Many small business owners are unaware that it’s possible to ‘get listed locally‘ on Google. They think they are supposed to be ranking for the product or service they offer, for example, if they sold ice cream machines they think they are supposed to rank in Google for ice cream machines.
“The Customer is Always Right”
Is that always true?
Small business owners *think* they know what their ads should look like, many small business owners know their industry backwards and forwards, they often are no where near as skilled in advertising or marketing (and those two items are not the same). Even if a business owner knows a thing or two about advertising when it comes to internet advertising more often than not they are mistaken.
If you are a web designer or an internet advertising salesperson, you have to make a sale, if your client wants their website to look a certain way, you give them what they want. After all you are more interested in getting a check from the client than you are in ensuring the finished product actually puts money in the customers cash register.
Small business owners *think* they are supposed to be found in Google under their company name. Some web design firms tell small business owners that they *are* in Google if they can find their website by typing in the company name. The reality is the prospective customers the business owner is seeking are typing in what it is they’re in need of and the geographic area they’re willing to drive to in order to get it. Even if a product is shipped, or shipped for free, the prospective customer is likely to prefer a vendor nearby just in case they want to return it.
Take a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you operate Harry’s Ice Cream Machines, a fictitious vendor of food service equipment that makes frozen desert. And you not only sell these but you service them. Now you’re a local company, you do not have the staff to service merchandise on the other side of the country. So you need to sell these things locally. Ok, to make it more real, the manufacturer you get the machines from dropships them and you can’t afford to cut your margin that much, so you compete locally because if your customers buy from you they’ll get service that they can’t get from a dropship arrangement.
Now you get a website built… you don’t yet know what SEO is, so you do what most everyone else you know does, you get a “web designer”. This designer builds you a site and puts in the closest thing he knows to do for keywords. Only problem is he’s shooting for the wrong target (and probably doesn’t know it). He’s got you “optimized” for ice cream machines.
Well, let’s just see how hard this is (or isn’t):
Google the keyword phrase- ice cream machines, it returns 83,700,000 results. Which means you’re trying to knock off 83,699,999 other webmasters who have a head start on you!
Now let’s say for the sake of argument, you are offering them in Maryland, Now you’re only going up against 422,000 other pages.
I don’t know about you but I’d rather get in a fight with 400K people than tangle with 83 million… what do you think?
So let’s continue with our hypothetical frozen dessert making marketer (I wonder if their really is someone in neighboring Montgomery County Maryland who sells this… I might get a client inadvertently!)
Search Google (or Bing, or Yahoo) for “ice cream machines “in Montgomery County Maryland, Now we only have to do battle with 12,000 other pages.
Moral of this story: at a minimum target the state you’re doing business in, better yet, target the county you want to do business in and you will fare much better.
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