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Perth Is Australia’s Top E Town: Google

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    On August 31st, Perth was named ‘Australia’s Top E Town’ by Google in the first Australian E Town Awards. Google ranked over 600 communities based on the proportion of small businesses that use Google Ads, or used the Getting Aussie Businesses Online promotion to set up a free website.

    The internet has changed the way Australians do business, whether you sell online, or your website is the first impression for a customer doing research. These days, with smartphones and data being cheaper than ever; even shopping using your mobile has increased. Businesses online are no longer new and trendy start-ups, the message is clear: If you don’t have a website, you aren’t really in the game.

    This award shows that Perth businesses are leading the way in the ongoing digital boom; more small and medium sized businesses are comfortable with having and managing an online presence and a great percentage of them (27% of small, and 34% of medium) were using social media to engage with their customers. (source: https://about.sensis.com.au/Media-Releases/?ItemID=1159 )

    Paid Search

    One of the ranking factors for the E Town awards was the use of Google Adwords. Adwords is a way to drive new customers to your website. Paid search is a great way to get your site in front of potential customers right away, while you’re still waiting for your online presence to rank naturally. With Perth’s population growing because of the mining boom, it makes sense that there is more competitiveness in online businesses than there was in past years. In many cases, a new business can’t afford the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality that ruled before online marketing.

    Get Competitive Locally

    In the good old days, being a local business was a valuable thing. You had your regulars, and you had the benefit of being able to service those in your area when they needed you. While the internet has globalised retail to a great extent, if you want to rank well in Google and you have a physical location, then Local Search is the way to go. It’s still a valuable prospect to be the ‘local’ store. Users will search the internet to research their products and services no matter whether they buy online or not. If you have a Local listing on Google Plus, and a good website, then you will be ahead of any competition that doesn’t. In early 2011, it was estimated that two thirds of Australian businesses did not have a website. This year, at the Getting Aussie Business’ Online luncheon, Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB stated that research concluded that “your business is 50% more likely to succeed if you have a website” (source: https://australia.googleblog.com/?view=classic#!/2012/08/these-days-were-all-in-internet-group.html)

    Social Media

    Before social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, connecting with your customers was in store or on site. Some of the only ways to spread the word about your business was above the line activities like newspaper advertising and television, but those mediums are hit and miss at best. You never really know who is seeing your ads. While social media isn’t strictly an advertising tool, it is a great way to gather important information about your customers and potential customers. The opportunity to give incentives and rewards is endless, and limited only by the imagination.

    With Perth poised to lead the country in mining and resources as well as the digital boom, it’s imperative that if you do have a local business, make sure that you aren’t left behind by the quick advances in digital marketing and retailing.

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