Over the years that I’ve been doing SEO for small business it has become obvious that many small business owners equate a first page ranking for important search terms as a gateway to wealth. In their thinking, if you’re at the top of the first page then you can’t help but make money.
Now that might be true if you’re selling a product that can be shipped anywhere in the country … or the world … because then the number of people who might buy your product is huge.
But what if the product that you’re selling is limited by the area that you can service or the size of the population that you can service.
What are your real SEO numbers
To help make my point let me tell you about a mechanic that we built a website for. He was a little unhappy when he realised that he wasn’t getting a huge number of visitors to his website even though the basic SEO that we had done on his website meant that he ranked well in Google.
So we sat down and talked about it with him and I outlined to him basically what you will read below.
In most cases people who want to have their motor vehicle repaired or serviced are not going to travel large distances to get to a mechanic. They are going to be looking for some close by … in their own town or suburb and, after some discussion, our client understood that the number of people who were looking for his service was limited to the number of people in our town.
And because our town is not really compact but tends to sprawl along the coastline there will be some people who might only take their vehicle to a mechanic at their end of town.
So right there are some limitations on the number of people who are going to visit this client’s website.
Then there are the people who prefer to take their car to the dealer who sold them the car. Rightly or wrongly these people think that warranty work, servicing and repairs are best done by the dealer who sells their brand of vehicle.
Those people are not going to come looking for our client’s website because they “know” where they should take their vehicle.
There are also the people who have used another mechanic in the past and were happy with the service. Those people are going to go back to that mechanic and are unlikely to visit our client’s website.
Others may have seen a mechanic advertising on TV or they have asked a friend or acquaintance for a recommendation and those people are unlikely to visit our client’s website either.
And finally there are the people who just don’t need a mechanic right now. Their car is running fine and who wants to go looking for a mechanic when there is nothing wrong with their car.
So, when you take all those people out of an equation that starts with a population of say 80,000 people you don’t have all that many people left who are looking for car repairs on any given day.
Should you forget having a website
But does that mean you don’t really need a website if you’re running a service-based industry that is limited by geographic restrictions?
Absolutely not … you still need a website because, while the numbers might be low on a daily basis, they can quickly add up to quite a few when taken over a longer period of time.
Knowing your SEO numbers can save you money
So thinking about the numbers is very important when it comes to SEO. Don’t be fooled by the thought that a website takes your business to the world. Of course it does but the world isn’t looking for your business.
When you’re thinking about going beyond basic SEO you need to consider the cost involved and balance that with the genuine returns you might get on your investment