A few weeks ago I had my carpets steam cleaned. I used the same guy I’ve always used; I keep his business card handy. When he came to the house, we got to talking and he asked what I did for a living and I told him “online marketing”.
Then I asked him how business was for him. He said that things were “slowing down a bit.” I was surprised to hear that, since he’d always done such a good job for me, at a very reasonable price.
Then he told me he didn’t have a website. A-ha!
With 97% of consumers using the internet to find local businesses, it’s no surprise that his business is in decline. Sure, he might get a few calls from those searching within an online directory or a listing service like Yelp or Angie’s list, but in order to really get found by consumers, he’s going to need a website, preferably one with a blog.
Having a website is one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways of marketing your business and yet a surprising 46% of all small businesses don’t have a website.
How Much Business Are You Missing?
If you’re like my carpet cleaning friend and don’t have a website, here are some quick ways to find out how much potential business you could be missing out on.
Google Keyword Tool
Google’s free keyword tool (you need a GMAIL account to use it) can give you a rough idea of how much search traffic there is for a particular phrase. Just open up the tool and type in a phrase that describes what your business is. Include your city and make sure to click “EXACT” as the match type. This will give you a ballpark idea of how many searches are occurring in Google each month.
As you can see above, the lone keyword “carpet cleaning portland” produces 880 searches each month. And while some of those searches are probably occurring in Portland, Maine, this is only ONE keyword. There are many long-tail keywords that could produce leads, not to mention all of the broad match variations of the phrase such as, “carpet cleaning in portland, oregon”, or “local carpet cleaning portland”. Clicking the “broad match” box reveals as many as 4,400 searches each month. That’s a lot of potential business.
Run An Adwords Campaign
Sometimes the keyword tool estimates are far from accurate, so a good way to actually see real search data is to run an adwords campaign. You can run a campaign even if you don’t have a website, using a hosted business page.
The number of impressions tells you how many times your ad appeared next to organic search results, so you’ll concrete data of how many times people are searching for phrases that could potentially lead to business for you.
The example above shows the number of impressions for the keywords “affordable fertility” and “affordable ivf” to be 9 and 60 respectively. This data is extracted from one week’s worth of an adwords campaign.
Of course the only real way to know for sure how much traffic there is, is to go ahead and setup a website. Do it right and you’ll be capturing lots of new business that your competitors used to get. Then you can funnel more visitors to your site through your blog, social media, and email marketing. (Or you can call me and I’ll do it for you :))
Do you know of a small business that doesn’t have a website? Do you need help in finding out how much potential business you could be getting?