I thought I would share something with you that my wife (who is the perfect example of the target local audience in this example) shared with me the other day. I do my best to pay attention to the things that she gripes about with websites, especially local ones. I love the local market, and am always trying to do my best to educate local business owners (and their marketing companies) so that they can do better. Here is a great example of what NOT to do with your local landing page or website. Whatever you do, and I mean above all, DO NOT MAKE ME CLICK ENTER to get into your site, especially if you are not offering “18+” kind of content. I have watched my wife bounce off a page because of this (and have done so my self). It gets worse ….
For one reason, and one reason only (aka the sake of this post), I went ahead and clicked through the “Enter” crap landing page. Of course, I found this lovely page below. Let’s not even talk about the ugly URL (that is not the point of this post). The page that opened up auto loaded a video (that took FOREVER) and ALSO played music in the background. Um, yea. Don’t do this. Please for the love of all that is holy and good don’t do this.
Several months ago we collaborated with Nifty Marketing to create the perfect landing page graphic to help educate the people behind websites like the one in today’s example. The kind of website you see above, is representative of a problem I see with a lot of website builders that are offered as “easy solutions” to “be found on Google with ease” (even the crappy “as seen on TV ones” as of late). The truth is, it is going to take some work, and you might as well do it right from the beginning.
Check out this graphic to give you a better idea of what your local landing page should look like. Your customers (like my wife) will thank you for doing it right.
Breaking it down for you —
Individual Location Page: This is especially helpful for ranking better with your geo-targeted phrases and letting the search engines know exactly what location that page is dedicated to.
Calls To Action: You want the lead right? A simple form for those that don’t like to call, but also for those who don’t like wasting a ton of time filling out a long complicated form should do. Typically — Name, Email, Phone Number & Description should do here. Think about the forms YOU like filling out (or don’t like).
Map/Navigation: Always helpful to include a Map and driving directions to your business on your main page. I always encourage linking it directly to your Google Maps listing.
Testimonial: This always adds to the credibility of who you are and what you represent as a company. It also adds great unique content to a page that is usually pretty targeted type content.
Service Location Info: Use this space to briefly let people know what it is you do. They don’t want to have to click, click, and click again (or click stuff off, see above graphics) to find the information they are looking for.
Links to Review Sites: Let people know where they can find you online. Rather than asking people to review you on Yelp or Google+ Local (they might not even have an account at those places) if they see you are listed on one of the services they DO use, they are more likely to give you a review.
Trust Symbols: Depending on your industry (doctor, dentist, chiropractor, lawyer etc.) you will have industry-specific trust symbols you can use. Then there is the stuff that crosses over to every industry, BBB, Made in USA, Secure Website, etc. adds trust. You can always find a way to add a trust symbol.
Pictures of Staff: This helps people know you are real. And that, plain and simple, builds trust.
Let us know if you are a small business owner that needs some help. We only point this stuff out to educate and help. Hopefully this post does just that. Thanks for taking the time to come by and read. Please feel free to share other things in the comments of what bugs you when it comes to local SMB landing/home pages.