Well, we think it makes a big difference when your web design firm can be local, and even better if your search engine marketer lives and works in your geographic area. When the people behind your website and online marketing share the same space as your customers, they can produce intuitively great results.

This doesn't necessarily need to be a deal breaker, though, and of the several criteria we cover in this series, this is the only one that can be treated circumstantially. For example, if you're audience spans the distance between both coasts, an Internet Marketing Strategist in Cleveland won't have any inherent advantage over one in, say, Omaha.

That said, consider the benefits of working with a team that knows your specific area:

  • Face to face meetings are easier.
  • Local vernacular, humor, and references on the site work better.
  • The odds of dumb driving/map mistakes popping up occasionally are reduced.
  • Many characteristics of your target market don't need explanation or introduction.

You Had To Be There
Simply describing your region, your climate, your customers' habits, and your local economy isn't enough. If you really want someone unfamiliar to your part of the world to understand it well, you'll invite them to come visit it. Even a visit, though, won't give an outsider a fully-representative portrait of your target market.

That's why, whenever possible, we think it's best to work with a firm that knows your market personally; a firm that lives in your market.

Not only will you need to teach your web designer and marketing strategist less about your audience, they'll be able to make recommendations you haven't thought of yet.