I bring up these numbers to point out that while marketing on social media platforms is important for building your brand, top-of-mind awareness, and announcing sales or new products and services, customers find you, when they need or want you, by searching for the specific goods and services you may provide. And remember, you're probably not the only company that offers those things. You have competition and they want that business every bit as badly as you do. You have to be found and found quickly.
Yellow Pages was a Big Book
In the olden days, businesses were found in the Yellow Pages. (A big book with alphabetically listed businesses for a certain area. For those who may not know such things existed.) There were 2 strategies that one may have used to be better found: Have a name that puts you at the beginning of your business category (e.g., AA Plumbing) or pay for (and I mean PAY for) a large, colorful display ad. It was clunky and very hard to stand out.
Now the way people find you is by "Googling" your goods or services and if you're not on page one of that search result, you probably will miss that sale.
Think that only applies to the big guys? Check out these stats on local searches:
- 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location
- 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations
- 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
- 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase
- 18% of location-based mobile searches result in a sale within one day
Look, the point is you can't ignore your biggest asset in your online marketing strategy -- your website. The new Google algorithms give more weight to websites with current and relevant content, are local to or near the searcher, and are mobile-friendly. And let me tell you, with 60% of searches being done on mobile devices that last one is extremely important.
All of this comes down to effective search engine optimization (SEO). Things like regularly auditing for "black hat" backlinks, broken URLs, and other issues that may get you penalized by Google; creating fresh content for your site on a regular basis; monitoring your web traffic and tweaking it as needed; having a responsive website that displays correctly on all devices; claiming your business on Google maps and make sure all the info is correct; and responding to your online reviews, good or bad, to maintain your reputation in the cyber-verse can all of a dramatic impact on your bottom line.
To sum it all up:
- SEO is essential to your business’ success
- In most cases, writing long-form content is better than writing 500-word blog articles
- If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it’s probably time for a new website
- Every local business needs to have a website that is optimized for local search results