The term “local SEO” is fairly generic if you aren’t exactly sure what “local” really is. This could refer to everything from the specific neighborhood you live/work in to the nearest metropolitan area. In Michigan, there is a wide range of locations to tackle in search engine optimization, especially if you work near Metro Detroit. That brings up a valid question: How big should my target area be in Michigan?
Let’s take some time to analyze this situation in close detail so we can come up with the best local SEO target area for you.
Start Small And Work Your Way Up
For most businesses in Michigan, the best local SEO strategy is to start with small areas and work your way up to larger ones. For instance, if you service Metro Detroit, you may start by targeting Flint, Clinton Township, Farmington Hills, or some other community before you target the metro itself. The reason for this is because the smaller areas are going to have lower competition, thus making it easier for you to climb up the search engine rankings. Once you have conquered the search results for those small areas, you may have enough content and experience behind you to take on bigger areas with more competition.
Keep in mind that targeting those smaller areas may naturally increase your search engine ranking for larger areas. Instead of saying “plumbing services in Clinton,” say “plumbing services in Clinton, MI.” Simply adding that extra component will help your website show up for searches across Michigan, not just your local area. This all works in your favor in the long run.
Think About Where Your Customers Are
Where will most of your customers come from? Detroit? Troy? Beverly Hills? The UP? Those are the areas you need to be focusing on. Consider which part of Michigan has the highest demand for your services, or which cities you work in the most. You can always expand this over time and draw in new customers from other areas, but you might as well start somewhere you already have a good hold on the market.
Consider What Your Competition Is NOT Targeting
Analyze the local SEO campaigns of your competitors. Are there any parts of Michigan that they are not targeting at this time? If you see a missed opportunity somewhere, don’t be afraid to take it yourself. You may be able to get your name out in cities where there is little to no competition at all. You’re practically guaranteed to generate leads at that point, even if it means going a little bit out of your way. As long as you see some sort of results from these local internet marketing strategies, they’re worth it.
Should I Target An Area I Don’t Want To Work In?
We get this question from Michigan business owners a lot. Is it wise to target areas you don’t necessarily want to service? The answer is different for each business. As a whole, it’s good to get your name out there on the internet. With that in mind, you don’t want to be known as the company that consistently turns down business because you marketed yourself in the wrong area.
If you run a business where you go out to the customers (window cleaning, lawn care, etc.), it is best to stick with target areas you can actually service. If you run a stationary business where clients come to you (doctor’s office, counseling center, etc.), then you can venture out to areas that you may not usually get customers from. If the clients are coming to you, it’s their choice whether or not they want to work with you. You don’t have to worry about turning someone down. We can discuss all of this during your local SEO consultation so you can decide which parts of Michigan you want to reach out to with your marketing.
“Go Big Or Go Home”…Only If It’s Right For You
In theory, there is nothing wrong with reaching for the stars and targeting a large area in Michigan. However, doing so may throw you in the midst of a saturated market that takes a long time to crawl through. Most business owners like to see fast results. That’s how they know they’re getting a good return on their investment. If that’s how you feel, you may want to look into a small target area at first and then build your reputation before you “go big.”
Here at Detroit Internet Marketing, we have local experts in Michigan dedicated to helping you find the perfect balance for your local SEO strategies. Give us a call today, and we would love to discuss your options with you in person.
Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.