What do you think the relationship between amount of money spent on SEO and the number of leads generated is? You’d hope the general rule would be that the more money spent the more hits you get, the quality of the SEO work you get notwithstanding. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple – location plays a huge part in determining the effectiveness of your SEO.
Let’s say you work out of Boston. As I’ve talked about before, Google will limit relevant local searches to a 10 mile radius. While that’s no good if your business is happy to drive 50 miles away to reach a customer, think about how many people are located within a 10 mile stretch of any part of Boston. A lot, right? So if an SEO campaign drives up your search ranking, that’s a lot of potential leads learning about your business for the first time. Now let’s say you work out of Boston, Georgia, population roughly 1315.
A 10 mile radius is going to encircle the good people of Boston, GA and not a whole heck of a lot else. You can spend a small fortune running the best SEO campaign in human history, and it might only attract the eye of one person who wasn’t already aware of your business’ existence.
Now, that’s obviously an extreme example, but it all scales. Miami, for example, has a population of about 362,000 and a population density of about 10,000. Miami is hardly a small city, but it pales in comparison to New York City, which has approximately 23 times the population and about two and a half times the population density. The end result? A home improvement company in Miami, on average, will spend more money for fewer results than a home improvement company in NYC.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that small businesses, like the kind you’d find operating out of Boston, Georgia, often struggle with taking advantage of Internet marketing. A study found that on average they only put three percent of their advertising budget into online campaigns, while larger businesses spend 15-16 percent. Small business owners simply aren’t aware of some of the benefits of online marketing.
Now, the home improvement industry is more tech-savvy than most, but think about the logic here. If you’re a small business in a small market, and you’re spending less on online marketing than bigger businesses in large markets, then you’re doubly behind – you’re not spending as much and you’re not getting as much bang for the bucks you do spend.
You need to pay close attention to the limits and strengths of small market marketing. Make sure you know about all the tools that are available to you, and make sure you know the strategies for getting the most from your limited budget. You’ll never get as many leads as that guy in the middle of New York City, but you’ll be closer to getting the most you can out of your territory, whatever size it is.