Here’s Why Your Local Small Business Needs a Website
Written by Leigh Ebrom
Today’s small and local business environment is increasingly competitive. You need to be agile, responsive, and connected to your community. You might feel that adding a professional optimized website to the mix sounds overwhelming, especially when a portion of your customers never click on your links. You’re probably wrong.
The benefits of a website rebuild typically outweigh its costs. However, your success will depend, in part, on finding the right collaborators and building practical marketing strategies. Before you start rehauling your website and blog, learn more about the fundamentals of small business websites.
No-Click Search Results Pages Won’t Tell Your Whole Story
We’ve all used Google My Business and no-click search to quickly identify a business’ hours, location, and other basic information. While an estimated 49% of all Google searches are no-click, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore your website.
Not long ago, Google My Business (GMB) listings were filled with high-value freebies and extensive lists of businesses. However, as Google increasingly monetized its platform, local businesses had fewer options. Today, Google promotes fewer local businesses in its GMB section, which means you’re now competing with paid ads more than ever.
In 2015, Google launched its Local Services by Google program — a pay-per-lead platform that designates businesses as “Google Guaranteed” in more than 20 business categories. More and more, your ability to control your local listings is eroding.
Compare that with the level of complexity and control you can offer on your website. For example, you can share videos, long-form blogs and eBooks, offer incentives, and build a comprehensive user experience. All of this content bolsters your brand, encourages brand loyalty, and increases your likelihood of more and better conversions.
Unfortunately, in 2018, 80% of small businesses were not taking full advantage of the digital tools available to them. Why? The most common answers involve a lack of knowledge around the positive impacts digital marketing can have on their bottom line and profitability.
Your Organic Search Results Can Impact Your Google My Business Placement
Have you ever noticed that the top Google My Business listings correlate with the algorithm’s top-ranked organic pages? According to Moz, at least 75% of the companies in Google’s local three-pack are also on Page 1 for organic search.
Therefore, to compete and win one of those coveted Google My Business spots, you’ll want to build a robust, informative, and optimized website.
Your Customers Expect a Professional and Accurate Website
Visitors will no longer cut your website slack because you’re a small or local business. Today, consumers expect modern, fully functional websites with accurate information regardless of the company’s size.
In 2017, Vistaprint Digital surveyed nearly 2,000 people about their attitudes towards small business websites. According to those surveyed, local businesses lose customers when their website:
- Contains outdated or inaccurate contact information (49.7%)
- Lacks an address, directions, or business hours (41.5%)
- Does not provide product information (34.3%)
- Has an unprofessional design (26.2%)
- Provides a bad mobile experience (17.8%)
For a younger population, aged 18-24, aspects such as unprofessional design, poor color choices, and hard-to-read fonts ranked even higher among their top digital pet peeves.
Whether you like it or not, today’s consumers are sophisticated and anticipate an aesthetically pleasing and personalized experience on your website. You’re increasingly more likely to convert your website visitors into customers if you provide them with a well-designed, customer-oriented website with tools like real-time chat and downloadable content resources.
Rebuilding Your Small Business Website? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions
If you’re ready to renovate your small business’ website, it’s time to take a hard look at your current website strategies and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.
Are You Posting High-Quality, Optimized Content?
At LaFleur, we believe that high-quality content is essential to your website’s success. We’re not alone in this belief. According to a 2017 study, when compared dollar-for-dollar, content marketing garners three times the amount of leads of paid advertising. However, high-quality content involves more than word count and the number of quality keywords. Instead, you need to think critically about your customer’s needs, their marketing journey, and how you can educate them and win their business.
This will likely involve ongoing keyword analysis, research about your consumer’s preferences, and exceptionally good targeted content and videos.
What Does Your Link-Building Strategy Look Like?
When search engines rank websites, they don’t just look at their content. Your network of links, both internal and external, help the algorithms determine your website’s value and importance.
While you may have already claimed some of your essential links, like your Google My Business and LinkedIn profiles, you’re probably missing out on other opportunities. Many communities have their own directories and opportunities for link building. For example, you should try to share your website’s links on your business associations’ websites, through cross-promotion with your business partners, and sponsorships. We’ve had great success building links through community projects, like scholarships.
As you build links, you should also consider your team’s connections. For example, if one of the partners at your personal injury law firm is highly involved with a disability advocacy group, see if you can get listed as a recommended partner on their website or write a guest blog that includes a backlink to your site.
Does Our Company Have the Knowledge and Time to Implement a Modern Website Strategy?
Now that you’ve identified some of your website’s opportunities and needs, it’s time to get to work. However, many small and local businesses don’t have the bandwidth or skill sets needed to create a professional-looking website that is well optimized and targeted to their ideal customers.
Do you have graphic designers, professional writers and editors, and marketing strategists on staff? Probably not, right? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you should consult with a reputable digital marketing company, like LaFleur.
LaFleur Marketing: We Love Helping Small Businesses Succeed
Not every marketing agency and website company embraces the joys and challenges of small businesses. At LaFleur, we don’t offer our small and local business clients cookie-cutter solutions. Instead, we help them identify practical and cost-effective ways to improve their websites, build authority, and connect with their ideal customers.
You deserve the same kind of exceptional content marketing, link-building, and paid advertising tactics that larger businesses and corporations get. To learn more, please contact LaFleur at (888) 222-1512 or through our online contact form.
Connected small businesses US (2017). Deloitte. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/technology-media-telecommunications/us-tmt-connected-small-businesses-Dec2017.pdf
Connecting small businesses in the US (2018). Deloitte. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/connected-small-businesses.html
Content marketing ROI (2017). Kapost/Eloqua. Retrieved from https://www.oracle.com/webfolder/mediaeloqua/documents/Content+Marketing+Kapost+Eloqua+ebook.pdf
Ellis, M. (2018, December 12). Why local businesses will need websites more than ever in 2019. Moz. Retrieved from https://moz.com/blog/local-businesses-need-websites
Fishkin, R. (2019, June 17). How much of Google’s search traffic is left for anyone but themselves? SparkToro. Retrieved from https://sparktoro.com/blog/how-much-of-googles-search-traffic-is-left-for-anyone-but-themselves/
Small business consumer expectations report (2017). Vistaprint Digital. Retrieved from http://marketing.vistaprint.net/us/cm/Small-Business-Website-Experience-Expectations-Report_2.pdf