A large part of the misunderstanding of search engine optimization (SEO) with small and local business owners is their target market. Many business owners believe that they have to be ranked number 1 in order to be seen for their specific business, which may be true. What they do not realize is that they do not have to do it nationally (in most cases).
If you are a local business and primarily or only sell to the local community, you do not need to try and optimize your site to get ranked nationally for your targeted keywords. Not only is it very difficult to get ranked nationally, but it would be a waste of time when you can spend probably 20% of the time you would to get ranked nationally, to in fact get ranked locally.
Many business owners don’t even know that local optimization is even an option. For example, if you are in Sacramento, CA instead of trying to get ranked nationally for HVAC or Heating and Air Maintenance where you may be competing with some of the largest HVAC companies throughout the world, you can target your keywords to something like HVAC in Sacramento, or HVAC Maintenance in Sacramento. With these terms you are specifically targeting your area, therefore driving people to your area to your site, because who wants someone looking for HVAC maintenance in New York if your business is in Sacramento?
Just remember, when creating the content for your site, target your audience not only by your service or product, but by location of audience as well.
Recently, we have put a lot of thought into what it takes to grow a web design business, or any business for that matter. Not only do the numbers have to add up, the t’s need to be crossed and the i’s need to be dotted. In other words, many things must fall into place before jumping to the idea of expanding or growing your business.
Now don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to grow their business in one way or another, but in the terms I am speaking of, I specifically mean taking it to the next level. Whether taking it to the next level for you means adding an extra client or adding an extra office building, you have to be prepared and have your funds set in place to do so.
Don’t be afraid to lose money. Your business is an investment. If you are afraid to lose money then you do not have faith, or trust yourself in business. Crunch some numbers to see that yes, you may lose x amount of dollars in the first six months, but the next two years you will make over $100,000 or more. Or you may make less, but as long as the numbers are right for you then go for it. Set goals and accomplish them. Strive to beat your goals, the more often you beat your goals the quicker the investment turns into a profit.
Growing your business is great, just make sure you have done the research and have the resources to do so, and by resources I mean – you ALWAYS need to have a website. 😉