Do you own an offline business, selling either products or services? Then this article series is for you. In the coming 6 weeks, we’ll show you how your own website – done the right way – can multiply your client base and income.
As a local business owner, your website’s primary goal is to bring more people to your bricks-and-mortar location to purchase your goods (ex., boating supplies, gourmet food items) or services (ex., cosmetic dentistry, small engine repair). You can also expand beyond your local customer base by providing information to a global audience, and earning income from their visits to your website.
You think your business can’t be taken online, because it’s just too local? See how Judd Burdon went from running a seasonal asphalt paving company to creating his online Asphalt Kingdom,where he sells his products and knowledge to a worldwide audience. As a nice side effect of going online, Judd and his family escaped the Canadian cold winters and are now enjoying sunshine year round on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.
To build your local business website the right way, you need to do four things…
- Learn what keywords people use to search online for your product or service. Then discover how much competition you have online, what type (local — other bricks-and-mortar locations — or global — online suppliers of your goods or services). Your goal here is to find a site concept keyword that’s in demand by searchers, has low competition, and reflects what your business provides.
- Build a website that includes the keywords people are using, especially your town or city name, and perhaps your region or state/province, in your page content.
- Obtain links back to your site, to ensure that when people go looking for your product or service, your site appears at the top of their results. At the same time, build your business’s online credibility by promptly answering questions and/or providing advice, especially on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Keep your website visitors coming back to your site, and your store, with a newsletter or e-zine with special offers, Web-only discount coupons, etc. And keep them current with changes to your site with an RSS feed.
Keywords, links, e-zine, RSS feed – if all of this sounds like mumbo-jumbo to you, despair not!
Instead, try this…