As a small business, it is important to be cost effective with your online marketing. I often get questions related to search engine optimization (SEO) and especially about geo-targeting. Geo-targeting is one of the many aspects that make up SEO. Basically, it helps you target your website for a specific city, county, or state. Geo-targeting can help small businesses compete with larger companies in specific locations.
Many small businesses that we have worked for want to be national and not target for a specific city, county, or state. The big question I always get is: Where do I start? Local or national?
Even if your business is able to sell your products or services nationally, it is a good idea to start local and move up from there.
I understand people don’t want to limit their business, but you need to become a big fish in a small pond before you are ready for the ocean. If you start nationally right away you are going to wait much longer for results, and spend a lot more money in the process without any ROI. In the mean time, no one is seeing your website. If you start at one targeted location, you will see results faster and build a reputation on the search engines. Once you have recognition, you can continue to expand and eventually be national. By that time, you will have made a name for yourself, and Google and other search engines will see you as a more reputable website, and they will want to rank you higher.
National: 84,600,000 results
State (CT): 21,900,000 results
City (Fairfield): 302,000 results
Say you have a candy store, but you also ship anywhere in the country. You will want people to be able to search “candy” and have your site come up on Google. Here is a breakdown of your competition.
As you can see there is a dramatic difference between national and geo-targeting for Fairfield, CT. Trying to compete against over 84 million results is very tough especially when there is a good chance everyone ranked on the first page probably has a SEO specialist working for them. This is why it is important to target a smaller area first and then move up the ladder.
How Much Time Will it Take?
If you start national right away it will take at least 8 months to a year before you see yourself being ranked in the top three pages. This is especially true if you are in a highly competitive industry or if you have a brand new website. Whereas if you start in a targeted city, you can usually get results in 3 months or less.
Just to Clarify
Just because you are optimized for a specific location, does not mean that you can’t still have verbiage on your website that says you serve all states. Geo-targeting simply gives your SEO specialist a jumping off point to build up and monitor your rankings.
To help you start optimizing your website today, contact Infinite Web Designs for a quote.