Web-Centric Small Business

February 15, 2008

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Arizona Business Gazette reports on research from Warrillow & Co. that 45% – almost half – of small businesses consider themselves ‘web-centric’ now. That’s almost double from 24% a couple of years ago.

Interesting to try to reconcile this with Jackie’s comments a few months ago. She comments on the difficulty in finding a local dry cleaner, lawn service, or other small business via the Web. That’s here in Austin, which is a fairly Web-savvy community.

The main issue is getting found. A business without a strategy for getting found online may be building a store where there is no foot traffic and wondering why no one stops in to shop. As search (and searchers) get smarter, it’s easier to get found with a little thought. Trying to be #1 on Google for ‘Dry Cleaner’ is pretty hard. Even if you achieve it, only a fraction of a percent of your traffic might ever become your customer. But ‘Pflugerville Dry Cleaner’ is easy to get #1 on. And Google’s local results make it easier than ever.

So if you’re a small business owner who got on the Web a few years ago because “everyone needs a Website” and got no results, give it another try. Things have changed in a few short years. And put some thought into how you’ll be found. Don’t outsource your Website to someone who can’t articulate a ‘getting found’ strategy and a strategy for regularly refreshing with engaging content. And hey, the domain ‘pflugervilledrycleaners.com’ is even available. (Useful if you’re in a community that is easier to spell than Pflugerville).

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2 Responses to “Web-Centric Small Business”

  1. Joshua Says:

    Great advice guys. Terapad, a free CMS, is seeing more and more small businesses start up on our platform and educating them about the importance of SEO is vital.

    Terapad was built with SEO in mind but simple SEO strategies are the way to go for companies like the laundrette you mention.

    Effective SEO means less reliance on large, expensive directories and more focused marketing.

  2. rsomers Says:

    Thanks Joshua! The thing that always strikes me about SEO for small businesses is how effective the simple steps can be.

    A friend of mine owns several local vet hospitals and has ditched Yellow Pages and other traditional ways of getting found, as he drives more than enough business through basic SEO.


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