Local Search Optimization
So your business needs an awesome website design and want it to be on the first page of Google search results because you think it could help you grow your business even further? Well, you’re on the right path. Using local search optimization to get to the first few spots on prominent search engines can massively impact your business with more phone calls, new leads and additional business prospects. But reaching this goal is often a battle that takes time and can’t taken lightly. Making it to those top search results on Google takes time, web design expertise and money. The old saying “It takes money to make money” still applies today. If you’ve built your website on a cheap do-it-yourself platform like Squarespace, Wix or Godaddy, you’re deceiving yourself. Those sites are sinkholes for a serious business and should be avoided if you really want your website to succeed. To have a fighting chance at competing against hundreds or thousands of search results you’ll need to hire a professional to sharpen your local search optimization. You would do well to hire a web developer with years of experience in website design but who also knows the ins and outs of local website promotion – just like Shenandoah Websites.
We begin by listening to what our prospective clients have to say about their business, their website, their market competition, goals and what budget they are working with. We will search out your local, state and national online competition and your existing website (if applicable) using a number of methods and analytics tools. If you’re building a new house, one of the first questions a builder will ask is what your budget range is. After learning this, the builder can give you a range of the designs and the materials he would use to build your house so he can keep the project within your budget. You’ll also have to set realistic, obtainable goals, determine a monthly budget and .. wait. If you have tough competition in your market it may take several months to see the results from search optimization.
Optimization Takes Time
We are up front with you from the beginning, you’ll need to be patient. Hitting those top search engine rankings take time. That’s why we offer our local search optimization service over an annual period, with most of our clients choosing to renew our service because as hard and slow as it is to gain those top spots, it’s unfortunately very easy to drop out of sight. Why? The competition knows those top spots are worth money and they’re also investing to reach them!
Your Website Really Matters
Once you’ve reached those top local search engine spots, the importance of your website design really comes into play. Your website layout, design and content matters! If you’re the top website for your target search terms on Google but your website is hard to navigate, then you’ll be investing only to end up losing customers. You really want the combination of a great website with top local search results. In fact, if you have an older website it probably is not built with responsive website code. Responsive code makes your website “friendly” with all sizes of devices, whether its a desktop, laptop, Android, iPhone or any other smartphone. This recently became a larger factor in Google’s search algorithms too. So if your website was designed two or three years ago (or more) it’s time to update it and experience the difference a responsive website makes to your client base.
The Size of Your Target Matters
The size and scope of your target market matters. If you can narrow your service market to a few counties or smaller cities, that can make your searhc optimization project smaller. If the market you serve is the entire country, you’re in for a serious challenge when marketing online. In general, the smaller the target market the easier and more affordable it will be to be found near the top of Google’s results. Generally speaking the larger geographic area you’re looking to corner, the harder and more expensive the project will be. Want to sell real estate in the Shenandoah Valley? It’s not going to be too hard to reach that goal. Want to sell real estate everywhere in the US? Expect to spend a lot of money and likely invest years of work to accomplish. It’s reasonably obvious, optimizing search results for a business or organization serving one city is far easier than a company selling into dozens of major markets. While you might want to start nationwide, instead, try focusing on nearby locations here in Virginia first. Once you reach the top of the results in Virginia or a major city here in the state, then aim to conquer other markets.
How Much Does Local Search Optimization Cost?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all price list for local search optimization. The difficulty and the size of your target market, along with your goal and target industry, are all influencing components. So there are many moving pieces that can affect the search optimization cost of the project.
There are many factors that affect search optimization cost and many depend on the needs of the website being optimized, and the goals of the optimization. Additionally, the target audience must be considered, since its size will affect the amount of work and the spread of funds over various improvements and investments that can be made.
In general, if the target geographical area is small, and the competition is light, search optimization costs are lower. If additional competitors enter the market or the website owner wishes to expand the market, the costs of doing so will probably rise slightly as more effort and time is required to maintain those higher spots on search engine result pages.
When choosing to invest in local search optimization, the costs must be considered just that, an investment. If the correct team is selected to optimize your local small business website, social media campaign and other outreach efforts, you will begin to see the results within a month or two. Most likely the results won’t be huge to begin with, but, like a snowball, they’ll continue to grow.
One of the least beneficial things that can be done is to drop a campaign in a short term where immediate results aren’t returned. Keep with it, those search optimization costs will return to you in the form of real targeted leads, and new clients.
If you’ve been in an optimization campaign for over six months with no results, it may be time to consider a new team to work with. We offer great tools and a great team of search optimization specialists that can get the results you’re looking for at a value that will keep your search optimization cost lower than you’d expect!