What Makes Your Business Unique?

Is having the freshest produce in town a good Unique Selling Proposition?
Is having the freshest produce in town a good Unique Selling Proposition?

Often as a Local SEO Consultant I am asked to help businesses drive traffic to their websites.  That’s pretty much what we do in a nutshell.  And there are many posts on this blog site that delve into the ways that is achieved.  But once traffic arrives on your landing page, or your blog post, or your super- duper “Welcome To Our Company” page, what then?  Your website is not like a spider’s web: traffic is not going to stick just because it is there.  You need to give traffic a reason to hang around.  You need to give it a reason to want to do business with your company instead of one that has a website on one of the other nine first page search engine results.  You know what I am talking about.  You need a Unique Selling Proposition, and you need it fast!

Unique Selling Proposition and Local SEO

Yes, we have talked about USPs in several articles going way back in the archives.  But it seems to be a subject that is lost on many businesses, so I will revisit my old friend.  When creating a USP, the emphasis should be on “unique”.  What makes your business stand out above the crowd?  What makes your business the one to do business with above all others?  In other words, why should I buy from you instead of Bill down the street?

Unfortunately, many businesses confuse a USP with standard ways of doing business.  For instance, the following are not really Unique Selling Propositions:

  • Call for your free estimate (how else do I find out what you charge?). 
  • We provide personalized service (who provides generic service?).
  • We are your local, home town merchant (as opposed to the other merchants in my town?).
  • We stand behind our product or service (so I won’t have to sue you if it sucks?).
  • We accept all major credit cards (good thing, or you would never sell anything!)
  • We have the lowest prices in town (funny, that’s what the other guy said).

I’m sure that you can think of a bunch more. They may seem like Unique Selling Propositions on the surface, but in reality they are nothing more than typical ways of doing business.  In fact, most of these are the bare minimum standards for doing business if you want to have any chance of success against your competitors.  And if a business is not at least meeting the minimum standards, then why bother with a Local SEO program?  After all, you can drive all of the traffic in the world to your website, but if it doesn’t like what it sees, it’s going to be a Bounce-A-Rama on the old site with Google as your dance partner.

Always being the cheapest is a tough way to do business.

If your alleged USP is “We’re The Cheapest”, well, you are always going to be chasing the other guy.  Every business has sales.  Most businesses want to be the cheapest, within reason.  So unless you want to be a seller of commodities at the lowest, rock bottom price, this is not a Unique Selling Proposition.  A USP is something that most or no businesses are doing or offering within your niche.  Something that sets your business apart from the herd.  Here are some possible USPs off the top of my head:

  • If you are not 100% satisfied with our product or service, you don’t pay a dime!
  • If we don’t have it, we’ll get if for you at no additional charge!
  • If you can’t come to our showroom, we’ll bring our showroom to you!
  • If we can’t fix it, we will buy you a new one!
  • If we don’t have it in stock, we’ll give it to you for free!
  • We have the largest selection of in stock items, period!

Yes, these were off the top of my head, and yes, some of them are a little extreme.  If you are a car dealer, you don’t want to be giving away free cars if you don’t have a particular model in stock.  And if you are a furnace repair guy, you don’t want to be buying new furnaces for customers because you couldn’t fix their old rust bucket.  But in every niche or business there is something that no one else does that you can do to set your business above the rest.  You want your customers to say something like this:

“I always buy my groceries at Al’s Market because he has the freshest produce with the largest selection in town.”

Tying USP and Local SEO together

So, let’s recap.  Your USP should be what sets your business above all others.  In a sense, it is part of the Reputation that your business has in your community.  It is also part of what makes your business stand out in your community as well.  Sound familiar?  Kind of like our old pal Local SEO?  Let me put it this way: your USP is part of your Local SEO and contributes to the conversion of traffic created by your Local SEO.  Your USP can put your business on the map and be the compelling reason customers do business with you.  Pretty sweet.  And if you would like help creating a USP or a Local SEO program, well, you know what to do (hint: click here).