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 SalesOur 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 GetHowever, 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".
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 AnswersThere 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 AnswerCompete 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 AnswerPartner 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.
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)