communication, the idea of “location, location, location” has taken on a whole new meaning.  The impact of the physical location of your company is beginning to deteriorate, as your virtual location and presence on the world wide web is becoming more and more essential.  Many businesses operate entirely through the internet because it not only reaches more people than any other medium, but it also is the most inexpensive “real estate” available.  And the fluidity of this non-traditional real estate allows the owners to continually increase it’s value through services such as Search Engine Optimization.  The virtual presence of a company can have as much or more of an effect than it’s actual location in the real world.

But these two types of locations do not always have to be separated from each other.  In fact, in many ways they can support each other and dramatically increase the success of the company together.  Recently, Google has launched the new Google Places, which helps internet users find physical locations for what they are searching for.  Other search engines, such as Yahoo, Bing, and AOL, also have similar services.  According to Google, one out of every five searches are related to location.  Having a strong internet presence can help drive people who are searching for you services straight to your door.  A new aspect of internet marketing has emerged – Google Places Optimization.

Just as with search engines, your local listing can be optimized so that you come up when people search for a certain keyword related to your business.  This will give you a great advantage over your competitors.  Say, for example, that you own a store that sells musical instruments.  Think about what most of the population does when they want a new product or service, say a new guitar.  They get on the computer, go to Google (or Yahoo, or Bing), and type in what they are looking for – in this case, maybe “guitar store” or “music store”.  Now imagine every one of those people sees your store location and description pop up in Google places.  They hop in their car, drive straight to you, and you make money.  In the past,  it was possible for them to search for music stores on Google and find you, but now it is even easier and more convenient – they are immediately given your exact location, contact information, directions, and store description without any extra effort on their part.  It is a more efficient way of marketing.

In today’s technological world, it isn’t so much about which store is on the corner of the busiest street in the city, but rather which company’s presence is strongest on the internet.  And because of local listing optimization, it is easier than ever to drive physical traffic to your business.

Jamie Bates