It’s Proven Again… Small Business Owners need to optimise their websites for local searches

Just the other day I was digging through some old content I wrote for one of our VERY early websites... And WOW.

I came across an article where I was raving about the importance of SEO and optimising a website for Local Business Owners.

Well, I've reposted this article for you below... because it's as relevant... if not more as it was over 4 years ago.

The Internet has exploded since then and local business owners pretty much can't afford to be found anymore.

Anyway, I won't rave on... here's what I wrote over 4 years ago 😉

I’ve been saying it… preaching it… nearly shoving it down people's throats for the past years!
And now Webvisible and the Nielsen Co. have backed me up again.

Local businesses CAN NOT neglect internet marketing at a local level!

Here’s the latest research from Webvisible and Nielsen Co:

  • 63 % of consumers and small business owners turn to the Internet first for information about local companies and…
  • 82% use search engines to do so!

So again… probably for the thousandth (is that even a word??) time… people are no longer going to the Yellow Pages to find local products and services.

They are flocking to the Internet.

And the beauty is, they are adding local indicators to their keywords (the words they are typing into the search engines).

That means they are no longer just typing in “chiropractor” people are more and more understanding how to get the most relevant result in Google and are using local indicators such as “chiropractor Brisbane Queensland”. (see example below)

And the beauty about these is that these words are not very competitive and you can easily reach page one of Google when doing a little bit of focused small business search engine marketing.

On top… search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing have quickly adapted to this trend and are now showing a map of the local results right at the top (even above the number 1 ranking websites) plus the maps of where to locate these businesses.

So what do you need to do?

Well here are a few tips you can follow to make sure you’re profiting from this ever-growing trend… and take advantage of low-hanging fruit while they're good for the taking.

1) Submit your business to the local listing in google place, yahoo local listings and bing local listing centre.

2) add your business to the top local business directories.

3) entice your best customers to leave positive reviews about your business on these sites to give your business credibility.

Lastly and most importantly make you are listing a Direct Response Listing — this is pretty advanced stuff. But you can actually have a voucher in your listing people can take advantage of and choose you over your competitor.

The first thing your prospects always ask will be “What’s In It For Me…” and this is an easy way to answer this question and get them to choose you over your competitors.

But this is just the start… imagine being able to dominate not just the local listings, but spot #1, #2, #3 or more on the first page of the search engines.

Well what you really need is to do some serious search engine optimisation… and yes this can be a learning costly and long learning curve… but the beauty is there are lots of Internet marketers out there specialising in this field, who are more than happy to save you from spending 10′s of thousands of dollars with the big Advertising Agencies (who don't understand SEO anyway).

Let me know what you think about this ever-growing trend for small businesses and any successes you may have already had by cutting in front of the line and taking action early before the rest of the small business owners out there are playing catch up.

So there you have it... the fundamentals haven't really changed and it's over 4 years on now...

What has changed is the numerous local directories which are all driving traffic on their own now (so yes you've got to be on there...) the integration of Google+ authorship and the Semantic Web becoming more and more evident in searches on Google but also all around the Internet... but that's another rabbit hole we'll leave for another post 😉