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Ugly Dog Media specializes in search engine optimization and can help local businesses in the Michiana area – including South bend, Mishawaka, Bremen, Goshen, and Elkhart – to optimize their websites to get the most out of web-based business prospecting.

SEO needed for Michiana businesses?

Optimizing a website to get first page Google exposure has rapidly grown into an integral component of online marketing. Marketing firms create websites touting their ability to optimize a website for the search engines. But do these web development principles apply to local businesses? After all, small local businesses tend to market themselves through word-of-mouth and signage to attract walk-in customers.

So, does a high visibility website really make a difference when traditional marketing methods have always worked to help people find you?

In a word, YES.

A helpful way to think about one’s web page within a regional marketplace is as a ‘sign-post’ representing you online – where consumers, these days, are spending most of their time. Utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques is a way to assure that your business gets prominent placement in search engine results. People use the internet to support their consumer choices because that is where they are spending time. So if someone wants to buy shoes, they may not plan to buy online, but they may seek out the closest shoe stores before going out to shop. Or they may check out Google maps before shopping, taking note of which businesses are nearby their destination. When they enter ‘shoes south bend’ to the search engine – you’d better hope your business is on Google’s first page of search results.

To fail to make an effort to achieve a prominent place in the search engine results is to stand by, idly, while your local audience – even those who live or work near your business – increasingly overlooks you, and diminishes (and the growing use of digital mobile devices is only accelerating this trend).

The fact is that consumers have become reliant on the conveniences of the internet. They expect to easily know where you are, your hours of operation, and other basic information about your establishment. For the local marketplace, your web presence may be far simpler than for a sophisticated e-commerce site – but it is still important.

SEO tactics may seem esoteric, but they are based on some simple principles. The first rule of thumb is: Don’t try to outsmart the system. Just write quality content that clearly describes your business and what you do. While this may seem self-evident, remember you are writing for a Google algorithm that knows nothing more that the words written on your website. So you may need to state the obvious, such as the city in which your business is located and surrounding communities that it serves. In other words, don’t just say you are in Mishawaka, also say that you serve customers in Granger, South Bend, Niles, Elkhart, and Plymouth.

A casual, conversational tone saying what your business does is a simple rule of thumb. Of course, good quality writing will always be more effective, so if writing is not your forte, get help. It’s worth it. Even if you have a functioning web site in place, strengthening it for SEO principles could go a long way in helping you to marketing your business online.

Ugly Dog Media brings its global marketing experience to the local community, helping Michiana businesses market to the local community and beyond. 

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