The internet can be an intimidating place for local businesses – it’s large, global, and contains millions of professional looking websites. Big companies spend a lot of time, money, and resources on their web presence, but this doesn’t mean that a local business website shouldn’t be able to do the same. From the perspective of Google, the current undisputed leader of search engines, you have one great advantage that big companies don’t: you are a local business.
Here are some interesting statistics showing the advantage of a local business with an online web presence:
¾ of U.S. adults (164M) are internet users. Over 35% of U.S. consumers spend more than 3 hours online every day 46% of daily searches are for products and services. 20% of monthly Google searches are for local businesses
So why exactly is being a local business an advantage? Google understands that a lot of their users are searching for products and services in their local area. The top priority for Google search is that they deliver relevant content to users, and therefore adjusts its results to favor local businesses when users are searching locally (using zip codes, cities, etc.).
For this reason, your local business website design is very important. Your website is the core of your online presence, so the way that your local business website is designed can make the difference between a successful online presence and a website that no one knows about. Unlike a website that functions as an online store, you’re not looking for customers to buy products right off your website, so you need to approach the design a bit differently. As you begin the process of getting your online presence in place, ask yourself these critical questions:
How do I attract potential customers?
Attracting customers online is essentially about driving traffic to your local business website by search engines, web/mobile marketing, promotions, blogging, newsletters, flyers, email, and so on. You may need to decide which method(s) will benefit your specific local business based on your budget and remember that not every method is equally successful from one business to another. Many local businesses rely on building customer relationships, so you may even want to consider an approach like collecting email addresses so you can build an email list and send out regular promotions or coupons. Social media marketing is also very relevant these days, so consider taking advantage of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as a very cost-effective method of advertising and growing your customer base.
When a visitor arrives at my website, what can keep them there?
From the very first page, your local business website design should incorporate a method of helping customers along in the buying cycle. For example, new visitors can be informed about a promotion or new product while loyal, returning customers can be offered a discount or free sample of a trial product. Your local business website design should not just be about selling a product, but about your dedication to your customers and making them feel important and needed in your local community. Web marketing is about building customer relationships through the use of email, newsletters, subscriptions, and interesting/fun content that only you and your business can provide.
How can I measure the results of success?
Depending on the type of business you run, you should think about what’s relevant for you out of your local business website design. Is it the number of new visitors, the number of users who took a specific action you wanted, or the amount of time a visitor spent on your site? Web marketing reports can show these performance indicators alongside expense reports, so that you know exactly what your return on investment is and where you can improve. It’s important to track your web marketing regularly so that you know you’re not wasting money, or not spending enough money on, marketing activity that could highly benefit your local business.
Some tips to keep in mind as you think about your local business website design are: -look at your competitor’s websites and take not of what you like/don’t like and why-let your website designer know what appeals to you while also listening to their recommendations-think about search engine optimization (SEO) keywords for your website (used to optimized local online marketing)-design a basic flowchart for your website defining pages and where you want your users to go (this can be done either on paper or with a digital tool such as Free Mind, which allows you to graphically map out pages and outline content/actions for each page)-keep in mind that the most important things about your local business should be the easiest to find, and not buried under menus or tabs
The fact that you’re a local business with an online presence is already an advantage to your business for search engine results and driving traffic to your local business website. Make sure you’re stretching your dollar by tracking your web marketing techniques and results through successful local business website design. At Arpi Design in Glendale CA, our expert web developers will get you and your local business on the right track from the ground up, incorporating essential marketing strategies proven to increase traffic and attract the customers you want!