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Search Statesboro creates a new marketing tool
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      From a marketing perspective, we are never going back. Relying on simple advertising in a couple of key venues may no longer get the job done. Today, businesses must have an online presence. It just isn't an option.
      I work for the Statesboro Herald, and I must say it's a great example of an enterprise adapting to the new virtual reality that we live in. The Herald has a state-of-the art Web site, featuring daily video web casts of news and local interest stories among other content. Many of its customers advertise both online and in print.
      What caught my attention in this ever changing marketplace is the latest addition to the Herald Web site - Search Statesboro Online Business Directory. I know, your first thought is, OK, here's another online search engine.
      But what it accomplishes is really a lot more than that, serving as yet another example of how different our marketing world has become. One of the advantages to being part of an online business directory such as this one is that it increases the chance that a business will "pop up" on the first two pages of a Google search.
      I have been told that that is called "search engine optimization." Let's face it, how many of you look more than two pages deep into a Google or Yahoo search. I don't. So placement has to become an important part of your strategy.
      Further, people like to use local search engines, because it returns sites that are geographically local. How many times have you searched a national directory asking for a business in Statesboro, and have gotten listings from Brunswick to Augusta? Drives me nuts, and then I have to scroll down to find the listing in Statesboro which is what I asked for to begin with.
      In addition, this directory allows businesses that don't have a Web site to build a Web site within it. A client can even load his or her own video commercials onto it.
      From Facebook, as we saw in last Tuesday's business section, to Search Statesboro Online, there are many, many ways to reach your  existing clients and to bring new ones to you.
      For many business people, the number of options may seem overwhelming at times, but you have to stay on top of it and accept that an integrated approach to reaching and serving your customer is not the wave of the future, it is now.