By Yamil Amed Abud - July 05, 2017
Here’s a fun fact: People spend more than 60% of their time online; perhaps the virtual world is more entertaining. Who needs a website for local business?
Be as it may, business owners should not ignore having an online presence anymore; otherwise, based on solid statistics, they would surely be losing competitive advantage.
I have heard claims such as, “I don’t need a website for local business; I’m great without the internet.” It feels awkward just to read it. I usually reply, “Well, your competitors are doing it… taking clients away from you.”
It’s just a matter of time before your competitors take the lead online; and once your business starts running slow, you will then, quite late, join the community of online advertisers.
Remember, it’s all about having the right mindset, always looking for new ways of growth and expansion. Stay ahead of the game. Here’s A Fundamental Guide - Website for Local Business.
Online Presence & Goal Setting
What does it really mean to have an online presence? Is it having a website for local business?
That is correct, technically. However, online presence involves much more than just “being there”; also, there has to be a purpose aligned, which we now refer to it as Goal Setting.
Both online presence and goal setting complement each other, being evident that you should plan and implement these at the same stage of this process.
Let’s dive deep in this idea:
Creating a Website for Local Business
Your website design must be based on whatever the purpose of your business is—selling a product, offering a service, building awareness, etc.
There’s an unbelievable number of designs available for websites, all of which offer a unique way of user interaction and overall value. As you evaluate your business purpose, you are stating your short and long-term goals; it is based on such analysis that a website for local business is built upon.
What do you want people to do on your website? You want to be called, or simply contacted through e-mail by a contact form submission? Are you trying to get users to sign up for something?
With goals in mind, along with experts dedicated to building your website design, it will become clear how you are supposed to expose your business online. Of course, the design of a website for local business goes even beyond what I have just described, but I’m just here to give you a quick overview.
Now that we understand how a website for local business is required for online presence let’s talk about what to do once your business is “out there”.
What is Digital Marketing Strategy?
When we talk about Digital Marketing Strategy, what do we really mean? In short, it does not differ much as to what you would do offline, expect the tools and platforms you use would be brand new to you.
For instance, you are supposed to do a thorough research and analysis of your industry, along studying many other variables that affect your business both internally and externally; perhaps you may call it a SWOT analysis.
Nevertheless, let’s pinpoint a few key elements in a Marketing Strategy which focus is online:
Know Your Audience:
Your audience refers to anything that is people-oriented. That is age, gender, location, tastes, interests, wants and needs, expectations, behaviors, etc.
It may get complicated, but let’s be honest, people are complicated. The online audience is huge and broad; it is your job to do proper research, to find out what segment you are supposed to target. Remember that efforts online are successful only if you are targeting an audience that is relevant to your product or service.
I know this is nothing new, but not targeting the right audience may lead you to lose big money in just a few hours, perhaps even minutes.
In short, please don’t show your “Viagra” Banner Ad to a 22-year-old woman. It just can’t get more explicit than that.
Know Your Competitors:
Several tools provide you with great insights about your closest competitors. In fact, some companies actually offer such service. You wouldn’t believe how much actual information is available online about people or businesses.
Among the data these automated tools may collect for you include: Website related information, pay-per-click and SEO keyword prices, keywords search volume, etc.
On the other hand, automated reports won’t just be sufficient. You must be actively involved in doing further research. Refer to the following example:
What‘s the price on their website? How are they driving traffic to their site? I see their ad on Google and Facebook. Do they offer discounts or free shipping? Interesting, this guy has a description for each of these products; I’ll do the same with mine, but I’ll develop an interactive design.
Now that you know your audience and competitors, you have a great idea how to move forward. It’s all about being ahead of your competitors.
Can you match your competitors’ prices? If you could offer a lower price, that would surely be in your ads. And good call about that product page with an interactive design; I’m sure users will have a better experience reviewing this type of product on your website than on others.
Online Scheme of your Industry:
As a starting point, it’s important to acknowledge that there is an online scheme of each industry, which can also be referred to as profiling or tagging too.
For instance, insurance companies have an online scheme of their industry. Here’s a summary of such profiling:
- Very competitive.
- Cost-Per-Clicks may reach $50 and/or above.
- The structure of insurance websites serve each type of insurance separately—Unique and informative landing pages.
- Their audience wants quotes more than anything; therefore a “quote calculator” is more likely to appear at their home page, rather than a form submission or phone number. Look up for some of the major insurance companies so you may verify this yourself.
By understanding the profiling of your industry, you will have a much better idea on where or how to start.
Target your Audience through Different Channels
Now that you have established your business online with a defined Digital Marketing Strategy let’s talk about next steps.
Promote your business and drive relevant traffic to your website for local business:
Search Engine Optimization is the art of modifying your website according to what Search Engines demand. This way, your website will appear on Google or Bing organically—for free.
The better this is performed, the higher your website is ranked. Meaning your ad will appear on first positions when people are searching for your product or service; and, as we all know, the higher the position, the more business you acquire.
Notice this process is quite time-consuming, taking more than 6 months to archived desired results.
The best case scenario would be to combine SEO with other marketing efforts such as PPC Campaigns and Social Media.
If you want to learn more about how to expose your business through SEO, click here.
Within the most popular platforms to run PPC campaigns are Google and Bing Ads; these two take most of the search share throughout the web.
Their marketing platform allows you to generate immediate and relevant traffic towards your website, with an extensive list of advertising choices—Text ads, banner ads, video ads, shopping ads, etc.
If you want to learn more about how to run PPC campaigns, click here.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, social media is the greatest generator of traffic.
By the way, these are also the one channel with the most precise information about their users—Gender, age, social status, location, etc. It makes it easier to target relevant audience for your business.
What to Take from this Post?
We have discussed the importance of having not only an online presence by having a website for local business but also a goal and strategy to expose your business throughout the web.
From a thorough research to website creation and optimization; this guide is meant to help you understand how to succeed online.
Remember, we discussed several steps briefly. Stay ahead of the game and keep learning more about each step included in this guide.