OK, so you’re convinced that your local business has got to get a website up on the internet if you’re going to remain competitive. You realize that fewer and fewer people use the Yellow Pages every day to look for local goods and services, and that most of them now use the internet to find local businesses. And that trend is only increasing. So you’ll just hire someone to make you a website and you’ll be good to go, right?
No, it’s not quite that simple. (But it’s not hard, either – just keep reading.) See, having a website isn’t going to help your business at all if it doesn’t show up extremely high in Google’s search results. Anytime a person searches for something on Google, Google will return a page with the top ten websites they consider most relevant to the search term. On the page will be a link to the next page of the second ten most relevant sites, and the third page, and the fourth, etc.
For most searches, Google will find hundreds, if not thousands of websites that have something to do with that term. If you’re writing a research paper, or a master’s thesis, that’s great; you can keep digging through all of the links to find those hidden gems.
But guess what? The average person who’s looking for a carpet cleaner in Kalamazoo, or a wedding photographer in Boise, isn’t going to dig through pages and pages of Google’s search results. In fact, the vast majority of them aren’t even going to click through to page 2. There have been many studies of this very thing, and they all show the same result: most people don’t even look at the search results past the first page.
Furthermore, when someone does a Google search for a local business, if your website isn’t on that first page of results, the odds are very high that they’re NOT going to click on your website to see what you have to offer.
Of course, this is nothing new – if you can find your Yellow Pages, look up companies under things like carpet cleaning, locksmith, plumber, etc., and see how many of them have names like ABC Plumbing, AAA Locksmith, AAAAAAA Carpet Cleaning. Why would a company choose a horrible name like that? Because the Yellow Pages list companies in alphabetical order, and it’s simply a fact that most people tend to call the companies who are listed at the top. And that’s still how it is today – you need to be at the top of Google’s search results (but, thankfully, Google doesn’t care about alphabetical order) or you’re going to be ignored.
So, not only do you need a website, you MUST have a website that ranks high in Google if you’re going to dominate your competition. Otherwise, you’re just wasting any money you spend on getting a website put up.