Some of the Haden Interactive team (the ones named Haden) are traveling this week. We’ve been in unfamiliar areas, so we’ve had a chance to use local search with complete ignorance, the way it’s supposed to be used. The image here shows something we’ve seen a lot of.Nothing. Businesses with no websites, so their carousel image is a shot from Google maps, and Urbanspoon instead of restaurant websites.
Now, I’m the first to admit that I know nothing about the business climate for restaurants in Parsons, Kansas. It’s possible that every single individual in Parsons is familiar with all the local eateries and that we are the only people who’ve ever thought about stopping for lunch in Parsons. It might be a complete waste of time for these restaurants to build websites. However, we also see this kind of situation with other kinds of companies, in towns where we know for a fact that there are travelers.
Last year, one in four Americans took a road trip. That’s a whole lot of people. Where do they find information about where to stay and what to see? The internet. At their desktop while they plan their trip during coffee breaks at work, on their phones in the car as they’re driving, on their laptops in the hotel (which they chose because the website said “free wi-fi”).
They’re Googling local pubs and checking out review sites and asking Siri to find them great local shopping opportunities.
Are you there?
Your website needs to show up. It needs to be usable on mobile devices. It needs to appeal to all those strangers out there — including the ones who live near you, the ones who want to find your product wherever they are, and the travelers.
If you’re not there, they’ll go to your competitors.