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When it comes to local business marketing, most business owners are behind the curve on keeping up with developments in technology such as smart phone apps, SMS marketing, mobile websites, and the most efficient ways of marketing their businesses.

Most businesses these days have a website, but most businesses are not marketing their businesses with the most effective types of campaigns they could be running. Many list themselves in online directories or experiment with Google AdWords, but these are often high cost channels with low returns on investment. Where they need to be focusing their efforts is on the Google Places listings and on the Google organic search results. The difference between these listings and Google AdWords is you can’t buy placement their like you can with AdWords, as these listings are not bought on a per click basis.

The Google Places listings and the Google organic search results are the most cost-effective form of marketing you can do today, and will provide a greater return on your investment than Google AdWords will as well as online directory listings and other forms of marketing. You achieve these rankings through Search Engine Optimization, and it is a good idea to learn this skill yourself if you have the time. Otherwise you may want to hire an Toronto Local SEO company to get your website ranking highly in the Google organic listings and Google Places. The Google Places listings require that you sign up or claim your preexisting listing, otherwise it is free to use. You will want to sign up for a Google plus for Business profile as well, and link these two accounts to your website. Once you have these two accounts linked, you will notice that your business is eligible to be shown in the Google Places 7 Pack on the first page of the Google search results for a local keyword search involving your industry and city. You will also notice that your website link in Google will now have a star rating underneath it based on your customer reviews on Google Plus for Business.

It is beneficial to have these star ratings and Google Places listings because potential customers searching for your type of business in Google is more likely to click on your website based upon your having a star rating. If you dedicate a little time to trying to get traffic to your website using these channels, you will find that it is the best way to get a steady stream of new leads for your business. Not only does it require less money than any other channel, but the return on investment is higher as well. It will also drive more traffic than directory listings will or than Google AdWords can as a stand-alone advertising platform. The only drawbacks to Google Places listings and the Google organic search is that is does potentially take several months to get you ranked and receiving traffic from your listings. You should consult a professional if you do not have the time to learn to do this on your own, or do not feel comfortable attempting this on your own!