The Forgotten Phone Book

How do your customers find you?

One of the things I love about my job is getting to know small business owners and finding out how their businesses work.  It never ceases to amaze me the interesting niches so many of you have found and the interesting clienteles you serve.

When I started in business there were tons of businesses named “AAA Construction”, or “AAAA Window Treatment”.  Business owners did this because they wanted to be sure they came up first in the Yellowpages.  The difference between first position and 8th position on the page could be THE difference in their business.

Today we have a similar problem. While customers don’t actually pick up the yellow pages anymore, they do go to Google, and in a lot of ways they use it exactly like they used to use the Yellow Pages.  Think about it, how would you find a septic pumping service?  You’d probably go to Google and type “septic pumping”.

Google might help you out with a few local results, but I think most of us would then go to a better search “septic pumping Sutton Massachusetts” in my case.  That is most likely going to give me a list of people who do septic pumping in Sutton.

An interesting thing happens though.  While Chase/Harris Septic is located in Sutton, the first company with a search result is Wayland Septic.  Wayland is about 45 miles from here.  Why is that?  Because Wayland Septic has spent the time to optimize for the keywords “Septic pumping Sutton MA” via this page.

The local company is showing up #7 on that search page.  Does that affect their business?  Do you think Wayland Septic is getting more business due to their search position?

Of course, on both accounts.

Try these searches:

Dog Grooming Worcester, MA – See Dog DayzGrooming is either 1 or 2 in the actual organic listings (there may be a directory site or two above).

Buy Carnival Glass – this is a tough worldwide market with thousands of competitive sites – but CarnivalGlass.com comes in at #2. right after EBay.

Now think about what other terms your customers might be using to try to find you, and instead may be finding your competitors.  Are you missing out?

If you own a small business, and haven’t optimized your site for local search, you’re missing out on business. Contact me and I can get your phone ringing with new business.

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