I have found it very frustrating when speaking to companies about their websites… so many companies get their websites created by designers, so the site may have lots of ‘Flash’ or scrolling images or flashing icons, which is great… but unless people know that your website exists and by that I mean they can find it when they search for words or phrases that describe either the service you offer or the products you sell, then there’s no point even having a website (other than a virtual shop window).
You need your website to be created by marketers, who understand the various strategies that need to be used to turn your website into an inquiry generating tool. I use the word inquiry… not sales tool, the reason for this is that it’s very rare for someone to search for information about a particular product and then buy it there and then.
Most people research the product or service first, they compare prices, specifications, they look for information that shows that sites credibility i.e. testimonials, reviews etc. Once they have done their due diligence they then try to find the most competitive price… now that doesn’t always mean the cheapest price, as there are other factors that contribute to people’s decision making, not just the price.
It is easier to get your site ranked for local searches then it is if you wanted to rank highly for National results… and obviously businesses want to be on the first page of Google ideally, and the benefits above confirm why… that’s why local business internet marketing is really making a difference to so many local businesses.
With the growth of the smartphone, it is becoming essential to have a mobile friendly site, as people are using their phones to search for information about products and services while they are out and about. If they can’t see what you’re offering clearly and concisely on their handset, they will simply go to a site that gives them the information they need.
To sum up… local businesses need to get their site ranked for local searches, they need to make sure they claim their Google Places page… their site should be mobile friendly and give clear and accurate information about either the product or service they offer. Make sure that if you use a local business marketing company, that they can show you evidence of success stories they have had with other local businesses.