As we watch the high street reach further decline, and online enterprises thrive, I thought about how I could help local businesses maximise their success.

Websites aren’t restricted to global (or even national) companies going about their business – they can be used as a tool to push local businesses in their community.

If you’re a one man band, or only operate in one location, you may think you don’t need a website.

You may also think that word of mouth is the only way to get customers in your small village or town.

You may start to think:

Should my small business have a website?

The answer is yes – and you should also be mastering SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to attract more customers.

Word of mouth will only get you so far, and you want to maximise your businesses potential!

In the age where people prefer to buy online than in a shop, a website is going to get your small business in front of far more eyes than that swinging sign by your shop door.

I’m not saying you need to start the next

But your small business should at least have a website that a) explains WHAT you do and WHY you do it, and b) points out WHERE you are!

As Simon Sinek says, people don’t buy into WHAT you do, they buy into WHY you do it.

And we all know, we must do as Simon Says.

So you should see this website as an “online shop front” for your business.

Use it as an opportunity to attract customers to you, and let them give you a chance to explain why they should use your product/services over those of giant corporations.

I’m sure given the choice, most people would purchase from a local business than a multinational conglomerate.

If you’re selling a product locally, maybe offer a delivery service where you show up on your bike and give them the shop experience at their door – instead of a lazy courier chucking the parcel over the fence (or even leaving “could not deliver” slips… ?).

How could SEO help?

SEO is the key to your website being found in 2019 and beyond.

Let’s use an example of a Bike shop in Farnham, “Mike’s Bikes” (fictional btw).

For Mike’s Bikes’ website to be found, it would ideally appear in the first few Google search results for “bike shop Farnham”, “Where can I buy a bike in Farnham”, and “Farnham bike shop”.

I would imagine that if you searched these terms today, the first (if not paid) result would be Halfords, this is because they have worked hard on their SEO, but don’t be afraid – we can squash them!

Just because they are a big company doesn’t mean we can’t rank higher than them.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it can be done.

Try searching for your business without using your company name, and instead using what you do and where, see what comes up!

Voice search?

Moving into the future, we see more and more voice activated devices that the farmer and his mum are using to search for recipes and answer questions.

This means people are going from searching key words like “Bike shop Farnham” to searching questions like “Where can I buy a bike in Farnham?”.

Just knowing this will give you a one up on any competitors unaware to this change in consumer behaviour.

So, how the fl*p do I optimise for search engines?

This is done in a few ways:

  • Useful, meaningful content.

If you write a page of gobbledegook then no one will trust you, nor will they want to buy from you, and Google knows this.

They decide if your content is useful to a reader, and if it is, then wahey! we can move on to the next step, if not… think about what you would want to read, or what might really help someone.

  • Keyword repetition

It sucks but it’s true.

If the keyword you’re trying to rank for isn’t on your web page… you won’t rank for it!

Google may be smart but it’s not psychic! ?

One caveat of this though, is that you don’t want to repeat the keyword so much that a) it’s obvious and b) it’s annoying!

  • Engaging content

Maybe do a blog post about fixing a bike chain and include a video of you doing it.

Keep people on your website as long as possible and that will tell google that readers really like your content, and you will be ranked higher!

These small steps will help get you off your feet, but if you seriously want help with SEO for your small business website, I will help you analyse your competition and maximise your efforts to rank above them.

Just drop me a line here with the phrase “my small business needs a website” and I will be in touch ?

Some great SEO related resources are:

Did you even answer my question? ????

Does my small business need a website?

Oh sorry, got a bit carried away there…

In case you hadn’t figured it out… YES!

Don’t die out like every other high street business.

And don’t think you’re too niche or unique to die out because your regulars love you and they can’t go anywhere else for their iced-chocca-mocha-late with foam and sprinkles…

Your current customers could move away, change their minds, or (heaven forbid) die!

Your small business should have a website!

Even if your business is in: Gardening, Cleaning, Coffee, Cooking, Mike’s Bikes, Fitness, PC Specialist, iPhone repairs, Shoe Laces, or even nipple rings…

Right… Any questions? ? ?