This question has troubled every Single and Medium business owner(SMB) for years. Almost every SMB at one point has spent money on digital marketing for their business. After having to go through different mediums and trying various service providers the question still allures. Can I do marketing for my business or shall I have someone experienced do it for me? Again the question, if so what do I choose between website vs business listing?
So what is better; website vs listings? Now when you walk up to a small or a medium business you will probably find all sorts of answers businesses are happy with their current digital marketer or their local listing provider. Some had their hands burnt and swore to never invest again in the digital growth of their business.
In a layman language, when you look at search engine optimization(SEO) in general; it is divided into Website SEO and Local SEO(listings).
So why is a website important? Why is the emphasis on having a website so critical?. In simple terms, websites help your potential customers understand the nature of your business, without them having to physically visit the store. The purpose of having a website has changed over the years with SEO, Google Crawlers, Blogs, and Content.
When you talk about the business website would you prefer a business website which has a good look and feel, or do you want a website which shows up better on different search engines and brings you better search results? In today’s world, small business websites thrive on content marketing and social media interactions.
How does Google understand which websites to show when searched with a particular keyword? They have something called as crawlers or spiders; when you have relevant content on your website Google’s algorithm crawls through the content and on the basis of original and updated information, Google will rank your website in local and global searches.
Now there are multiple website builders; major ones being Wix, Weebly, Wordpress, and Godaddy. These website builders might help you with an online presence, but the question still lingers; i.e. is that all you want? You will also want a website which helps you with your SEO.
This is where service providers like RedTim come to the fore. RedTim comes with an auto SEO feature through an in-built patent-pending technology which creates unique URLs and Web Pages with every content update. These Web Pages when they start indexing act as a catalyst to your website and search results.
RedTim not only helps create a website but also helps you with the discovery of the local business on different search engines. So the next time when you are contemplating what is best for your website do remember it is the discovery is all that matters. The same is being done by RankBrain, and others too.
Now that we understand how the Website SEO works, let’s look at the Local SEO side of it. What is Local SEO? What are Local Listings? Website SEO focuses on the website, whereas the Local SEO focuses on your local search, basis on your physical location. Why is Local SEO important? When searched for local businesses the search engines tend to show the businesses in and around 50-60 mile radius from the search area. The search engines have the tendency to pull up the directories which match the search terms. When these crawlers find the most accurate information, they bring the business on top.
So when searching with a particular keyword, what determines the local search for these directories? i.e Name, Address and Phone number(NAP). NAP being the most vital parameter when the search engines search for the businesses. Online business listings; the more the better for you, considering they are accurate.
Getting listed on the business directories in today’s world is not rocket science. You have different services who get your business listed on different business directories. These business directories either list your business manually or automatically, these manual services take some time to get your business listed as the name suggests they are done manually.
The automatic directory listing provider does the job for you fairly quick. There are plenty of automatic directory listing providers like Yext, Synup, and BigLee. Now depends on what do you want for your small business will you want an automatic directory submission or do you want manual directory submission?
You will also have to understand there are a lot of service providers in the market who claim to be automatically submitting the listings, how do you distinguish? One of the simpler ways of doing that is when the service provider charges for very listing submitted it is a manual service provider if they charge in bulk they are automatic directory submissions.
The automatic directory submissions are overpriced in my view, considering the time it cuts down they are the only ones which make sense. BigLee comes in with a breath of fresh air where they offer almost 50 automatic directory submissions for $250/year. While Synup comes at $300, and Yext does the same at $500 per year.
After going over the website SEO and Local SEO some might still want to understand what is Google’s role in this. How many of your use another search engine apart from Google? I mean I even forgot when was the last time I used another search engine apart from Google. Google has a feature called Google My Business which lets you create a google listing for free and for verification, sends a postcard to your business address.
Only when you verify the address with the four-digit pin mentioned on the postcard, is when your listing is verified and published online. You will also have to understand that Google My Business is free, please note that next time you get a call from someone claiming to be from Google please ignore that call and understand Google will never call you unless you ask them to call you.
Out of all the search engines, Google is the most prolific of them. According to research by BigLee, they found out across the globe about 90% search for the keywords happens on only Google. While we were talking so much about the Website SEO and Local SEO for website SEO you need to have relevant and proper content and the SEO plays a major part so you the question again do you want a website which has a beautiful design or the one that brings you more customers?
With the Website SEO, you are doing your job considering Google will start indexing your website and help you show up better on the different search engines. Whereas if you look at the Local listings part of it you are dependent on a lot of external factors for you to rank better on the search results.
Next time when you are confused with what do you have to do? Website SEO or Local SEO always remember your website! your business! No one can write better about your business than yourself and with services like RedTim they make your life a lot easier with their automatic SEO functionality. Local SEO might give you the results you need however they are completely dependent on the service you choose, someone like BigLee will get you your desired outcome, however, you are dependent on a lot of different factors for the local SEO to start working for your business.
If you are running on a tight budget and cannot afford to spend a lot on the search marketing for your business, you can always choose someone like RedTim who can get your website up and be running for a mere $15/month. If the budget doesn’t bother you always have Local SEO and Website SEO.
*Co-Author- Rameez Shaik - LinkedIn
Has years of experience in helping SMEs with Local-SEO.