If you’re a small business in a small town, getting a website up online and having an SEO company do some local internet marketing for you is almost a no-brainer. The benefits are significant — you can make sure that any time anyone from (or visiting) your town searches for a term related to your business and includes the town’s name, they see you first. It’s an easy way to get dozens of extra customers though your doors every week — if not every day.
But when you live in a big ol’ city like Los Angeles, SEO can seem like a much less valuable deal. After all, when there are hundreds of businesses just like yours within a hundred — or a dozen — miles of your front door, chances are one of them is already working hard to dominate the local search engine results pages.
Not really. There’s a lot about SEO that isn’t immediately obvious to a small business owner, and this is one part of it: your business’ website doesn’t just ‘rank on Google’, it ranks for specific keywords on Google. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking general, broad-spectrum SEO or locality-specific SEO; there will always be keywords out there that no one is really working hard to dominate. They can be yours.
For example, let’s say you’re a florist. You know that “LA florist” “Los Angeles florist” and all the similar keywords are sewn up tight. But get just a little creative, and you can find dozens of keywords like “LA floral bouquet” that are untouched. Design a few websites to attract a dozen of these less-competitive keywords, and you can get just as much traffic as the site that has one highly-competitive keyword dominated (and often for less cost.)
The second trick to winning the local internet marketing contest is to control just how local you’re getting. For example, let’s say you live in Hazard, California. Hazard is just outside of East Los Angeles — toward the west. You could market your business under “Florist LA”, but you could also compete for “Florist East LA”, or even “Florist Hazard” — the smaller the pond you play in, the less you have to worry about big fish.