I think it’s safe to say that for small business owners the biggest challenge, as far as internet marketing goes, is figuring out how to get people to buy. You could have scores of people visit your site each and every day, but if they’re not the types of visitors who are ready and wanting to buy, it defeats the whole purpose of having a website, right?

For the small business owner, discovering exactly where people do their research before making a purchase can make designing a digital marketing strategy that works more of a science and less of a shot in the dark.

A recent study performed by retail engagement company, Parago, looked at the ways people use the internet to learn more about products and services. In my opinion, there’s a lot of value here for the small business owner, as internet marketing strategies that take these findings into account will have a greater chance of being effective, bringing their creators more leads and sales via their websites.

While there is much a business owner can take from this study and apply to the online marketing they do, there are two key findings that I’d like to share with you here, as I think they’re particularly relevant for the small business owner; the ways consumers do, or rather do not, use social media to research for the goods and services they wish to buy, and the fact that Google is still the source consumers turn to most when looking for more information on or to buy a product or service.

Social Media’s Place in Online Marketing, According to Consumer Behaviour

Now before you think you’ll never have to send out another Tweet or make another post in Facebook, don’t get carried away. Social media is still important and a completely necessary component of any internet marketing you do for your business. The important thing to take from Parago’s findings, which put Social Media as the source consumers turn to the least when searching for more information on a product or service, is that fine-tuning your social media interactions so that they focus more on content sharing, building your brand and mingling with current and potential customers, it isn’t the place for serious product or service marketing.

Sure, share your organisation’s news with your social media followers, including details on new products, services or promotions, but don’t expect people who are ready to buy to use Facebook to check out the specs on or pricing for a product you carry.

Pleasing Google is Still What Counts

For anyone who was starting to think that a mix of internet marketing and SEO wasn’t as necessary as it once was, Parago’s research confirms that Google is still the resource people use most often, when searching for information on the purchases they intend to make. For the small business owner, this means getting your business’ website up to speed and in line with the top competitors in a market is how you’re going to A) rank well in Google, and B) receive more of the ready-to-buy visitors you need to succeed. Of course, once you attract the attention of searchers in Google, it’s up to the design of and content on your site to convince visitors to take action and contact you for more details or buy your products or services.

Staying up to speed with trends in consumer behaviour can and will provide valuable insight for those looking to generate more leads and sales online.

For more information on branding, or any other internet marketing query, please call 1300 885 557 or email us here.

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Paul Gregg

Paul heads up [g]commerce and The SEO Company, and is responsible for the overall management. Paul's experience extends from various roles in sales management for large domestic and international publishing firms, as well as global digital marketing companies.

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