Local Business Websites: Why ‘Build It and They Will Come’ Isn’t Enough

Local businesses often believe that if they build a website, customers will come. However, this is a common myth that can lead to disappointment and frustration. The truth is, simply building a website is not enough to attract your ideal customers. It is just the start!

Understanding the unique challenges of local business websites is crucial for success online. Local businesses face stiff competition from larger corporations and other local businesses in the area. Additionally, they often have limited resources and budgets for digital marketing efforts.

To overcome these challenges, local businesses need to implement effective strategies for their websites. This may include optimizing for local search, creating engaging content, and utilizing social media platforms. By taking a strategic approach, local businesses can achieve success online and attract more customers to their website.

Women Enjoying Website On Mobile Device

A website should not be treated as a static brochure that remains unchanged over time. Rather, it should serve as a dynamic, constantly evolving entity that reflects the ongoing growth and development of the business. A stale, un-updated website could make a business appear out of touch or unresponsive to change, negatively affecting customer perception. Furthermore, having a regularly updated website filled with fresh, relevant content is essential for search engine optimization (SEO). By regularly adding new content—such as blog posts, events, tips and helpful articles, testimonials, and case studies, or updates about products and services—a business can improve its website's visibility on search engine results pages, attract more ideal traffic, and ultimately, convert more visitors into customers. In this light, a website is not just a marketing tool, but a powerful platform for customer engagement and business growth.

Let's Cover The 'Build it and They will Come' Problem

  • Building a website is not enough to attract the ideal customers to a local business.
  • Local businesses face unique challenges in the digital space, including competition and limited resources.
  • Effective strategies for local business websites include optimizing for local search, creating engaging content, and utilizing social media platforms.
  • Regularly updating your website with fresh, relevant content can boost your visibility on search engine results pages, improve traffic, and increase customer conversion rates and sales.

The Myth of 'Build It and They Will Come'

As a local business owner, you may have heard the phrase 'build it and they will come' when it comes to creating a website for your business. Unfortunately, this is a myth that can lead to disappointment and frustration.

Simply creating a website for your local business is not enough to attract customers - especially your target audience or ideal customer. In today's digital age, there are countless websites competing for attention, and just having a website is not enough to stand out and get found.

It's important to remember that your website is just one piece of your overall marketing strategy. In order to attract customers, you need to actively promote your website and make it easy for potential customers to find you, learn from you and become a customer.

Some ways to promote your website and attract customers include:

  • Using your website as a hub: This involves using your website as a central hub for all of your marketing efforts. This includes linking to your social media accounts, displaying customer reviews, and providing information about upcoming events or promotions. Directing your prospects and customers to your website to find all of the information they need, while using strong calls to action to get them to take the next desired step.
  • Content Creation: This involves creating content that is relevant to your target audience. Content can include blog posts and articles, landing pages, product and service pages, testimonials and case studies, videos, infographics, and podcasts. By creating engaging content on topics related to your business, you can attract more website visitors and convert them into customers.
Digital Marketing Diagram
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): This involves optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. This can include optimizing your website's content, meta tags, and backlinks.
  • Local Business Directories: This involves listing your business in local directories like Yelp, Google My Business, and Yellow Pages. This can help you reach customers who are searching for businesses like yours in their local area.
  • Email Marketing: This is one of the most effective methods for driving traffic to your website. It involves building an email list from interested visitors or customers and sending them regular updates, newsletters, and promotional or informational content. A well-crafted email can guide readers directly to your site, providing them with a straight path to discover more about your products or services or to take advantage of an offer. Email marketing not only deepens customer relationships but also enhances brand recognition.
  • Social Media Marketing: This involves using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote your business and drive traffic to your website. This can include creating engaging content, linking to your website content, and using targeted advertising.

Understanding Local Business Websites

As a local business owner, having a website is crucial to your success. However, simply building a website is not enough to attract the right customers customers to your business. In this section, we will discuss the importance of SEO and the role of user experience in creating a successful local business website.

Importance of Local SEO

Local Seo Mockup Reviews and MapLocal SEO is the process of continually optimizing your website to rank higher in local search results. This is important because most people use search engines to find local businesses. According to Google, 46% of all searches have local intent. This means that people are actively looking for businesses like yours in their local area.

To improve your local SEO, you need to focus on three main factors: relevance, distance, and prominence. Relevance refers to how well your website matches the user's search query. Distance refers to how far your business is from the user's location. Prominence refers to how well-known your business is in the local area.

To improve your relevance, you need to make sure your website includes relevant keywords and content that matches what people are searching for. Continuing to add this type of content to your website is crucial. To improve your distance, you need to make sure your website includes your business address and location information. To improve your prominence, you need to build your brand and reputation in the local area.

Role of User Experience

User experience (UX) is the overall experience a user has when interacting with your website. A good user experience can help improve your website's rankings and attract more customers. A bad user experience can hurt your rankings and drive customers away.

To improve your website's UX, you need to focus on several key factors. These include:

  • Navigation: Your website should be easy to navigate, with clear menus and links that help users find what they're looking for.
  • Design: Your website should be visually appealing and easy to read, with a clean and modern design.
  • Speed: Your website should load quickly, with minimal delays or buffering.
  • Mobile-friendliness: Your website should be optimized for mobile devices, with a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes.
  • Content: Your website should include high-quality, relevant content that provides value to your users.

By focusing on these factors, you can create a website that not only ranks well in search results but also provides a great user experience for your customers.

Why Local Businesses Struggle Online

As a local business, building a website is just the first step in establishing an online presence. Unfortunately, the "build it and they will come" mentality doesn't work as a final solution in the digital world. In fact, local businesses face several disadvantages when it comes to succeeding online. Here are two of the most significant ones:

Lack of Visibility

One of the biggest challenges that local businesses face online is a lack of visibility. With so many websites and businesses competing for attention, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. Even if a local business has a website, it doesn't mean that potential customers will find it. This lack of visibility can be attributed to several factors, including:

  • Poor search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Inadequate online advertising
  • Lack of social media presence
  • Inconsistent or incomplete business listings on online directories
  • Stagnant content that fails to capture attention

To overcome these challenges, local businesses need to invest in strategies that improve their online visibility ongoing. This can include optimizing their website for search engines, creating consistent content that is helpful and useful and solves the customers' problems, sending consistent email and text message campaigns, and building a strong social media presence. Additionally, ensuring that their business information is accurate and consistent across all online directories can help improve their visibility.

Limited Resources

Another challenge local businesses face is a lack of resources. This includes limited time, budget, and personnel that can be devoted to building and maintaining a successful online presence. Local businesses are often competing against corporations with deep pockets who can outspend them on marketing efforts. As a result, local business owners need to be strategic in how they allocate their resources to maximize returns.

Local SEO Optimization

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to appear in the top search results for local queries related to your business. This involves optimizing your website content and structure to include relevant keywords, creating and optimizing local business listings on directories like Google My Business, and building high-quality backlinks from other local websites.

By implementing local SEO strategies, you can improve your website's visibility in local search results and attract more qualified traffic to your website. This can help increase your website's overall traffic and drive more leads and sales for your business and more traffic in the door.

Poor Online Reputation

Google Review ManageAnother challenge that local businesses face online is a poor online reputation. With the rise of online reviews and social media, it's easier than ever for customers to share their experiences with a business. Unfortunately, negative reviews or comments can quickly damage a local business's reputation. Likewise, a low number of reviews can make an impact as well.

To combat this, local businesses need to actively monitor their online reputation and respond to any negative reviews or comments. Additionally, they should encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on online review sites and social media platforms. Building a strong online reputation takes time and effort, but it's essential for local businesses that want to succeed online.

Overall, local businesses face several challenges when it comes to succeeding online. By addressing these challenges head-on, local businesses can improve their online visibility and reputation, ultimately leading to more customers and increased success.

Stagnant and Outdated Content

A website with stagnant and outdated content will also struggle to rank in local searches. Search engines view websites that are actively updated with fresh content as more valuable than those that remain unchanged for long periods of time. To ensure your website is up-to-date, regularly publish blog posts and articles, news stories, and other relevant content about your business, products or services. Additionally, you may want to consider refreshing existing content by updating it with new information and keeping the design up-to-date. This will not only improve your website's rankings but also provide a better user experience for your customers. Take the approach of creating evergreen content that your customers can use as a reference over time. This type of content will remain valuable long after the initial publish date and help provide more value to your customers. Creating content that is helpful, engaging and timely, all while staying true to your brand's voice and tone will help you create an online presence that stands out from the competition.

Case Studies of Successful Local Business Websites

At our agency, we've seen firsthand the power of a well-designed and optimized local business website. Here are a few case studies that demonstrate the impact a strong online presence can have on a local business.

Case Study 1: Twin Cities Tent & Event Rental

Twin Cities Tent Event Rental MockupTwin Cities Tent and Event Rental is a small business in a competitive market. They had a website, but it was not optimized and didn't rank well in search engine results. We worked with them to redesign their website, focusing on user experience and search engine optimization. We help them create content to showcase their expertise and provide valuable information to potential customers.

The results have been impressive. Within six months, their website traffic had increased by 50%, and they were ranking on the first page of Google for several important keywords. They also saw an increase in leads and conversions, as more people were finding them online and contacting them for service.

Case Study 2: The Vintage Inn

The Vintage Inn, previously a conventional bed and breakfast, made the transition to a high-end vacation home rental catering to the VRBO market. Initially, their website was not reflective of the quality and luxury of their accommodation offerings. We partnered with them to revamp their website, emphasizing the lavish comforts and unique amenities of their property, along with streamlining their online booking process. Additionally, we honed in on local search optimization to enhance their visibility to potential guests looking for luxury rentals in their area.

For The Vintage Inn, implementing a comprehensive strategy that integrates technical SEO, content creation, and social media makes a significant difference. Starting with technical SEO, we ensure the website is crawlable, fast, and mobile-friendly, which are critical components for ranking well in search engine results. Simultaneously, we focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that resonates with potential guests, incorporating relevant keywords without sacrificing readability and engagement. This content not only improves SEO but also provides value to website visitors, increasing bookings through the website.

Furthermore, we leverage social media platforms to drive traffic to the website, creating compelling posts that highlight the Inn's unique amenities and luxurious accommodations, and using this as a platform to engage with potential guests. By sharing content from the website on these platforms, we direct interested individuals back to the website, further enhancing traffic and potential bookings.

The outcome has been very positive and has greatly increased online bookings through the website and not third-party booking sites. Search engine rankings have been successful with the transition from bed and breakfast to vacation rental.

Case Study 3: Blossom Town Floral and Greenhouse

Blossom Town Floral and Greenhouse, a time-honored family business, faced the challenge of modernizing their operations and expanding their local presence to encompass online sales. Their original model had always focused on physical footfall, but as the digital era progressed, they recognized the necessity to broaden their horizons.

We partnered with Blossom Town to transform their website into an e-commerce platform. This required a comprehensive redesign, ensuring the website was user-friendly and that the online shopping experience was seamless for customers. We focused on showcasing their wide array of floral arrangements and greenhouse offerings, coupled with clear, detailed product descriptions and high-quality images. The website also incorporated a secure and easy-to-use checkout process, contributing to customer confidence in online purchasing.

Simultaneously, we worked on optimizing their website for local search, recognizing the importance of not just drawing foot traffic, but also attracting online customers within their service area. By strategically incorporating locally-relevant keywords and updating their Google My Business listing, we improved their visibility for local searches. We also encouraged customer reviews and integrated social media platforms to foster ongoing engagement.

Blossom Town regularly updates the products on their website, adding new products and switching out products based on the seasons. To gain traction for specific holidays, events and topics, landing pages are created to promote keywords in search. The blog serves as a great way for Blossom Town to add new tips and tricks, recipes and more.

As a result, Blossom Town successfully transitioned to a vibrant online presence, ranking prominently in local searches and significantly increasing their online sales using the website as the hub of their online presence. Their case stands as a testament to the potential of local businesses to successfully adapt to the digital marketplace, maintaining their cherished local presence while simultaneously expanding their reach and sales through effective online strategies.

Work to Increase Local Business Visibility Online

To summarize, these case studies illustrate how online presence and digital marketing strategies can significantly enhance a local business's visibility, customer interaction, and sales. The transformation from a traditional model to a digitally integrated one is a testament to the power of the internet in the modern business landscape. Now that we've examined these successful cases, let's address some frequently asked questions you may have about enhancing your business's online presence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrapping Up: Unlock Your Local Business Potential with Effective Web Strategies

Building a successful local business website goes beyond just having an online presence. It requires a strategic approach involving local SEO, online reputation management, content creation and user-friendly design. Our team is well-versed in these strategies and has a proven track record demonstrated by our successful case studies.

Ready to Boost Your Local Business? Join Us and Transform Your Online Presence Today!

Ready to take your local business website to the next level? Contact us today for a free consultation. Let's work together to make your website a powerful tool for attracting and converting leads, and driving your business growth.


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