What did we do before the Internet?

It’s hard to remember a time before we were spun within the World Wide Web. I use Google every day — at work, at home, and on my phone, searching for everything from HVAC company reviews to new restaurants to try. It’s a well-known fact that people (myself included) rarely scroll past that first page of Google results. So, if your company is not implementing some sort of search engine optimization (SEO) strategy or paid online advertising, you’re likely missing out on ripe new prospects.

Clutch, a B2B research firm, recently released a survey detailing that half of small businesses in the U.S. that have company websites don’t engage in SEO. The cost associated with implementing an effective strategy is one reason why small businesses shy away from SEO and explains why only 34 percent of small businesses hire an SEO company to help them. The survey also mentions that only 26 percent of small businesses use paid online advertising as a digital marketing strategy, and, of them, only 49 percent advertise consistently. We live in a digital world. It’s time for small business owners to recognize and capitalize on that fact by budgeting for things like SEO and/or paid online advertising.

Ben Landers, president and CEO of Blue Corona, recently told The NEWS that most of his customers are progressive thinking owners who are allocating additional funds to SEO, pay-per-click advertising, social media, and more. “On the other side, you have old-school contractors who are hesitant to invest in digital marketing,” Landers said. “They think social media is a waste of time and don’t believe consumers spend as much time as they really do online. They don’t think it’s worthwhile to write blogs, because they don’t want to give away information for free. It’s the classic case of the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. By the time they realize the world has changed, it will be too late.”

Just as HVAC contractors must keep up with training on new industry products, they must also stay current with evolving business management practices, which include marketing marketing. The world has changed and the way people get information has changed. Don’t let your company go the way of the phone book and become defunct.