Thanet Star

Profiting from Websites in Thanet

To successfully create a profitable and local online presence one needs to have some understanding of "local search" what it is and how you can take advantage of it.

A problem for small business owners is the irrelevance of much of the traffic that their website gets. A lot of such sites get more global visitors than the local and so the Return on Investment (ROI) seemed to remain low. The conversion rate had been too poor and so any sales were few and far between.

It does not have to be this way.

Local Traffic, Local Sales

Our article by Markus Skupeika "Local Search Engine Marketing To Improve Your Local Business" introduces how to get only local clients from your website.

A well placed and relivant Thanet or Kent site could, with the right kind of effort, benefit by gaining mostly Thanet traffic. You might like to look at the interview with Aaron Wall author of SEO Book on the subject of local search here. (Read what the wikipedia has to say here).

Thanet Traffic is Getting Harder to Get

However, as we revealed recently ("Local Search: More sites but the same traffic") the competition for local traffic is getting stiffer.

Using search for "Thanet" as a baseline I asked Google trends for the searches carried out by people in the UK for the terms "Thanet", "Broadstairs", "Margate" and "Ramsgate".

Search Trends for Thanet

See the latest version of the results here.

That means you are going to have to work smarter than before to enjoy the same level of success as you used to get.

Where is the Thanet web Traffic going?

Thanet related web search was at the same level (or slightly lower) in 2008 than back in 2004 but in during 2007 and into 2008 the number of Thanet blogs has exploded.

Thanet blogs (such as this one) are filling an otherwise unmet need for Thanet based people who are searching for Thanet based content and so they draw the lions share of the Thanet web traffic.

Take a look, for example, at the page and visitor stats for Thanet Star. That line of strong growth is typical of successful blogs.

This means that Thanet and Kent businesses hoping to gain additional brand recognition or increase sales with Thanet people through websites must compete with popular and interesting blogs and forums.

Read our article "Local Search: More sites but the same traffic" to discover ways that you can compete for this traffic.

The Two Answers

There are two answers to this problem - the hard one and the easy one. Let's take a look at these answers and what they can mean for your business.

The Hard Answer

Compete directly for the traffic.

No one is going to tell you this is an easy thing to do (unless they are lying or talking hot air). Competing for traffic is hard. It requires that you take the current niche winners on at their own game.

Part of that "game" is breaking (and often making) Thanet's less well publicised "local news". In our article "Do You Want To Break the News in Thanet?" I take a look at how exactly you can do that.

You may also wish to get hold of a few secret tools to help you such as the Thanet News Letters list which provides press releases, news updates and insights you might have otherwise missed.

Additionally you may need to have a look at "Joined Up Blogging", "On Topics and Staying On Them" and "Free Adverts for all Thanet Bloggers" all of which will provide valuable information for your attempt to compete for the ever scarcer Thanet web traffic.

The results will be good and long lasting (so long as you remain authentic and met a need) but can you afford this method?

The cost is time - lots of time.

The results will not come right away. You can expect to invest a year or more building your reputation as a solid news and information source before you see the levels of local traffic that might provide the profit you seek.

You will need to ensure that you have something interesting to say a number of times a week, you will also need to take the time to engage with readers and other blog writers (a lot of early traffic will be other bloggers checking you out) and you will need to make sure you present a suitable image without letting all that time impact on your other business concerns.

It's not for everyone.

The Easy Answer

Partner with a winner.

Rather than try to compete with naturally successful sites and blogs you can position yourself to reap the benefits of their success.

By sponsoring blogs (such as this one) you can place you brand where the traffic already is.

Read more about how to sponsor Thanet Star

Take a look below at a fairly typical set graph of growth that a site like Thanet Star enjoys despite the dropping levels of local search traffic.

The cost here is a modest investment of money plus perhaps a few simple discounts, samples or demonstrations that can be offered to readers (or kept by blog owners). This need be nothing more than a free taster session or a few discount vouchers or a little surplus stock (which can probably be offset against tax - ask you accountant for more information).

In return you are likely to get a written review and or a post thanking you. This might sound like a very little thing but that post not only sets the author's credibility behind your product or brand but is likely to send readers to your site.

Furthermore it is highly likely that the links within the thank you post will help build your local link equity. Something that can boost your results from Local Search.


  • Local Traffic is profitable traffic
  • Thanet Traffic is getting hard to compete for
  • There is a hard way to get that traffic (compete for it)
  • There is an easier way to get that traffic (sponsorship)

Read more about how to sponsor Thanet Star

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Public Comments

This Normal comment was left by Andover IT [score: 0]:

The other thing we stress to clients is that getting them top 10 on Google for "flowers Thanet" would be a lot cheaper than just "flowers".

We would recommend a business getting setup on Google Maps even without a website as this will give local exposure and is something we do as standard for them (and are happy to help anyone else struggling to do it).
05/03/2009 20:27:44

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

This is good advise and likewise I would advise local business web site owners to target local "keywords". If only because the traffic from the more general keywords is unfocused and often uninterested in the localised offering.
06/03/2009 10:45:41

This Normal comment was left by Don [score: 0]:

So for the church website we could offer free prayers or say one get one free. A bit like Tesco ......... What about my blog Promotethanet I could offer Read my blog and read someone elses free I am getting the hang of this
06/03/2009 19:26:31

This Normal comment was left by Don [score: 0]:

ni the unlikely event anyone wants to read my blog click on my name on this reply REMEMBER Promotethanet
06/03/2009 19:30:37

This Normal comment was left by shellywagar [score: 0]:

Thanks for clearing up some confusing areas
06/03/2009 23:15:52

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

I was thinking more about the way some denominations have a prayer theme for a given time. For example "this week we are remembering our leaders" or "we're dedicating February to pray for third world countries" or "During world peace week we will be praying for world peace" (you don't say!).

The golden rule is always that content is king. Given enough time and good enough content most sites can build up a huge following. Everything else is about getting out of one's own way so that can happen.

For example the built in uniqueness of Promote Thanet is:

(a) Your style
(b) Your (positive) subject matter
(c) The relationship you build up with readers.
07/03/2009 14:47:50
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