For a long time, small businesses built websites and tried to target as many people as possible, unable to direct their message to a particular audience. Before long, savvy marketers realized they should apply to online presences what they applied to offline businesses, and that is to target a niche. The Web is so vast that without niche marketing, your website and all of your online activity would just be floating in virtual reality, with no exact direction, no real ports of contact.
Small businesses have very little use or none at all for marketing that goes beyond their capacity to serve, distance-wise. A family driving through a particular town on their way to city miles away will probably stop over at a donut shop to eat, but they’re not likely to drive all the way back to the shop just to get donuts no matter how delicious those donuts were. So the one or two out-of-towners passing through are the exception, not the rule. Your market is still your local community.
This is the reason marketers are helping business owners focus their marketing efforts on the local market. Online activity, for all its limitlessness, should do the same: capture the niche market.
Help from SEO
Search engine optimization or SEO helps marketing professionals give their clients a boost in their web presence. They do this by making sure the client’s business website is authoritative enough for Google and other search engines to recognize its usefulness to users. With SEO, the spammy or bad backlinks that weigh down web pages are removed, short and longtail keywords are chosen and targeted, an authoritative blog page is created for the benefit of the user, and so on. Generally, these activities intend to make the website gain search engine ranking favor organically.
Targeting Local on the Web
Google is helping make these efforts pay dividends by adjusting its algorithms to favor better, “honest” websites. And as of late, local businesses received a boost from a new algorithm update that the SEO community likes to call Possum. Say you’re in Denver, local SEO should get you ranking for searches within your city, within your specific area, something that—ironically—used to be difficult to do. Now, as long as your SEO practitioners or agency is doing a good job, targeting local can have huge effects on your profit margin.
Small businesses enjoy the most benefits with this growth in online customer activity. The Internet has given almost all of them a fair chance at competing with bigger and more popular brands with more money to spend on marketing.