Recently, I was doing some online research and looking at a random selection of websites for some local businesses. I was surprised at what I found…well I guess I was not really surprised, maybe more disappointed because one of my theories was being validated. What I found was the #1 problem with small business websites: lack of attention!
I found links that were broken, error messages to programs within the website that were not working, poorly designed and hard to navigate websites, etc.
So many small business seem bent on getting a website up but once it is up, they forget about it. Now I understand about small business finances etc, but I think having a poorly done website looks worse than not having a website at all. Your website is a reflection of your business. I build websites so I know what I am talking about. I tell folks that once the website is done, we are just beginning and it is critical to keep the website up to date and working properly. So many though do not heed my words.
Why do I bring this up? With local search marketing, you do not need to have a website to get listed. Local search marketing begins with getting your pertinent business information published online. Also many local search engines or directories now allow you to create a free profile page where you can put your info. If you do not have the resources to do a website properly, then this is a very good alternative.
In April of this year, I read a neat post: Local Search One-on-One: Paul Jahn & Matt McGee. It provides some useful information for small business and their online marketing. One of the questions was “With a $1,000 or less annual budget, what 3 things should a small business execute online?” Run over to the post to read what they said. What I want to emphasize was that both experts thought $1000 a year was an “ultra-small budget.”
Your website and its marketing needs to be viewed as an investment in your business. If you do not have the ability to right now to make that investment, you can start off with local search marketing and then when you are ready, add a quality website to the mix.