Posted by: midpen | May 23, 2008

Speaker Post: How Local Businesses can Improve their Web Presence

How Local Businesses Can Improve Their Visibility on the Web

By Kevin Dean, Internet Marketing Consultant, WSI Net Advantage


It is estimated that 25% of all searches on the web are seeking local businesses, services, and resources.  This might include city functions, school activities, networking groups, as well as customers looking for businesses like yours.  These searches are performed on search engines, directories, and other sites noting references and referrals.


Is your traditional marketing approach ready for this huge focus on the web?  Here are 10 steps for your company to take advantage of the growing pace of localized search by your prospects.


In the process, it is likely you will also improve the message you present on your website, improving the number of contacts and opportunities generated from your site.


1. Say what you do – simply and concisely.  Do you say exactly what your services are?  Many business owners never say it in terms that regular people use.  Include the benefits you can provide the visitor if they contact you.  Also make sure your site looks good.  Maybe it’s time for a make-over. Now that you can take advantage of the visitors once they get to your site, let’s review the other nine!


2. State your physical address, city, and state. Did you know there are 13 Fremonts in the US

and several “Bay Area’s”?  You may not be a storefront where people can come and visit, but many local business people and customers prefer to work with local services.  Include your Zip Code.  Skip the street name if you wish.


3. What other towns do you work in?  As a contractor, store owner, or service provider, you may have a clear geographic area you serve.  If someone is searching for your services in the next town over, would you like your site to be considered for posting?  Add these towns in your footer or as a “Cities Served” box on your pages.  Use text not an image.


4. State your target market.  Are you seeking small business owners with a limited budget?  Do your focus on companies with more than 10 computer installations, or 5 employees?  Let your site filter contacts which do not match your business model.  Create specific areas of your site for each type of client you see.


5. Use Google and Yahoo Local listing services.  Close to the top of search engine displays for local services are local business listings.  These were originally culled from phone directories and may be out of date or incorrect.  Check your listing and be sure it links to your site, provides a correct address and phone number, and describes your services properly.


6. Place your web site name on ALL correspondence that you distribute.  This includes brochures, invoices, envelopes, packing materials, receipts, email footer, letterhead, shopping bags, and of course, every business card you print.

7. Use business email.  Do not use a Yahoo, AOL, or GMail address.  Use your business URL –  It looks professional and reminds people of your website name.


8. Ask other businesses to link to you.  Swap links with partners or preferred vendors them so you can show people who else you work with.  Visitors on their sites have the opportunity to link to you.  Use relevant linking text as well as clear logo.  Standardize to assist your linking partners.


9. Link from local directories.  Many cities have local service directories from public and commercial services.  Find ones that match your marketplace and request to place a link, or maybe pay a small fee.  If you are a member of a club, Chamber, association, or other group, be sure their site links to yours.  Show club affiliations on your site too.


10. Try local sponsored advertising.  You cannot likely add every key phrase to your site so your site will be listed naturally.  By using local advertising, you can post links to your site from Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and others with appropriate key phrases only viewable in the areas you serve.  Some services include valuable “return-on-investment” methods which allow you to see how many leads are actually contacting you due to this advertising.


These 10 easy to implement ideas will help you generate new leads and customers through better use of the Internet.  If your business is not taking advantage of local search activities by your potential customers, you are missing out on countless opportunities.


Copyright © 2007 Kevin Dean, All Rights Reserved

Kevin Dean is an Internet Marketing Consultant and President of WSI Net Advantage in Fremont CA. He specializes in helping business owners better utilize the Internet.  Contact Kevin at (510) 687-9737,,


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