The challenges that local businesses face are very different from ones that larger corporations have to confront. The former have a smaller customer base and their geographical reach is smaller too. This means a local business website is intrinsically different from one that has been designed for a global business- in the way it is designed, positioned, its SEO and the content it features.
Things to Avoid
Here are 7 common mistakes that local businesses make while setting up their website. Understanding what these are will help you avoid them:
Look Beyond Branding– Branding is important but not the be-all and end-all of a local business. You operate in a niche market and have a distinctive name and people already recognize your brand, so look beyond it every once in a while. Use your website to talk about various aspects of your business and the community you cater to.
Create a Credible Website– Do not assume that just because you have a brick-and-mortar store, a website is just a formality and about having a Web presence. It’s much more than that- today people scour the Internet for just about everything and if you fail to have information about all your products on your site, you are going to get beaten by the competition.
Focus on Local SEO– This is extremely important for any local business. Index your site for local search engines and use keywords that target your audience based on geography. List your business on all local searches and ensure that there are good online reviews and pictures of your business online.
Google My Business– Optimize this page and maintain consistency in citations and ensure that they are listed at the right points and get relevant inbound links from other businesses in the area.
Spotlight your Home Page– Consider this to be the online window-dressing to your store and create a fantastic Home Page with good graphics and relevant content.
Internal Pages– Work on the layout and make the site attractive & user-friendly and ensure that the internal pages complement the Home Page in every way.
Stay Away from Spam– Optimization is not about spamming, and overdoing SEO can impact the ranking of your site. Excessive keyword or city name usage can have a negative impact on your site’s ranking.
In addition to all these things, keep your website and its content updated. If your business name, address or phone number changes, ensure that the change reflects on your website too. While you work hard on maintaining your online presence and making an impact on the local marketplace, focus on the “don’ts” of SEO and avoid them.