If you’re in business for yourself, but find that you can’t compete with the prices other businesspeople are selling what you want to sell on eBay, your best option is to attract regional (as in local) clients only. Local works, and people like local. Ask any local business owner.
The best way to attract local clients from the internet is still by means of a traditional web site; here’s how to go about that:
1. Register a domain.
The domain can be a dot-com, dot-net or dot-org. It doesn’t really matter because Google (which I’ll talk more about in a moment) will index it the same way since you will be ‘regionalizing’ it.
When hosting the domain, make sure to use a web host that’s within the same country you’re doing business it (ex: if in the US, use a host provider with servers in the US).
One of the easiest places to get a domain and host it all in one fell swoop is DreamHost. If you’re the skittish type and don’t want to spend any money until you’re sure you like it, don’t worry, they have a free 2-week trial.
And yes, hosting a site costs money. Nine measly bucks a month. Slightly more than the coins you’d find in the cushions of your couch, but nothing that will put you in the poorhouse.
2. One web page, business-card/résumé style
Your web site only needs one web page, listed in biz-card/résumé fashion. What this means is something that lists your name, a contact phone number, an email address and a brief to-the-point list of the services you provide.
Need an idea for what your web site should look like? Pick up any advertising flyer you get in the mail, find a full-page ad, and make your site look like that. Yes, really. It works.
"I know nothing about web design."
Use a blog platform and it will be just like using a document editor. And yes, DreamHost has easy built-in blog options just for that purpose, so you don’t need to know web design. All you have to do is create one blog entry, and that’s your one page. Simple and easy.
This is what will attract local clients more than anything else. Google (((hearts))) regional-style web pages; it makes it easier for them to index because you’ve giving them pertinent regional information up front. To ‘regionalize’ your web site, all that’s required is a "serving" line at the top (whether in header or sidebar) of your web page.
A serving line looks like this:
Serving the greater [location] area including [cities] and surrounding areas.
If I were to use my locale, Tampa Florida, the line would look like this:
Serving the greater Tampa Bay Area including Tampa, St. Petersburg,
Clearwater and surrounding areas.
When Google ‘sees’ this, they know what area you’re serving, and given that Google is really hot on the idea of serving pages that are more personalized these days, more locals will be seeing your site compared to non-locals – which is exactly what you want.
The simple formula works the best
The formula is: All your biz info in brief short terms on one page with easy-easy access to contact info, all in text.
Images can be used for a company logo and product/service photos, but everything else is text, text, text for fast indexing and fast-load pages to accommodate people using mobile browsers (or really old computers).
Customers like this as does Google, so don’t deviate. Stick to the simple formula.
Do you have your own biz web site for your local area? What’s worked for you?
Feel free to post a comment or two to share with others. Many want to start their own site but don’t really know what would work well on a local level.
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