Last week I decided for the first time to take my family to see the Christmas lights displayed at the Mormon temple nearby in Washington DC. I’ve lived in the DC area for over a decade, and was always intrigued by the huge castle-like temple that could be seen from the beltway.
To my surprise the “huge” temple was actually only about three stories high. It’s situated on top of a hill which makes it look bigger than it actually is. Small businesses can have that same illusion of being “huge” while still being small or a start-up company. In today’s competitive online marketing race, small businesses can compete locally with bigger competitors by implementing a comprehensive local search engine optimization campaign.
Search engines in the past couple of years have implemented changes to their ranking algorithms to return local search engine results (SERPS) based on the searcher’s geographic area. These changes have made it possible for small businesses to reach local potential leads without having the big marketing budget as their competitors.
People searching online look for results that are relevant to their search query. They do not care if a business is small. If they see something on the results page that gets their attention, they will click on that link. So a small business that has a couple of employees can give the illusion as being bigger than it actually is based on how it’s represented online.
While this is great news for small businesses, implementing an effective local search engine optimization (Local SEO) is critical to reach and stay in the top pages of search engine results. Many small business owners think they can manage this campaign in-house, yet if it’s done incorrectly, it can do more ham than help a small business. It can also be more expensive later on to hire an experience local SEO company to clean up the mistakes.
A mistake that is commonly made is discrepancies in business listings citations. On one business directory, a small business’ name could be displayed as ABC Inc, while in another as ABC, and in a third directory as ABC Incorporated. Search engines can treat these three listings as different companies, which will devalue the citations. This means that business references from these three listings will have little benefit to the small business of establishing online authority and moving up in search engine rankings.
Things are not always as they seem. Local small businesses can compete online with bigger, more established competitors, with an effective local SEO campaign.
Webdexign is a small search engine marketing firm based out of Germantown, MD.