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    Comprehensive SEO JUN 20, 2013  

    The Effect of E-Commerce On Small Businesses in Santa Barbara

    Santa Barbara has a population of approximately 90,000 residents. It is also visited by a large number of tourists on weekends and holidays. The most common known retail market place for the city is State St., where many shops and restaurants are located and draw larger foot traffic. The beaches, pier and ocean front dining add to the city's attractions. With a low population density and over 14,000 establishments, many local businesses rely on outside consumers' spending. With a growing online market, how is e-commerce changing businesses in such a consumer retail centered area such as Santa Barbara?

    Consumer behavior has recently and drastically changed with mobile devices being increasingly popular. Consumers are constantly connected and utilize their mobile devices to find various location, hours of operation, inventory, direct contact to the business and more. From consumers looking up what is currently playing at the movies to menu options and special sales, web marketing is now to include the 'on the go' consumers, even affecting impulse buyers. What does this mean to a small local business in Santa Barbara?

    Many of the businesses dependent on foot traffic were traditionally not interested in a having their businesses include a website. Why develop a website to be found online with foot traffic? The reason is that many visitors are able to see what there is to do and where to go, check photos of the establishment and more prior to their arrival. The mobile device's GPS offers another advantage of guiding customers to their destinations. Of course, the importance of a website is largely based on the individual business needs. However, most businesses fall under this category and yet do not have one. Yellow pages have not been the 'go to' source for a while and their usage has greatly declined year over year. This is good news for many local businesses. It allows them to be in greater control of where and how they can be seen as opposed to paying for an ad listing. Online organic listings rank you based on your website and not on how much you have paid for an ad space. This gives local businesses a great advantage with search engine geographical targeting algorithms. The local business will be more relevant depending on the location of the search. The advantages to having a good website is countless, while still some businesses without it are left behind without knowing or experiencing its benefits.

    With a high quality website, a few factors are clear. A company expands its reach more than ever before with the online mobile consumer. The cost of professionally building websites has greatly decreased due to improved technology. Competition and quality of websites have rapidly risen. It has become more of a necessity than the optional investment it used to be. Fortunately, small local businesses do not face the same online competition as do their larger counterparts as once again, location is relevant to search results. This is one of the several facts contributing to local business websites costing less while being more productive. Rarely does a business complain about having a website, it has been the performance and the return on investment which has been disappointing to so many. What this means for a small Santa Barbara businesses is the importance of a professionally developed website. Having a poorly developed website can even hurt your business. A comprehensive developer creates a website that is specifically designed to a particular industry and product, optimized to successfully perform in the online market, adaptable to mobile devises and look professional.

    An experienced Santa Barbara SEO firm will be better familiar with the local economy and business environment. Look for a comprehensive SEO service and include the city of Santa Barbara in your search to see the companies that best suit your business. Whether you have an existing website or would need one created entirely, the advantages of a professionally developed company website should not be overlooked.

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