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Time to Even the Playing Field - How Digital Marketing Helps SME's Compete

Tuesday 26 April 2016, 7:28PM
By Adam Dowling
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AUCKLAND

We all know the story - big business rolls in to town, inevitably shutting down smaller, local businesses.

This is an issue which has plagued the small to medium sized business owner for decades - however, with the rise in digital technologies and internet use, we are beginning to see a more even playing field.

Emma Bignell, founder of local SEO services provider, Pixi, comments on how Google's new ranking algorithm favours local businesses.

"Google is now all about relevancy - if a user is searching for a builder in their local town or city, they will see those builders first in Google's search results"

Google's algorithm now relies heavily on geographic location, to bring the most relevant results to users as well as connecting local business with the right customers.

What is surprising however, is how few of these local businesses - in particular tradesman - do not have any online presence.

A 2011 study conducted by the McKinley group which looked at the difference between SMEs who adopted an online presence versus those who did not. The Survey, which had over 5,000 participants spanning over 15 countries, found those businesses that did have a website to be much more profitable over time.

"Businesses which embraced a digital marketing strategy grew their revenue by twice as fast as those businesses who had no presence in the digital landscape"

Although the proof is there - digital marketing agencies, like Bignell's often find it difficult to convince small businesses to partake in a digital marketing strategy.

"It is crucial, in this day and age, to get your business online and connect with your customers. Google has created the infrastructure to allow your customers to easily find you locally - but will you turn up to the party?"