Business owners often claim, “I don’t need a digital marketing strategy. My web developer already does that for me.” While having a website is necessary for local businesses, it shouldn’t replace a fully integrated online marketing strategy.

Did you know that, on average, only about 2 percent of consumers who visit your website will convert into a lead?

That means you’re missing out on around 98 percent of potential sales or leads.

Read on to learn exactly what your website is doing (and what it cannot do) for your business.

The Importance of a Website

A website is essential to almost any business. It’s built to display content that can help consumers learn what they need to know about your business. In addition, it serves as a communication with search engines, so that your business will show up when a potential customer is searching online. This is often referred to as SEO (search engine optimization). A business’ website should be built with keyword rich content that helps their website show up in relevant searches.

Although web development and website design are an important aspect of marketing, there’s so much more to it than just having a website.

Make Sure Your Site Is Optimized for Search

Like I mentioned before, in addition to displaying important information, your site needs to be able to communicate with the search engines. This happens when a site is ‘optimized for search’ or SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” SEO includes optimizing content so that search engines know what searches your website is relevant for. Most sites are built for organic SEO, which means they are trying to get your business to show up for certain, general keywords.

For instance, if you are a dentist, “dentist” would be one of your keywords. Organic SEO would then include the word “dentist” in headings and paragraphs so that search engines know to display your website in searches for the word “dentist.”

Another optimization that a business needs to consider is local SEO. Local SEO, as referred to as local search marketing, is when a business shows up in the local section of a search results page, with other local businesses. This strategy should be at the forefront of any local business’s marketing strategy. It’s great to show up for specific keywords, but it’s even better to show up for those keywords and in your location.

Local search marketing is about more than showing up for keywords. It’s building your business’s entire online presence with local intent, so consumers can find your business when they search for your industry with a specific location. If built correctly, your site can be optimized for local and organic SEO, but sometimes a website will need additional help ranking in the local search results.

What Other Strategies Should You Consider?

Here is a list of some of the other strategies your business should be considering, as part of a complete approach in conjunction with your website:

  1. Local citation building
  2. Citation cleanup
  3. Reputation management (including replying to online reviews)
  4. Paid advertising
  5. Building your business’s social media presence
  6. Creating and claiming pages such as Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Local and Yahoo! Local
  7. Developing and executing a social media strategy
  8. Local link building

Your site can’t do all these things for you, and you may need help implementing the strategies that make the most sense for your business. When you have a complete approach to digital marketing, you’re making sure your business is always part of online consideration.

Here are some digital marketing statistics just in case you still think you can get away with having only a website and no other online strategy:

  • 92% of consumers read and trust online reviews
  • 51% of on-the-go searches have local intent
  • According to MOZ, on-page (website) signals account for only 14% of what search engines look at when deciding how to rank your business in local searches, so if you only have a website, you are neglecting the other 74%!

No matter who’s taking care of your digital marketing, make sure their strategy is well-rounded and that it includes more than just a website.

Susan Malo is a Vancouver-based Digital Marketing Consultant with RevLocal.  RevLocal is a Google Premier Partner and provides personalized digital marketing solutions to businesses across the U.S. and Canada. Susan can be contacted at smalo@revlocal.com.