Finding Your Internet Competitors

I’m currently working on a proposal for someone, a podiatrist in the New York area and I just received his response to the proposal.  His comment was that the competitors that I listed for him were not really his competitors, he then gave me 2 other podiatry offices that he considered to be his competition.  This happens so often and it’s one of the most common questions that I get.

So, in case you’re not quite understanding what Internet Competition is let me explain.

1) The competitor in your specific geography is NOT necessarily your Internet competitor.  Their building may be near yours, but on the Internet their website may be 20 pages away from yours.

2) When you do a search on Google, your browser should be automatically set up to search within your local area.  So, if you’re in San Francisco and you type in “podiatrist” then you’re supposed to get local results of podiatrists.  Not a list of podiatrists in Boston or Seattle.

3) You can change the local search on Google like this…

a) Go to Google and in the search box type in your query.
b) In the search results, near the top of the page you’ll see this…


c) Click on the button “Search tools” and you can type in a location or the zip code.  When you’re done typing that in click the “Set” button and you’ll see your search results change.

4) Now, I do warn you that this is not a perfect tool but it’s quite good at giving you an idea of the local competitors.  You’re seeing what visitors in that location are seeing.

Why Is Knowing Your Internet Competitors Important?

Because in general, Internet visitors will type in the service or product and not the location.  So, someone in Elmhurst NY will type in “podiatrist” or “local podiatrist” vs. “podiatrist in Elmhurst NY”.  The idea is to capture as many Internet visitors as possible and you want your website to do that.

Of course, a local website will absolutely market the local keyword phrases. But you don’t want local phrases to be the ONLY phrases that you target. Your website is not a flyer that you distribute at local stores. It’s meant to cast a wider net and bring in more traffic than local marketing. You’re paying the SEO webmaster so why not get the most that you can from those payments?


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