3 Huge Reasons you need a website with good SEO in a small town like La Grande Oregon
To start, here is a little housekeeping:
Websites are bits of code housed on the internet that provide internet users information, services, and products. Think of the internet like a magazine and a website as a catalog page within it.
In layman's terms, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of modifying your website and backend code to make sure that when someone types a query into the search bar, your website shows up as one of the first results.
SERP or Search Engine Results Page is what a search engine shows you when you search a query in the search bar. This can include paid ads, website addresses, e-commerce items, etc.
Now, With millions of websites on the internet and thousands of new sites being published daily, let's face it, you are not the only one selling something online. Even if you are not selling online, you still use a website to promote your brand and build brand equity. This doesn't mean you should give up; in fact, after reading the following reasons, you will know why those big numbers aren't so scary and what you can do to make sure you at least have a website with some sort of SEO, so let's get into it.
Reason 1: Are we all in the same boat?
I will let you in on a little secret that isn't well known in the business world, and that is, you aren't competing against the whole world if you have a website on the internet. Without getting into the semantics of Search engines and SERPs, let me explain why this is the case when you type a query into the search bar.
Given the current digital landscape, more people are on the internet than ever before, and the same can be said of how many people are on Google Maps. Given these facts and the amount of people online, we can infer that the ones behind the code of search bars have one goal, and that is: to give you the most accurate and relevant information with no extra information.
What better way to provide you with relevant results when you type groceries in the search bar than to provide you with grocery stores in your immediate vicinity rather than a grocery store that is 100+ miles away. This concept is called Local SEO, which, all said and done, means you are more likely to be competing against your local competitors rather than businesses on the entirety of the internet.
We are all on the same boat, but there are multiple boats on the ocean, which provides some comfort for the business owners in a small towns like La Grande Oregon.
Reason 2: Websites can provide profit fast
There are quite a few factors to consider when predicting the profit a website could provide you, but let's do some basic calculations. To create a functional and branded website, you can expect to pay upwards of $5000. Before you judge the price, bear with some calculations.
Website domains, on average, cost $12 per year. Website editors (the most efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly option for building a website) can run from $17-$35 per month. Down the middle of that is $312. Website maintenance costs are usually $50-$100 per month.
Now, add $2500 (design/creation time) to $924 (software/hosting, maintenance, etc.). This puts you at $3424 on the low end with no profit to the developers for the first year and $924 for the preceding years. Again that may seem like a big number until you realize that you may only need to revamp your website once every three years to keep a competitive advantage. Also, your website will generate leads and conversions the whole time it is up (as long as you are marketing it to its maximum potential).
Next, let's run the numbers for how much a website can expect to bring in in a month. Given that your traffic can depend on your industry, among other factors, these numbers can vary. Using information gathered by Hubspot, we can infer that, on average, you can expect a good website with good SEO to bring in around 1,000 leads a month. Let's say your product runs at $20 per sale on average, and you have a 10% profit margin. Then, let's say you convert only 10% of your leads to conversions (sales).
With the numbers above, you are making as low as $200 (10% conversions at $20/sale and 10% profit margin) and as high as $1600(80% conversions at $20/sale and 10% profit margin) per month. With those numbers in mind, it will take between a year and a half to two months to recoup the cost of the first year of owning a website.
It is crucial to run your numbers before making this type of investment, but if you hit the higher end of those estimates, you are looking at recouping your investment in 2-3 months and making roughly $1600 in pure profit every month after!
Reason 3: Small town = small competition
It makes sense that you won't have a lot of direct competition in a small town. The low competition can be your advantage. Let's say there are roughly 80 other businesses in your local area defined under the same industry. Your business name will be unique, and your product category could have approximately ten direct competitors.
That said, Google displays ten results on each page, and it is known that most users click on results on the first page. With this logic, if you have a website indexed with good SEO and roughly ten direct competitors, it only makes sense to have a website. By having a website with good SEO in a small town, you are highly likely to get first spot, also known to be the most popular site in search results.
One thing worth mentioning about search results is that if you have strong competition or are in a very competitive industry, you may also have to combat PPC(pay per click ads), which generally always appear on the first spots. PPC ads also counteract the numbers above, meaning ten results with two ads means only the top 8 business websites show up below the PPC ads. This shows the necessity of at the very least having a website and, second to that, having SEO that gets at least on the first page if not above some other businesses in the results.
One last factor that could be considered another secret is that you can bypass SEO only for local customers with Google My Business. Suppose you have a storefront set up and verified. In that case, you can get a google my business listing, which will show the closest business location to you with a Google My Business depending on your search query and regardless of your SEO—effectively bypassing the need to have great SEO on your website and getting your website on the first page.
One caveat to this is your website will only be limited to locational queries meaning you could never reach an audience outside your current market. In both scenarios of high and low competition, it is necessary to at the very least have a website. The higher competition areas will almost guarantee that you would need an SEO expert or Marketing agency to have a website that draws traffic and provides you with a steady income stream aside from or reinforcing your physical business presence.
If you read through all that, then congratulations, you are now 10x better off than your competition if you are in a small town like La Grande, Oregon. On the other hand, you may be just as confused about websites and SEO as you were initially, which is completely ok! It's ok to be overwhelmed because if you are any good at business, you will know that you can't be great at everything, so here are some pointers when finding help with the website development and SEO, as well as other good general business tips:
Ask yourself what your goal is.
Plan ahead. (don't force your dev team to make something great in half the time)
Do your research.
Find a local business if possible because there is no reason not to support your community!
Run the numbers or find someone who can.
At the very least, do a pros and cons analysis of the businesses you are looking to invest in to help you with your issue.
Attempt to find someone good at more than one thing because there is no sense in complicating your communication and spending. (i.e., I have to talk to my website guy to do this and my SEO guy to do that, and my marketer to do something else)
Lastly, and most importantly, keep in mind that a website is only one single piece of the marketing puzzle, and you cannot finish a 10 piece puzzle with only one piece
Leave it to the professionals so you can be the best at what you do without reinventing the wheel on top of running a business.
DDRC Marketing knows what needs to be done for a business to see a return on investment, has the professionals to get the work done right, the software to create it efficiently, and communication matched by few.