One of the main objections to digital marketing we hear here at RevLocal is, “I don’t need a digital marketing strategy. My web developer already does that for me.” While having a website is necessary for local businesses, it shouldn’t encompass your entire marketing strategy.
Read this post to learn exactly what your web developer is doing (and what they aren’t doing!) for you.
What does a web developer do?
A web developer’s job is to create your business’s website. They will often build the site and add any content that can help consumers learn what they need to know about your business. Many developers have some knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization) best practices. They will create keyword rich content that helps your website show up in relevant searches.
Don’t get me wrong, web design and development are not easy to do, but there’s so much more to digital marketing than having a website. Let’s start with SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” which includes optimizing content so that search engines know what searches your website is relevant for. The kind of SEO a web developer will do will probably be organic SEO, which means they are trying to get your business to show up for certain keywords.
For instance, if you are a dentist, “dentist” would be one of your keywords. Organic SEO would then involve including the word “dentist” in headings and body copy (fancy term for paragraphs) so that search engines know to display your website in searches for the word “dentist.”
There is, however, a difference between organic SEO and local SEO. And local SEO (local search marketing) should be at the forefront of any local business's marketing strategy. It's great to show up for specific keywords, but it's even better to show up for those keywords and your location.
If the person building your website is working on your SEO, they are likely making it easier for your business to show up in organic searches (the results that appear below the local search results).
Local search marketing is about more than showing up for keywords. It's building your business's entire online presence so consumers who have never heard of you can find your business when they search for your location and industry. While you need a website, your web developer will only be able to do so much for your online (local) presence.
The good news is that local search marketing can do the rest.
What doesn't a web developer do?
Here’s a list of some of the other things your web developer won’t do for you that a local search marketing agency would do:
- Local citation building
- Citation clean up
- Reputation management (including replying to online reviews)
- Paid advertising
- Building your business’s social media presence
- Creating and claiming pages such as Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Local and Yahoo! Local
- Developing and executing a content marketing strategy
- Local link building
And think of it this way: has your web developer ever called you to discuss the ROI of their services? When you hire a full-service digital marketing agency, you should have options for all those services (if not more).
You should also have access to analytics and ROI information as well as a point of contact you can call (or who calls you) to discuss the results of your digital marketing campaigns.
And here are some digital marketing statistics just in case you still think you can get away with having only a website and no other digital strategy:
- 92 percent of consumers read and trust online reviews
- 51 percent of on-the-go searches have local intent
- 54 percent of Americans have replaced phone books with online local searches
- On-page (website) signals account for only 20 percent of what search engines look at when deciding how to rank your business in local searches, so if you only have a website, you are neglecting the other 80 percent!
A Note on Microsites
Another problem with relying on your web developer to manage your entire digital presence is that updates can take a long time. That's why our local search marketing plans come with a microsite. Our websites are technically microsites: locally optimized websites that are designed to drive customer interaction.
Here's how it works:
Your microsite integrates with your digital marketing strategy and your current website. It's designed to help you show up in local searches and to give your audience quick, concise information that will help them make a purchase decision.
Websites typically feature a call-to-action that will either lead them to get directions, call your business or fill out a form for more information.
And, the best part is that we have an entire team of Website Services specialists who create and optimize our clients' websites while watching out for Google updates and staying ahead of those changes. Any updates that you need to make to your website can be done quickly without having to wait for your web developer.
No matter who's taking care of your digital marketing, make sure their strategy is well-rounded and that it includes more than just a website. And believe me, your web developer doesn't have time to do all that.