People use Google to find the products they want to buy. If I want to buy pet food I search “pet food near me.” When I want to buy a new power tool I search “power tools near me.” If I want to buy a trampoline I search “where to buy a trampoline near me.”
Google reported a 500% growth rate in people searching for things “near them” in the last two years.
When a customer conducts one of these local ‘near me’ searches they visit a store within one day.
Websites are really important for local businesses because they help more customers find your business for the products you sell and the services you offer. When a vendor offers to build you a cheaper website this typically means that your business will slowly show up for fewer and fewer local searches.
Fewer and fewer customers will find you for the products you sell and the services you offer.
My web agency, New Media Retailer, does a really good job of helping our clients show up in Google search results. We know this matters for local businesses.
The cheaper website vendors often miss these important details. They don’t perform the ongoing management necessary to ensure high local search rankings in Google. Ultimately, cheap websites are completely ineffective for local businesses.
By failing to perform well in Google search results, cheap website vendors cost small businesses their rightful customers.
Cheap websites cost local businesses their customers.
Case Study: An Agway Store in Pennsylvania
One of our former customers, a farm and home store in Pennsylvania, left us for a cheaper website option. Within three months they plummeted on Google.
Within three months their ranking plummeted on Google.
Here is a screenshot of their new website.
It is not a bad looking website at all. But that’s the catch. It looks about the same as their old website. Local business owners are fooled into thinking they are getting the same thing at a lower price.
Unfortunately, this website is far less visible in Google. It doesn’t show up as well in Google searches for their products. Instead, it is now their competitors who show up in the search results.
This store’s competitors outrank them now
When this company had an NMR website they ranked #1 in Google for “Chicken Feed.” This company sells poultry feed so this search term is important to their business. In case you’re wondering, “Chicken Feed” gets searched over 27,000 times per month on Google in the US.
Here is what their ranking looked like with their New Media Retailer managed website:
Their store is located in the middle of this grid. Each dot is 1 mile apart. The number represents the store’s rank in Google depending on where the person is when they do the local search for chicken feed.
No longer #1 anywhere
If you do the same search now, they are not number one in Google anywhere around their store.
In fact, if you were to stand in their store and search for “chicken feed” their competitor would come up instead.
Standing in their store a search for “Chicken Feed” yields their competitor, Sensenig’s Feed.
What about 1 mile from their store?
With their NMR website, this store was still ranked #1, #2, or #3 in Google for miles around their store.
With their cheaper website, they don’t even come up in the top three results just 1 mile south of their store.
With the cheaper website company not paying attention to these results, the store is likely to continue to see the poor performance from their new website.
Remember, this is just one search term!
Imagine the drop in their Google ranking for the rest of their products!?!?
The cost of the cheaper website for Ephrata Agway can certainly be measured in how many fewer customers walk through their doors to buy chicken feed year after year. This is after just 3 months of canceling their New Media Retailer website.
For small business owners, the cost of a cheap website is countless new customers never finding their business.