online marketing

Research Shows The Vast Majority Of Local Shoppers Research Online Before Buying

Online research

This is how local consumers in your area are finding martial arts schools these days. The question is… are they finding your school or your competitors when they do their shopping research online?

It’s no secret to my readers and newsletter subscriber’s that I have a web marketing firm that provides web design and local SEO for small businesses.

That’s why I consider it my business to stay on top of online marketing trends. The good news about that for you is, I get to share that information with the martial arts business industry at large via my martial arts business blogs and websites.

In the last several years, one of the more obvious trends I’ve been following is the shift among consumers from doing offline consumer research to doing their research online before making a buying decision.

This is a trend that has been in the makings since the internet fully debuted way back in the 1990’s. But over the last year, it appears that the transition has reached full acceptance among the vast majority of consumers.

It’s true… according to this recent report regarding consumer behavior, 90% of local shoppers look online first before they buy:

http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007566

This just goes to show that now it’s more important than ever for martial arts schools to have a strong online marketing presence.

Which, incidentally, is something I’ve been telling you for the past several years. ;)

Why hasn’t anyone else been hammering this stuff home to you?

I would speculate it’s because the people writing articles in the industry publications wanted to make sure they got to jump on the online marketing bandwagon first

Don’t Worry – It’s Never Too Late To Improve Your Marketing

But while you may find yourself showing up late to the party, it’s still not too late to start marketing online.

However, if you want to get ahead of your competitors who are already established, you have to do it right.

That means:

  • Having a well-optimized website and that integrates social media marketing right on the site.
  • And, one that ranks high in the local search engine results and that converts traffic to leads.

If you don’t have a site like this set up yet, get on it fast – the window is closing to get the jump on the rest of the competition and to move to the front of the pack in the new frontier of online marketing.

One Final Tip – Make Sure You Own Your Online Marketing

One last thing – if you’re considering using the online yellow pages as your primary online marketing method… stop!

You’re much better off spending that money on getting your own website and making sure it ranks high in the search engine results.

Here’s why:

  • First off, you don’t own any listing you purchase on someone else’s website. So, you really have no control over the results you get from it – basically, by not owning your online marketing presence, you are leaving your livelihood at the mercy of someone else.
  • Second, you have to keep paying for that listing to keep reaping the benefits from it. On the other hand, once you pay to have a good marketing website developed and ranked in the search engines, you’re pretty much done spending money on it (unless you’re in a highly competitive market – then it might be wise to spend some of your ad budget each month on search engine marketing).

Regardless, you own that website for life once it’s paid for (unless you do something foolish like signing up for a website service where you pay a monthly fee for a site you don’t own – which results in your paying over and over again for something you could have already owned many times over).

So, if you don’t already have a decent marketing website for your school that ranks high in the search engine results, get on it immediately. There’s not doubt that shoppers are using the internet as the primary means by which they research products and services before they buy.

The only question is – can they find your school online when they are researching martial arts schools in your area? The answer to that question will determine whether or not your school is still here in years to come.

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