In a small town a business is either already well established or completely off the grid. It’s quite black and white and if your business doesn’t fall into the category of “well established” you are already fighting an uphill battle to create a customer base. A local farmer who has been eating at his favorite cafe for 41 years is probably unwilling to try your new cafe and this limits whose business you should be trying to acquire. People, especially in small towns, are very adverse to change which makes it challenging to launch your new business when your competitors have already earned the business of the existing customer base. This is exactly why local SEO is important in small towns and why it’s important that you add it to your marketing arsenal.
While it’s quite hard to convince that existing customer base to switch to your services/product instead, it’s quite simple to go an entirely different route in acquiring customers. Instead of throwing your net in a pond that’s already being fished by your competition, you should fishing in an entirely different and untouched pond. This pond is called “The Internet” and it’s been right in front of you this whole time!
By practicing proper Search Engine Optimization, you can get your website to the first page of popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Over 60% of people using search engines will click one of the top three results when performing a search. If your business isn’t one of these first three results you probably aren’t receiving any web traffic at all. Even if you own an antique shop and don’t think that the internet plays a role in your business at all you will come to find out that it has a bigger impact than you could ever imagine. When a person from out of town is looking for your type of business they have only two methods of finding your business. They either need to already know where you are located and that you actually exist or they need to be able to find you when looking for you on search engines.
Digital Marketing is the low hanging fruit of small town advertising
Your competitors already have a solid customer base and probably haven’t even thought about advertising online. To them, online advertising seems like a waste of their current revenue. The small town mentality really kicks in for business owners and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” seems to apply more than ever. Use this to your advantage by launching a digital marketing campaign when there’s no competition.
Search engine optimization, in a large town, is highly competitive. There can only be three businesses in those tops three spots and everybody is competing to earn their spot. Only the best website with the most skilled SEO will earn the top spot, though.
However, in a small town, most businesses have not performed any sort of SEO. That means that ranking your website can be as simple as having proper on-page SEO and a well set up Google+ business listing.
Imagine being able to acquire a lions share of all of the people that are searching online for your service in your specific area. If you are a cafe in the Huntsville, Texas area, wouldn’t you love half of the people searching for “Huntsville Cafes” to land on your website? Going from having no web traffic at all to getting a majority of the people searching online for your service can be the difference between having to close your doors next month and having a thriving business for years to come.
There will never be an easier time to acquire new customers
While it’s easy to get that low hanging fruit right now, it won’t always be this way. More and more businesses are started to realize how important internet presence is and as soon as your competitor realizes this importance they are going to hire someone to perform SEO for their business. Suddenly, you are in competition over who has the better web presence. The sooner you start optimizing your website for search engines, the easier it will be to rank further on down the road. All things equal, older backlinks will outperform the newer backlinks that your competitor will be building.
Right now, implementing a digital marketing strategy in a small town is the equivalent of someone being the first person in the phonebook for their particular service. Imagine how many calls the first plumber in a popular phone book received. Getting listed on search engines right now is exactly like being the first plumber in the phone book.
Small town business owners hate the internet
The fact that you are on the internet reading this article puts you steps ahead of half of the business owners in your town. Most of these established businesses owners have been operating the same way for decades and aren’t about to change that. They’ve probably been pitched the idea of SEO by someone before but they didn’t deem it necessary. If you already receive all of the town’s business, why would you pay for more marketing?
This is the way that most of these business owners think and while it might be fine for them in the short term it will hurt them in the long run as you acquire all of the new customers. All of the people that visit your city or have just moved to your city, will find your business at the top of their web search and will build rapport with you instead of your competitor. After earning the business of people online suddenly your business will gain popularity via word of mouth. It won’t be long before the people that having been going to your competition for decades start to get curious and give your business a try.
After earning the business of the people searching for your service/product online suddenly your business will gain popularity via word of mouth. It won’t be long before the people that having been going to your competition for decades start to get curious and give your business a try.
Just make sure to continue your small town local Search Engine Optimization efforts because it won’t be long before your competitor has no other choice but to hire a digital marketer of their own to try and compete with you!
My name is Travis Motl and I fell in love with the internet at a young age. It didn't take long before I figured out that internet marketing is what I am passionate about and wish to do with the rest of my life.
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