Think local – how SEO can help you get your first customers 04/28/15

Small local companies might be facing a great deal of competition from large multinationals, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. There are still some businesses that remain highly profitable when targeted at a local audience and that can expand nationally and globally when managed tactically. The key is knowing where to start promoting your business and SEO can help you do that in a smart way. The age of international SEO is starting to come to an end – well, at least for small and medium sized companies that operate on a budget. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot gain anything from search engine optimization. People use the Internet more than ever to find service providers and you can take advantage of that to bring exposure to your business. It is probably every entrepreneur’s dream to be known all over the world, but, unfortunately, the chances of standing out in a competitive niche is quite small if you don’t narrow down the options. Start with a city you want to target. For example, if you are from Canada, you might want to consider local SEO Ottawa solutions. These are specifically targeted towards a location of your choice and offer you real, tangible possibilities.

If you’ve worked with a SEO company before, you’ve probably noticed that practices tend to change a lot. For example, local SEO was not considered the best course of action about a decade ago. So what happened in the meantime that triggered the sudden need for local services? First of all, the web itself became more local. The behavior and expectations of Internet users has changed too, requiring SEO specialists to adapt. Now, people tend to be more and more specific when looking for online providers. They no longer use general terms, but a combination of several terms followed by a location they are interested in. For example, many use phrases like “coffee shops near me” or “coffee shops in …” Shortly, today’s Internet user is always in a hurry and wants an exact answer for the location they are it, they don’t want to browse through several websites until they find what they’re looking for.

Another reason that triggered the need for local SEO services is the advent of services such as Google Places. The change might seem drastic, but it comes with its benefits. When you narrow down the market, you gain more visibility, you have more chances to stand out. Unless you are a big company willing to spend a lot of money on an online race for survival with large multinationals, you shouldn’t go for global SEO. For best results, you should start slow by targeting your first efforts towards building a solid local customer base, such as in your neighborhood or city. Then, you can move on to a bigger region, such as a district or country and then, if the results are promising, venture into the world of global search engine optimization.