90% of people using the internet are looking for local businesses, which means you could be missing out on reaching new customers if your small business doesn’t have an online presence.
But where do you start with getting online?
Building a digital presence for a small company isn’t the same as developing one for a national brand. You don’t need to invest thousands and thousands of dollars into all-encompassing digital marketing strategies to have an impact. All you need are two basic things to compete with your local competitors online.
A business website and local search optimization.
Did you know 36% of small businesses still don’t have a website? If your business is one of them, it’s time to get one. A website gives customers a place to learn about your business, see your available products or services, and get in contact with you. Think of it like your digital storefront.
When it comes to developing and designing your business website, you don’t need to go with an over-engineered or overly expensive option. A simple 5-7 page website that is easy to navigate, has helpful information for customers, and lists accurate business contact information is more than enough for you to be successful online. Let’s take a closer look at these features…
User-Friendly, Responsive Design
94% of consumers said they will leave a website if it’s difficult to navigate. So while your business website should look good from a brand marketing perspective, it ultimately needs to be focused on the site visitor. That means your website should have clear navigation and work on all devices from desktop computers to smartphones so that customers can easily through your website to find the information they need quickly.
High-Quality, SEO-Driven Content
For a small business website to even have a chance of being found in search engine results, it’s going to need content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). After all, websites don’t magically appear in search engine results; they earn their positions because search engines determine which websites have the best and most informative content for people who are searching for answers online.
Accurate Local Business Information
Another important feature to have on your small business website is a local citation—that is, your business name, address, and phone number in your website footer and on a contact page. Why is this important? Not only do 49% of consumers visit a business website because they’re looking for contact details like an address or phone number, but having this local citation is also necessary for local search optimization efforts.
Local Search Optimization
Simply having a website isn’t enough for your small business to get the attention of customers. You also need to make sure customers can find you whenever they search for local businesses and services online.
This is where local search optimization (or local SEO) can help. By creating consistent local listings for your business and adding them to major online directories and search engines like Google, you’re more likely to be found by local customers. Your local SEO efforts should prioritize three tactics…
Accurate & Consistent NAP Data
Your business contact information needs to have accurate NAP data (i.e., name, address, and phone number) that’s formatted in a consistent way wherever it appears online—whether that’s on your website or in a local business directory. Ensuring accuracy and consistency with your data sends positive signals to search engines and customers looking for your business, telling them that your information is up to date and trustworthy.
Google My Business
Setting up Google My Business is necessary for improving your business’ digital presence and reaching local customers online. This free tool allows you to add your business name, address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, and other important business information directly into Google’s directory, which can help your business appear in Google’s search results and Google Maps for relevant local searches.
Local Business Listings
Adding your local listing information to online business directories can help you appear in more local searches online. Every business category has specific directories where information can be added, but there are other prominent business directories to consider as well, including but not limited to:
Taking the time to work on your local search visibility and investing in a good website can help you reach more customers online where they’re already looking for businesses, products, or services like yours.
Looking for help expanding your online presence? Hurrdat can help small and medium-sized businesses reach more local customers online. Learn more about our Website & Local SEO services!