Thursday, January 14, 2010

Can Your Brick and Mortar Business Benefit From Being on the First Page of Google?

Many business owners ask me, "How can my brick and mortar business benefit from being on the first page of Google?" Business owners wonder why they should bother creating a web site for their business especially when they provide services like roofing, restaurants or beauty salons. There are so many reasons your brick and mortar business should have a website. Let me explain just a few.

The internet has changed the way people search and find information. Once upon a time, people used the local phone book to find the nearest veterinary clinic, carpet store or auto repair shop. They searched by category and then found listings alphabetically. Today, people search the internet for the services they need.

How do people search for businesses on the internet?
When people search for businesses and services on the internet, they use keyword phrases or questions. For example, if someone was looking to hire a wedding photographer in the city of Hudson in Florida, they would go to Google and type in "wedding photographer in Hudson Florida". Now if that was you, you would look at the first couple of listings and start making calls, right? If you are a wedding photographer, your goal is to be on the coveted first page of those Google search results. Well, what if you own a night club, dog walking service or day care? Guess what? People would search for your services the same way. (If you are a business owner and have a web site, take a moment to search your business category. Do not search for your business name! Why? You must assume customers don't know about your business! You are looking to target new customers. If you can't find your business website on the 1st page, contact me. You can use my expertise.)

This image shows the results for "Wedding Photographer in Hudson Florida". The results are no accident. The first result on the 1st page of Google is my client.
your business on the 1st page of Google

Do you have a web site for your business, but it doesn't produce any results?
Let me explain something. Almost anyone can create a web site, but not everyone knows how to optimize it for the search engines. That's when the skills of a search engine optimization expert come into play. However, there's another step. Social media marketing and article marketing must also be added to the formula. Search engine algoirthms change daily. You need fresh content pointing to your site daily. A webmaster or web designer can't provide results with just a web site. Web sites are tools. It's like having a phone number for your business, but never giving it out. Guess what? You will never get a phone call.

The biggest advantage of your business site is it's open 24 hours, greeting customers while you're sleeping!
The most convenient part of the internet is that it's always open. Your business web site should be providing potential customers to questions they may have. It should persuade visitors to want to visit your brick and mortar business. Your site should make the customer want to make a phone call or send an email. That brings us to another very important point.

Does your web site capture information from visitors?
You should have a system on the first page of your business' web site that offers some type of benefit in return for a visitor's email. Why? You just obtained a way to contact a potential cusotmer whenever you want. By email, you can send them an incentive to make a purchase or visit your establishment. For example if you own a restaurant, you can offer a free dessert with the purchase of an entree. Own a night club? Announce your events regularly. No matter what type of business you own, you can send something that can persuade that person to visit, spend and hopefully they'll forward to other potential customers. Like this idea? Contact me, I can set up your email marketing.

Can search engine optimization work for any type of brick and mortar business?
Yes, seo can help your business no matter what it is. Here's another example: The following example shows the search results for "suggestions for a child's birthday party in Middletown NY". I was able to get the first 5 search results on the first page. You can also search the phrase in different keyword phrases and the results will still be the same for the 1st 4-5 results.
I got the 1st 5 top spots on Google

If your business does not have a web site or it's not ranking well for it's keyword, you are not maximizing the potential of the internet. Don't let your competition have an edge. Contact me for a free consultation.

One more thing, I will not take multiple clients for the same keyword. In other words, if you hire me and your business is a florist in Beautiful City, NY I will not take on your competition as a client. With that said, projects are completed as they are received.