15 Tips for Local Business’ With Small Budgets

My Latest Project

There is a terrible gap in service web services for companies with a budget smaller than $500 a month. That doesn’t mean all companies charging that or more are good. But from experience I’ve seen if the company does good work they will be charging upwards of $500 a month. And that leaves all beginners or really small companies out of the picture. And that is why I’ve been working on my latest project a free DIY course I call, “Local Web Marketing Guide”. My goal is to teach small business owners, their staff or someone they hire how to do it themselves. That way they can make enough money to hire the right team and or have a good footing to do it themselves ongoing. See my course unfold here.

Asana Web Tool & App – Social Productivity at Its Best

Asana with Google Calendar sync is my productivity secret weapon. I’m so much more productive with a to do list I can share and use on my desktop and mobile phone as well as plan my tasks by day.

Things I can do with Asana

  • Assign tasks to people in your “company” by emailing them and adding x@mail.asana.com in the CC
  • Assign different teammates to sub tasks
  • Assign due dates to tasks and sync them with Google Calender
  • New calender view lets you see your team tasks by due date, drag and drop to reschedule
  • Attach things from your computer, Google Drive or DropBox
  • Your “MyTasks” area is only viewable by you unless you share a task and then just that task is shared
  • You can copy a task
  • And finally it integrates with almost every other useful app

And we have only scratched the surface. I’ve tried tools like BaseCamp and Trello. Nothing compares to Asana. Give it a try, it’s even free.

Product or Service Pages – The Low Hanging Fruit

Small local websites typically don’t need many pages. Average is about 10. The number 1 place small business fail is having 1 page for all their services. Instead you can have that page if you want but picking the top 5+ services you have and making it it’s own page as well. This will give you way more bang for your buck. Especially if you have some sort of good website rankings already. Google lets you leverage your website authority so when you post a new page it can start competing right away. That is why I call it the low hanging fruit.

low hanging fruit
Image Sourced

When we ran the plumber in Boise through Google Ad Planner we came up with a whole list of top searched industry terms. For instance here are 3 pages I would make right off the bat if I where a plumber.

Example service pages if you were a plumber in Boise:

  • 24 hour plumber Boise
  • Toilet repair Boise
  • Basement waterproofing Boise
  • Etc…

Biggest mistakes people make are

  • Not having a page for every service you offer
  • Not knowing what services people are searching for

Identify and write at least 5 service pages.

Learn Advertising From The Old Yellow Pages

While listening to a Pod cast between Dave Ramsey and Seth Godin, Godin tells this story about Yellow Pages.

100 years ago the Yellow Pages came out as a partnership between AT&T and R.R. Donnelly. To get regular businesses that don’t normally think about marketing to buy ads they gave them a yellow phone, whose number would be connected w/ their “free” ad. Three months later they would come back to remove the phone and the shop owners would resist because “that’s the phone that rings all the time!” This story highlights that small business owners think “How do I avoid pain?” instead of “How do I go for gold?” This shift in storytelling built a business that, over time, became worth $1 trillion!

Text sourced
Seth goes on to talk about how small business owners don’t know how to buy advertising. That is why this no risk try before you buy approach was so powerful.

Now the traditional yellow pages is dead. The online directories and Yellow Pages are still alive but not what the used to be. I’ve had several friends try YP.com adverting to find out no one was there. And a few others say it works great for them in their industry.
Yellow Pages Only Dumpster

If only they would take a lesson from their old playbook. I would love to see directories include in their contract a number of guaranteed visitors to their listings or number of tracked calls. Or a 30 day trial period. If the service is good and they can visually see it working then they will keep it up.

Keyword Phrase + Location = Local Keyword

A website that shows up high in search results pleases both people and search engine robots. And your website is the 1 thing you have full control over when trying to rank well. Google practically tells you what pages need written with their Google Keyword Planner.

Keywords + Locality

In webinar 1 we use Google’s Ad Planner to mine all the words people are searching online that we want to get business from. We call them keywords and keyword phrases. However when your business is local most of those findings are missing the last ingredient of success, where the service will be offered. We’ve all seen the generic website copy that doesn’t help anyone.

Generic Website Copy

Generic Website Copy

If I’m a plumber and the word plumber is searched on average 500k a month across the entire internet I don’t want but the nearby searches. And the best way to do that is pair the keyword plumber with the metro I am targeting, say Boise.

“Plumber Boise”

Would then be the new keyword phrase to be used. It’s also known as the exact match keyword and should be used at least once on a page. This works for your main pages and is always best to pick a city over something like a regional term. So I would go with Minneapolis over Twin Cities. Better to be a little two specif then to broad and get nothing.

Most common mistakes businesses make

  • Not pairing their keywords with locality
  • Thinking people actually search by: zip codes, nick names, counties, state, and broad terms. It’s fine to mention them sometimes but it’s not what you need to target.
  • Going to broad

Keywords can also have modifiers

Reordering or adding conjoining 1 conjoining word in the mix it typically okay. So plumbers (in) Boise is just fine. My rule of thumb is 3 instances of a keyword with a conjoining word and only 1 of it exactly without the conjoining word.

The fact is Ad planner will tell you what people are searching most, and that typically is the nearest biggest city/metro name. So if you are 10 miles out from Atlanta then you would still use Atlanta for the majority of your optimization because that is how the people are searching. Feel free to test this for yourself but trust me I have and it stinks waiting for traffic that will never come unless you change your targeting. We’ll get to what to do about nearby towns when we cover locations pages.

In the next few sections you will apply this location and keyword matching as you handle each type of page you need on your website.

What web pages you’ll need

  • Home page
  • Service pages
  • Location pages
  • If applicable (contact us, testimonials, gallery, etc…)

Image thumbs up Source