2017 saw an incredible amount of growth for Google as they make it easier and easier for users to find the answer to their questions right on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP’s). Google My Business alone had dozens of new features added, allowing users to get the information they were looking for without ever visiting your actual site. But fear not! Your hard work developing an optimized and user-friendly website was not in vain! While reviews are trusted more and more by consumers and may reduce the traffic to your site, your business website is still the most fundamental part of your Digital Marketing strategy. Here are the top 8 reasons why you still need a professional website:
- No matter how much reviews progress and take over, your website is still essential for ranking in Organic Search. No website means no rankings, and no rankings mean you won’t be included in the Google Local Pack and Map results!
- Visiting your website is still the #1 action visitors take after reading reviews. Even though there has been a decline in post-review visits, most users would still prefer to book online through your site.
- A well-designed website gives your business more credibility with consumers. Visitors trust professionalism, and trust turns into purchases.
- What you have to say about who you are and what you offer is very important to both Google and consumers. Local listings or social media profiles don’t often give you enough space to tout all your accomplishments or share your backstory, but a full website does!
- In Google's eyes, your website is the confirmation of who you are (as a business). Google uses your site to cross-check your location, phone number, etc. Without it, Google is less sure of who and where you are, which will hinder your ability to rank in local searches.
- Many of the new features in Google search that are so popular, such as Google Answer Boxes, pull their information from your website. No website means no chance to appear in search results and customers have nowhere to click through from.
- Your website is a platform you can use to show off your customer testimonials, feedback, experiences and more. While reviews are trusted by most consumers, on-site testimonials can serve to validate those reviews for viewers who may be skeptical of their honesty.
- Unlike Google My Business, which allows any user to upload photos and make suggestions for edits to your info, you have absolute control over what content appears on your website. This is especially important for image search rankings and for providing consistent information to Google.
The main takeaway here is that, no matter how popular reviews and local search become, your website is still needed for organic rankings, which ultimately determine your performance and positioning in local search. Without a solid and optimized organic search strategy, you stand little chance of gaining visibility in local and map results on Google.
So how does your golf course website stack up against the competition? Check out our Marketing Grader Tool for a comprehensive review of your current digital marketing efforts.