I’m mainly talking to my Gettysburg PA or Adams County Folks here, but this article is relevant to anyone looking for a LOCAL web design or SEO company.
One of the things I do for some of my clients that request it, and also for myself as Misfit Interactive, is see how we’re ranking in search results for certain keywords.
For example, I like having Misfit rank in the top 3 (or the top 1) for certain keywords like “Gettysburg Web Design“ or “Gettysburg SEO“. I mean, my office is in Downtown Gettysburg, and I love living in Adams County, so making sure my company stands out for my business niche locally is important. I love getting to know the community here and have created a large network of local residents and business owners.
What I’ve noticed however, is a lot of distant companies that also show up in some of the search results.
I get it, I know why people do it and I know how people do it. Heck, I do it for certain cities nearby in order to garner business there as well (shout out to Frederick MD and Westminster MD), plus it gives me an excuse to travel around.
However, if you are really only interested in supporting a local business, you need to make sure you’re supporting a LOCAL business and not someone a few hours away. I may be shooting myself in the foot here, because again, I do this for other cities as well in order to expand my business. In the interest of transparency, however, I felt this article was necessary to help people know if they are really hiring a company in Gettysburg.
Here’s how you can tell.
The first and most obvious thing is to see what their address is. Some will list it on the bottom of their site, others on a contact form, etc. See where they are actually headquartered to see if they are actually local before making a decision.
Don’t be only swayed by a search result that says “Gettysburg SEO Services“. More than likely they are just trying to rank locally here in Gettysburg, but their office may be 4 hours away. Lets look at an example:
Secondly, if they don’t have an address at all, then they likely aren’t anywhere near you to begin with.
Now keep in mind, these companies probably still provide really good service, so if you are impressed by their portfolio and what services they are selling on their site, there’s no reason not to utilize them if they are within your budget.
However, if your expectation was with a local company, then this is something you need to be aware of ahead of time. If nothing else, just simply ask them if they have a local office in your town.
What can you do to make sure you’re getting a local company?
Google and Bing Maps are the best way to tell if you’re getting a local company. Have you ever done a search for a restaurant or something, and the first thing that pops up is a list of locations next to a Google Map? Those are local companies.
Google Maps uses your location when searching to determine what companies are closest to you when you are doing a search. These companies have a physical location local to where you are, and had to have that location registered and verified with Google ahead of time. This is essentially called Local SEO.
I think people often think Google Maps is for restaurants and entertainment venues, but it’s useful for much more than that. You can find all kinds of local professional services by doing a search in your Google Maps app (or any subsequent mapping/gps app).
What to take away with from this?
Just be proactive in your research for a company you want to hire. Supporting local is always good, but keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with hiring these other companies, so long as you know you’re not getting someone face-to-face.