Warning: I’m about to ramble which means this could turn into a rant.
Sometimes I think that being a search engine optimization specialist works against me. Sometimes I wish I was ignorant about how indexing and ranking happens.
Let’s take an example.
I hurt my car (pause for tears – anyone who knows me knows how much I love my car). It’s going to require some body work. Now, I know a few places in the city from driving around and seeing them. Especially the franchise shops like Boyd Autobody (who, by the way, could stand a new web site and some marketing and online reputation management help – but I’ll save that for another post).
I’m sure Boyd does a great job. But I’m also sure that there are LOTS of other great autobody shops that could do the work for a fraction of the cost.
How does one find them?
Most people would go to the search engines and enter a query like “autobody winnipeg”. They’ll probably look at the first few results, make a few calls, get a few quotes and make their decisions.
Me? I get frustrated. I *know* that the people who are ranking are the shops that are probably a little more well off, which means they’re the bigger shops and maybe don’t have the personal touch of the smaller shop. (Total generalization here by the way.)
In my experience, tradesmen who are also business owners do what they do because they love it and they want to genuinely help the customer. They keep their prices low and aren’t necessarily web or marketing savvy. These are the family-type shops and many times, the exact kind of person you want working on your car. Unfortunately, they’re not spending a lot of time thinking about web sites, online marketing and search engine optimization.
So, going back to my original point, when I do a search for “autobody winnipeg” I realize that I am likely missing out on many, many fabulous autobody experts who would probably do a fabulous, detail-oriented job fixing my car for probably a good price. Unfortunately, because I’m also an online snob who tends to not look at other advertising places (ie. yellow pages) I’m not likely to find these people at all.
Moral of my story? Well, first of all woe is me for knowing SEO (haha, okay I’m kidding). Really, my advice for all businesses, big and small, is to have a web site (even if it is very basic with just a couple pages) and do some simple SEO on it. It is an extremely important and vital marketing tool for your business.
Okay I’ll spell it out. In my not-so-humble and completely biased opinion it is by far and away THE most important marketing tool for your business.
Bottom line: GET ONLINE.