SEO for a Local Business vs. SEO for a Global Content Provider

I’m shifting gears in my professional life as a Search Engine Optimization specialist.  With my recent change in full-time employers, I’m also going to have to change the SEO strategies and tactics I want to use.

Beyond the obvious difference – targeting entirely different search terms – these changes include shifts in:

  • Target Audience
  • Search Goals
  • Site Goals
  • SEO Strategy

Currently, my audience is one major metropolitan area.  If my sites here get attention in the rest of the state, great, but that’s not the focus. If these sites get attention in other states, fantastic! But again, that’s not the point of my day-to-day business goals.  My goal is to get visitors to the site, and to convert them into leads for the purchase of a car.

For this local business, the SEO strategy includes local directories and listings, it includes social media, and the vast majority of the content is, in fact, what’s in stock in the inventory.

Soon, my target audience will amount to… the population of the UK, and other countries that might use UK-English related search terms.  This means I’m basically going to have to master a new dialect of my native tongue. (fun!)   My search goals will include encouraging readers to dig deeper, delve further for more information, and come back for more.

The SEO strategy here will be about site architecture, link-building to individual pages, and the daunting task of page-by-page SEO optimization of thousands of pages of content, as well as creating ongoing content strategy.

What does this have to do with anything?  Just this: if you want to optimize a site – any site – for search, you need to know those four bullet points before you even start researching tactics and getting an action plan together.

  • Who do you want to find your site? (Are they in a particular location? Do they speak a particular language, or have a particular interest?)
  • What do you want them to do once they get there? (What are your success metrics? How will you measure the success of your SEO program?)
  • How do you make that happen? (Which SEO tactics will help you attain your goals? What is the best way to prioritize your effort?)

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