All too often we hear from business owners who have been given unrealistic promises by web design companies. Promises like “You’ll be number one on Google for Painters” are not only unrealistic, the phrase is practically useless for most painters anyways. Inexperienced web designers may simply not know any better. SEO professionals, however, need to have a clearer understanding of their customers needs or be more ethical with their sales pitch.

Web Design Should Focus on Local SEO

The truth is, most contractors need to have a local approach in all marketing materials. That includes website design & SEO, business cards, social media, even print ads should all have your business address and content with a local focus. Think about it, a Detroit-area house painter needs to show up in a search made in the Detroit area. That’s where your customers are.

It’s fine to show up outside your local market, so don’t panic if you do. Just like it’s okay if your business card ends up in a wallet in New Mexico. It’s not the end of the world. Feel free to contact us if you’re concerned.

So how exactly do you focus on Detroit-area or Ann Arbor-area search traffic? Search engine criteria is ever-changing. A good SEO professional can help you, but here are some basic concepts:

SEO Basics

Go Local with your phrasing and all media. To use the painter example again, seek phrases like “Metro Detroit painter”, “Detroit interior painter”, “exterior painting Detroit area”, and so on. These are the search terms your local customers are typing in. If possible get a domain name that includes your location.

Forget Alphabetical business names. The days of “AAA Painting” or “A1 Painters” are over. These business names are old fashioned efforts to be listed first in the phone book. Most phone directories are online now. Users search by business and location. If you have a site with a domain name including your AAA Business Name, don’t worry! A good SEO professional will still get you results with thoughtful web design.

Consistency Matters for branding and for search results. Use your business name and description consistently across all your marketing materials.

Most importantly, remember that Google is still the big dog in the search engine market, with about 75% of all searches done from Google. However, Search Engine statistics demonstrate that other search engines do still exist and shouldn’t be ignored.