Local businesses are losing sales by not taking advantage of the Web as a sales tool. No, this is not based on any kind of poll or data analysis. It’s based purely on my own experiences. It is usually the case that for every one person who experiences a problem, or expresses dissatisfaction about a situation, there are many more people who feel the same way. So I am going to make the assumption that there are many people who have the same frustration I am about to discuss.
Businesses at the local level just don’t seem to get it when it comes to online marketing. They will spend thousands of dollars on TV ads, print ads, radio ads, etc., but give no attention to their web sites. Here is a cold, hard fact: more and more people use the Web to do product research and find local businesses with whom to do business; and that trend is only going to continue. So why would ANY business not have a strong Web presence that shows what products or services it sells, and that makes it easy to do business with it?
Here is an example of what I am talking about. I am researching gas and electric fireplaces for my house. One large retailer in Nashville who I thought sold fireplaces (since there is a fireplaces page on its site) has ZERO visibility and almost no information about its fireplaces. If I did not already know about the company, I would not have looked at their web site to start with since it is not possible to find it in the search engines. As it turns out, I found out that this business stopped selling fireplaces two years ago…despite the fact that they are still shown on its web site. I mean, come on…in TWO YEARS you couldn’t update your web site?
So I continued my search. I only found a single local business online that had a reasonable number of the kind of product I was looking for. The business’ web site was not very good. There is very little information about specific products. It is an ecommerce-enabled site, but there is so little information about the products that I don’t think any user would feel very comfortable placing an order online.
I cannot find a single business in Nashville that sells fireplaces that has a well-crafted web site with adequate information about its products. And that can be found in the search engines. There is probably a retailer in Nashville with exactly what I want. But I can’t find it. So I am reduced to physically visiting random stores in hopes of finding what I want. Wherever that perfect store is, it is probably going to lose a sale.
If you own a physical business that sells products locally, all you have to do to have a MAJOR advantage over your competition is put up a high quality web site where visitors can get lots of information about your products. If they can buy the products online, that’s even better. And PLEASE have the web site built in a search engine-friendly manner so your site can be found. Ask your web site developer about this. If he is not experienced in SEO, either hire another designer or bring someone onboard who can work with your designer. Yes, it will cost some money, but it will be a very, very good thing for your business.
If you need help promoting your local business via search engine optimization or pay per click management, contact Work Media at 615-263-2811 or email Info@WorkMedia.net.