I am blown away by the fact that there are still businesses today that don’t even have a website let alone do any kind of online marketing! While there may be an exception here or there, as a general rule, all businesses should, at the very least, have a website. From there, the majority of those businesses should be participating in some form of online marketing. And yet, if you were to walk around your city, you would find potentially hundreds to thousands of local businesses that are doing little to nothing online.
So let’s talk for a moment about the exceptions, and yes, there are exceptions. My own Dad runs a business in the construction industry that relies 100% on bidding for jobs, so in his business, online marketing really would be a waste of money. So what about at least having a basic website for informational purposes? While my Dad doesn’t see any need at all for even a basic website, I personally think his business should still have one simply because that’s the world we live in! I think it makes people feel good when they can go online and find information about a company and see that they’ve invested in a professional site. Again, my opinion, but it’s true that “you can’t win em’ all!”
With the exception aside, let’s talk about all the rest of the local businesses that are not utilizing the power of the web. WHAT’S THE HOLD UP?! I mean, why would you NOT want to at least have an online presence… your own website? And yet convincing some business owners that they should have a website and use online marketing is much like pulling teeth… a fight to the bitter end!
So what should most local business owners be doing when it comes to the web? For starters, and as we’ve already discussed, they should at least have a website! It doesn’t need to be some fancy professional site that cost $1000 or more, but it should still be professional. Nothing says ‘inadequate’ like a website that looks like your twelve yr old nephew built it! And the truth is, any local business should be able to have a professional looking site built, even if it is still pretty basic, for between $300-$500. Bottom line is that a business website should look professional and make a good first impression.
A website of course is not the final step! In fact, it should be just the beginning! There are so many things that can be done today, especially for local business, to help promote and market the business online. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is just one of many things a local business owner can do for promotion. Blogging, classifieds, directories and Social Marketing are all additional things that a local business can and should take advantage of.
Finally, looking for opportunities to get your site linked from other pages should be an ongoing task as it can help build long-term stability in your online marketing.
It’s a big job for sure, but just like other areas of your business, if you need help, hire someone who can take you by the hand and get the job done right!