Choosing a website name or URL for a small business is important, and most of the advice out there is written for big city businesses. For small towns, there are two basic tactics.
If you have lots of local competition
Big city businesses often compete over domain names that include the city and the product, like ChicagoPizza.com. If you have more than a few competitors in your small town, it can make sense. One local real estate agent went with AlvaHouses.com, rather than their business name because we have half a dozen agents online.
If you don’t have much local competition
For my liquor store, I have only one local competitor, and they don’t have a website at all. I stuck with my business name for my domain. I don’t have any problem ranking for a search on “liquor store Alva.” In fact, I rank well for a search on “liquor store Oklahoma,” which I’m sure, irritates the heck out of the big city, big budget stores all across the state. (And yes, I just linked to my store with that. It doesn’t hurt to give our ranking a little boost.)
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Jason Hull says
For your Oklahoma liquor store (http://www.allensretail.com/), you’re probably also doing some other things which give the association with your home town outside of the name. My guess is:
1. Meta tags. You probably have “Alva, Oklahoma’s best liquor store” in your meta tags. Well, maybe not that exact quotation, but something similar.
2. Yelp. Placing your liquor store on Yelp not only gives you another channel for people to find you, but it also gives you some link love from Yelp.
3. Google +/Local. You probably registered your site with the address of the liquor store, which means that it will come up with the pretty map and other structured data.
Even though it’s now three years old, this is an excellent podcast on local search engine marketing. I imagine many of the rules still apply. http://automatemysmallbusiness.com/local-search-and-marketing-bye-bye-yellow-pages-hello-21st-century-advertising/
Becky McCray says
Jason, those are all great tactics!
Yes they are really good tactics. I am sure will be helpful.