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Why your Small Business Needs a Website to Survive.


In order to compete in your local or regional consumer market, even the average small business must have an online presence in order to stay competitive.  Even a very basic website with only your address and telephone number will still produce impressive results for additional customers and increased revenues.  


Phone Books and the Yellow Pages are Dead!


If you are still planning to survive because of your impressively worded Yellow Pages ad in the telephone book, you may be in for a shocking surprise.  In an age where over half of the population has never even dialed a rotary phone, the Yellow Pages have long ago been replaced by the internet and the instantly available website. Statistics show that over 75% of new customers will come from search engine referrals, not from your newspaper ads, phone books or even television commercials.


Besides, maneuvering through those massively thick indexed books was a challenge.  If you happened to live in a bustling metropolis like New York or Washington, DC, the Yellow Pages consisted of several volumes of inches-thick paper, each weighing several pounds, consisting of tens of thousands of ads for small business, and taking up loads of storage space.  You could never find them when you needed them anyway!  And then when you did locate them, you had to figure out which category the company in which you were searching for was located.


Online Search Engines are Ruling the World!


In the old days, if you were trying to look for a local HVAC company (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) because your central air was on the fritz, depending on the city in which the Yellow Pages were written, you might have to try looking under “heating”, “air conditioning”, or “HVAC” before you finally found a group of local contractors or a specific small business that you could call.


Now, with Local Search Engine Optimization techniques, otherwise known as Local SEO, it doesn’t matter which word or groups of words that you type into the search engine.  The computer can almost read your mind, providing a list of specific companies right in your immediate area.  You won’t be provided an HVAC company in China when you live in Wyoming.  Of course, your company has to be online with a website in order to show up in the page results.


Web Design and Local SEO


Professional web design for your small business is not all that expensive any more.  You can even go online and create your own website for free.  Where you might need a little help is in the selection of keywords to place into your site design in order to get recognized by the search engines.  


There is “SEO” and there is “Local SEO”.  If you are a local “brick and mortar” business who offers a service to your community while not selling any actual products or “things” online (like an HVAC small business, for example), a simple website with some geographical keywords will help drive business to your doorstep and to your telephone overnight.  There are tons of free online sites that can help you pick the right ones, or you can hire a professional for a few dollars to offer some quick advice.


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