Tomorrow afternoon I’m going to host my first Webinar to address and educate pavement contractors on the benefits of marketing their businesses on the Internet and having a professional company web site. I’ve wanted to do this for some time as I’ve watched web marketing change from being a good strategy to an absolute necessity for any business. The fact is marketing your business on the web – specifically through a company web site – should be the central focus and hub of all of your companies marketing efforts. If you’re not 100% convinced of this fact, read the most recent marketing polls below and you are sure to have a change of heart.

93% of Business to Business purchases begin online (BtoB Magazine)

90% of online commercial searches result in offline purchases (comScore)

74% of internet users perform local searches (Kelsey Group)

54% of americans have substituted the internet and local search for phone books (comScore)

These statistics point to a profound shift in the way we as a society are doing business and it has happened at lightening speed. People are now turning to the internet to find products and services not only to purchase on-line but also off-line. Internet search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing have replaced – or are quickly replacing – the Yellow Pages and similar paper based resources. Business professionals – and consumers are now doing their research on mobile devices on the spot. And not only that, but 68% of search engine users do not look past the first page of their results – meaning you need to be in the top 10 rankings for your products and services to be found.

Related: Local SEO: What Is It and How Do You Do It Right?

This shift can mean one of two things for your business. On the up side, your business can directly benefit. By marketing your business on the web with a professionally designed web site (built to convert visitors to customers) you can tap into a new found stream of prospects for your business. The ironic thing about the web is that by having a large internet presence in your market, you can appear to be the biggest most successful business around… even if your doors have only been open 6 months. I’ve seen it happen before and many first and second year contractors are kicking the pants off the old timers because of that one simple fact.

On the down side, this new shift in the way people find products and services means a dwindling number or prospects for those not found on the web. Sure you’ll still have your word-of-mouth referral’s, but referral’s alone aren’t enough these days if you really want to grow your business.

Related: The Secret to Growing Your Business

Intuitively, most pavement contractors know their company needs to have a web presence, but most are not willing to make the investment. Meanwhile, every day, new prospects searching for pavement work are walking right into the welcoming arms of their competitors.

Don’t get me wrong, those off-line marketing tools you use like company brochures, yard signs, flyers and mailers are incredibly valuable. You should keep using those tools because they work. But you have to also be where people are looking for the products and services your business offers — and that happens to be the internet. Get on board and you will be astounded at the new business that comes surfing to your door. Then it’s up to you to make the sale.

Walkie Talkie is a pavement contractor marketing company that helps contractors with marketing materials and strategy. Find out how Walkie Talkie can help your business by visiting the web site @ http://www.wtalkie.com