When I was younger and needed a plumber, I’d open up a thick phone book and sort through listings alphabetically. There were names like “Al’s Plumbing,” or “AA Plumbing,” and even an “AAA Plumbing.” All of them named alphabetically superior than the other to grab my attention first. If you were a business that didn’t benefit from the alphabet, you’d just take out a half page ad in the book itself. Getting this spot in the book was important.
Today it’s not the same. Back then, these phone book agencies would call you up, get your info, sell some add placements and you were set. Today, as a small business owner, you’re on your own.
The phone book of yesterday is now the internet. People don’t search for your business alphabetically, they search by keywords now. And someone isn’t calling to set this up for you in 5 minutes, it’s up to the business owner to figure it all out. The desire for an internet listing gets lost among the endless number of other tasks.
Is your business showing up under Google searches? Is it listed on Yelp? Is it getting reviews? Does it have a Facebook page? Does it have its own website? Are you optimized for SEO? It’s overwhelming.
Some of our recent research has revealed this burden with great clarity.
[Small business owners] never stated that marketing or websites was a primary concern. There were always more important tasks and factors prioritized.
As things got technical and required more advanced knowledge, the digital ad, one’s business website, fell out of the priority list. It’s value is understood, but the ability to get there became too difficult.
Small business owners believe an online presence is an important tool for their business.
Yet, their lack of knowledge limits their ability to turn those beliefs into action.