Even if your business is literally the only one of its kind in town, you need a business website. More people are relying on the Internet for doing business than ever, and phone books are virtually worthless. Even without much competition, you will need to have your website built properly, otherwise, you may never be found by potential customers.
If you’re a sole proprietor there’s a good chance that you’re not competing globally. That’s no reason to settle for second best. It’s not enough to have a website that looks good, it has to be search engine friendly, too. If you want your website to be the one people see first, you will have to implement the three most important aspects of optimization: content, keyword placement, and analytics.
Your website won’t go anywhere with a bullet list of services, a picture, and contact information. People expect to be greeted “as they walk in the door,” and your website should reflect that. Tell them a little bit about yourself and your business. Tell them why they should choose your business. Sell yourself, and you have a great opportunity for keyword replacement.
Keywords are the key element to getting found on the search engines. If your page doesn’t have the words that people are looking for in your niche, you won’t be found. Keyword placement is a delicate art, you have to know how many times you can use them, and you have to know where the best places to put them are. Knowing this can make the difference between being the top of page two or the bottom of page one. Where would you rather be?
Analytic tools help a great deal with that. These tools will calculate your keyword density, tell you how well the search engines rate your site, how many backlinks from other websites that you have, and many other bits of information that will help you improve your website over time. Of course, you have to know what all of this data means, and how it compares to an ideal data set.
All of this is probably outside of most independent business owners’ skill set. Besides that, if you have time enough to keep up with your web page, chances are, you’re not working enough in your own idiom. The good thing is that website maintenance can be outsourced, and the trade-off is completely worth it in terms of increasing your business.