Most people know what Internet marketing is but when you bring it down to the local business level, you may well get a very puzzled look from people that you are speaking to. The question becomes, how does a local business compete on the World Wide Web? The answer is, it’s simple. Local businesses do not compete with all the big boys on the Internet. They compete with their local competition in their prospective markets. You only have to be better than the guy down the street and in your town and surrounding communities. There are many different ways to achieve this depending on your area and your market. There are universal processes that need to be done on every website in any niche but a bulk of these tasks should be customized to the individual site owner. So, let’s take a look at just a few of these things.
Most entrepreneurs understand the concept and importance of being ranked highly in the Google search engines. Most business owners, however, do not have a clue about what it takes to do this. If your site is ranked number 1 in Google for its biggest Keyword, it will receive a minimum of 40% of the clicks from the total number of searches for that keyword. The first step in this process is to make sure that your site is Google friendly. There are many things that Google likes and dislikes as far as how they grade your site. The more likable it is, the easier it will move up through Google to a highly ranked position. This is known as on-site SEO. On-site SEO is concerned with things such as meta-tags, article headers, on-site content, keywords, broken links and linking off of the site.
Secondly, local websites should be listed in all of the major online directory sites. This is true for a few reasons. Firstly, site owners want their names and business to be out there on the Internet to as many different places as possible. Costumers seeing your business in several places will create trust between you and them. And, these directories provide trusted backlinks to your site which helps with authority and Google likes it.
The next big technique for local online marketing is off-site SEO. Off-site SEO is basically backlinking from other sites to yours. This can be done in several different ways. Most agree that the best way is to get links from powerful, authoritative sites that are pertinent to your market. For example, if your site is about your tire repair shop, a link from Good Year pointing back to your site would be a great link. However, most big sites will not let anyone put a backlink on their sites and if they do, it can be very expensive, so we usually have to find another way to do this.
Another type of site that Google loves at this point is Web 2.0 sites. These types of sites are interactive and not static. Remember when sites rarely let you make a comment or take a poll? Well, now they are everywhere. The search engines like the fact that there is activity on a site and that people are participating. These are both good for backlinks and it is something to consider if your site is static because if it’s new and static, it will never rank well.