Your business's online journey–where to start with local services and products!

This article is focusing on improving a business's local (organic) ranking when offering goods and services to consumers within a certain mile radius.


Local results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location. They're shown in a number of places across Maps and Search. For example, you’ll probably see local results if you search for “Italian restaurant” from your mobile device. Google will try to show you the kind of nearby restaurant that you’d like to visit.
You can improve your business’s local ranking by using Google My Business to claim and update your business information.

Most business owners think their first step in getting seen online is to have a live website and while it's imperative to have a website online these days, the first step to getting seen by potential customers or clients is to obtain your local business listings; Google, Bing, Yelp and Facebook are the four major listings. Here at Hillsdale Web Design, our team of qualified online specialists can obtain those listings for you where you can then maintain and manage them yourself–or we can do it for you!

Online Listings. The next step in getting seen online is to go into our Directory Listing Program where you will be seen Everywhere People Look™. From there, you will want to consider placing online advertisements with Google, Facebook and Instagram. You will also want to maintain a consistent blog or newsletter to keep users informed and to remind them that your business is relevant and your services and products are there when they need them.

Google Ads. Spending hard-earned moola on Google can be expensive. Unfortunately, if you want to beat your competition it's a necessary step. Set aside a budget for this marketing avenue and stick with it! Depending on what your competition is doing, some users see results with a spending budget of $50-100 a month while others need to spend more. From time-to-time, you may find that you can bring your budget down during off seasons but for the most part, plan on a spending a set amount each month.

Blogging and Newsletters. Yes, you need a website in order to blog but you do not necessarily need one to blast out news and updates! Mailchimp still offers free accounts to users who qualify (for now) while Constant Contacts has a manageable service fee. If you already have a website where you currently blog, sometimes that site will also send out email updates you've posted... That said, it's still important to send out monthly news or updates with well-written and relevant content. Whatever you do, keep them consistent as best as you can!

Learn more about Email Marketing.

After that comes a website. Website setup fees range vastly. It all depends on who you hire to help set it up or if you decide to set it up yourself! Here at Hillsdale Web Design, we include a contact page, a custom 404-error page, a privacy policy page, some popup features and forms for free. We also include minor SEO with all site setups! That means we'll connect your site to your Facebook page and Google my Business page (if they've been obtained) plus we’ll make sure your titles and descriptions and alt tags are correctly laid out. If you require a domain and host we can do that too–or you can always manage that yourself! We recommend having a professional set this up and manage it because if something breaks they can go in and help fix it at a discounted rate or free in some cases.

Building a following takes time. Bloggers usually don't see results unless they actively build their following. Most blog sites, websites and social sites do not gain organic traction for a least a year after they've maintained consistency. Advertising online and obtaining listings will help tremendously!

About Websites. With us, your business's site can have the look and feel you desire. We do not offer cookie cutter sites and if you enter into our Exclusive Client program–you won’t need to go anywhere else because we offer everything you need! Every site we create is custom. Some site features require custom codes while other features are available free with an upgrade such as a blog, bookings and forms. It's important to know that if a site has custom code, codes break. Your host site will inevitably have an update and therefore will need maintenance.

We are here to help! We hope this gives you some information to start your journey on getting seen online.


- HWD Team

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