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April 2021 Membership Report

April 2021 Membership Report

Search Engine Optimization:  What is it and what does it mean for small businesses?
Definition: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of getting pages to rank higher in search engines such as Google. Because search is one of the main ways in which people discover content online, ranking higher in search engines can lead to an increase in traffic to a website.

In October 2010, Google started emphasizing local search in their results pages. They did this by integrating Google Places information and Maps right into their search results pages. They also updated their search algorithms to serve up more local results when you search the web. This gives local results a boost in search ranking.

Here are some statistics regarding local search behavior:

  • 97% of people do research online before buying from local businesses
  • 70% of online searchers will use local search to find offline businesses
  • Over 40% of offline U.S. retail sales are influenced by the Web
  • 20% of all Google searches are for local information–about 600 million searches a year
What’s important for small businesses is that people are searching for local companies on the web even if the company doesn’t sell products or services online. Meaning, it’s important for all small businesses to have a local presence on the web, even if you don’t manage a business website. If a search engine can’t find you, all the hard work your doing is being overlooked.

So how does a small business afford an online presence?
One of the main benefits of being a Chamber member is for small businesses that need help being found on the internet. When you join the Chamber of Commerce, you automatically get added to our online Business Directory under your business category. The business contact information, along with a short description and a link to your website and social media is included in your businesses Chamber profile. The Chamber’s content ranks high in SEO and is a reputable organization that residents and visitors look to when searching for a business, service, or product in the Pierre area.

In addition to listing members on the Chamber’s website, all Chamber members are listed in our visitor guide. 17,000 visitor guides are distributed throughout the year at sports shows, Visitor Centers across the state, and are mailed to visitors upon request, as well as seen virtually on our website

Chamber memberships start a $150 a year, and there are multiple ways to add value to your membership. To view the full list of investment options, benefits, and marketing opportunities, check out the Pierre Area Chamber’s Membership Packet.

What do I do now?
Whether you have been a Chamber member for years, or just thinking about joining the Pierre Area Chamber, I would love to hear about your needs and help find an answer that will work for you and your budget. Every business is unique, and I can’t wait to hear about yours!

Katie Johnson, IOM
Membership Director                                                                                                

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