Business owners appear to have become enthralled by the concept of “globalisation”. The Internet means your customers can come from anywhere in the world and several companies have used the web to expand their reach.

However, the struggle against the global competition is huge and it is taking many business owners “eye off the ball”. Most businesses do most of their business within 50 miles of their head office. Most business are small businesses and most of them supply local consumers or nearby bigger businesses. Most people work within eight miles of the place where they were born. We are not global people – in spite of what the headlines might have us think. The vast majority of people live and work where they first found themselves on this planet; we are not that adventurous.

For online businesses this means concentrating your efforts locally. Rather than trying to reach out to the whole world, targeting your local potential customer base will be much more profitable. Plus people often prefer to buy from a local supplier – they feel more connected than buying from someone on the other side of the world, in spite of the Internet.

So, running advertising campaigns that focus on the local area is well worth considering. Both Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing allow you to run local advertising right down to individual towns. Sites like Local and ReachLocal also provide local advertising solutions.

However, you might not need to advertise. Keyword research shows that many people include their town in their search phrase. So, for instance, if you are running a marketing consultancy in Birmingham, having a web site called “Birmingham Marketing Consultancy” for instance will bring you in your local customers.

People are looking for local suppliers – they feel more comfortable with someone they might potentially be able to go and see. But for the online business owner, local customers usually means lower costs. And that means greater profits.

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