Local SEO Optimization Begins At Home
Most small businesses owners that are actually smart enough* to know they need to be online and have a strong web presence don't have the first clue as to what to do or how to do it. This is not surprising, as the average financial consultant, doctor, mechanic or pizza shop owner did not go to school for local web marketing. After all, there was no such thing more than fifteen years ago, and it's only in the last five or so that it's become not just important, but – in my view – imperative.
*We live in a world where approximately 50% of small businesses don't have a website… much less a mobile-optimized website… much less understand the value of a strong web presence.
Heck, it's been my general experience that most small business owners don't know much about marketing, period – much less web marketing and the intricacies of navigating a constantly changing and radically evolving online environment. Which is an actual shame, as a little bit of local SEO optimization knowledge would go a long way towards helping most struggling small businesses.
And we can help. A lot. As in… putting your business front and center in the search results. Even, as hard as it may be to believe, into multiple slots on page one of the Google search results, as shown in the video below. But I digress…
The extent of most small business owners' overall marketing knowledge is contained in the following list.
- Word of Mouth
- Location, Location, Location
- Advertise in: Yellow Pages
- Advertise in: Newspapers
- Advertise in: Circulars
- Advertise on: Radio/TV
- Advertise on: Misc. other platforms and publications
Local SEO Optimization: Must-Do Marketing
And this marketing knowledge, such as it was, was sufficient for most small and local businesses up until about ten years ago. After all, it was those places that people looked to source their local shopping needs. But that was then. In 2014, it's simply no longer the case. Did you know that something like 70-80% of all local shopping begins with a web search?
If you're not online in a serious way and that doesn't scare you, you need to read and re-read it until it does. And then take action!
Ever since the advent of web, the ground has been moving beneath our collective feet and the goal posts for local business marketing have been moving almost faster than most business owners can keep track of, much less keep up with. Which is one of the major reasons every small business that wants to stay in business needs to work with a competent web marketing consultant or agency! But I digress (again)…
So this is why I say that “local seo optimization begins at home.” I mean it both literally and figuratively. I'm not trying to be cute.
It begins when a business owner comes to the realization that he or she must have a strong web presence and decides to do something about it… only to be hit with a further shocking realization that as complicated and confusing as marketing can be, in general, web marketing is only that much harder. As in, say, five times harder. If not ten. And about a hundred times more confusing.
In this video, which is the follow-on video to part one of our local SEO case study, I look at some of the additional effects of our site ranking methods, and how our local seo optimization techniques are both qualitatively and quantitatively different – and I would say demonstrably better – than the services offered by 99.9% of other SEO firms and web marketing consultants.
These days, thanks to Google Places, there is a simple way to “go online,” even if you don't have a website. You can have a web presence by simply filling out a form! You don't have to worry at all about site and content creation, maintenance, local SEO optimization, etc. And if you're lucky, Google will consider your business relevant enough to your local area to list you “on the map” and in the three, five or seven box. This is, in effect, the Yellow Pages of the cyber age.
Because, despite the best efforts of the real Yellow Pages, the world increasingly looks to the web for local products and services. And it makes sense, too. When you're out and about, do you have time to go home and look for something in the Yellow Pages? No. Of course not. Especially not when Google can deliver what you want to your cellphone or tablet in an instant, no matter where you are.
Google Places is very cool, and I highly recommend all small business owners get their free listing, no matter what. It's a good start. But the truth is – and you can say you read it here – effective web marketing and local SEO optimization takes a lot more than a Google Places page. Even if that page does (by some incredible chance) make it to “the box” on it's own – or even to the top of the box!
There's much more I could say here on this subject. But the point is… you need to get online in a serious way. Starting today! Odds are, unless you want to spend the next five years becoming web marketing expert, you are going to need help. And if you're going to get help, get it from somebody who can deliver – as is shown in the video here. Contact me for a FREE 30 MINUTE consultation.
For those who want to explore Local SEO Optimization, site ranking and traffic generation issues further, I strongly recommend my three-part series entitled The Small Business Marketing Catch-22.
Though somewhat skewed towards Google's products and services (not surprisingly), I also strongly recommend that you consult The Small Business Online Marketing Guide for a good overview of both the problem facing small businesses, and a plan of action, particularly if you are DIY (do it yourself) oriented.