More threads by Ray Litvak

Jul 20, 2012
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Hello all,
It’s been a while since I posted here and, truth be told, was overwhelmed by the graciousness, selflessness and sense of community by those who aided me in the past with ‘Local SEO’ issues I was experiencing at the time.

I return with a different issue today. I own an established ‘Web Content Development Company' primarily servicing the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) since 2008 that specializes in all things web content i.e. SEO Copywriting for web pages, blogs, press releases, articles, e-newsletters, content marketing, distribution, Social Media Postings etc.

We also provide and have success offering Local SEO Services to a select group of clients…going forwards, I am looking to transition and/or focus even more on a ‘Local SEO Services’ offering. I am curious to know if anyone in The Local Search Forum has experience with this sort of thing…rebranding in particular. Naturally, quality content is a large piece of the SEO puzzle, but I also see huge growth/opportunity in Local SEO…even Hyper Local SEO.

Being a solo webpreneur, I am also open to/exploring opportunities to work with other professional webpreneurs (new and/or established) interested in perhaps growing the ‘Local SEO Services’ aspect of their existing Internet Marketing business or who are also seeking other revenue streams vis-?-vis Local SEO Services to new or existing clients. Finding a complementary partner/mutually beneficial alliance is also a goal of mine and something that I would be very open to discussing.

Thank you in advance for those that respond.
Yours in Local SEO,
-Ray Litvak
I'm kind of in that boat. I spent eight years with a business partner doing a jack of all trades kind of a thing. I was part of the technical crew that made the visions come about that my partner built with clients. We worked with a bunch of different verticals in a bunch of different parts of the country doing a bunch of different things, and it didn't fit well at all with my skillset. I'm more like the gnome at the top of the tower with an encyclopedic knowledge of a very narrow area. If I'm hopping around too much to master anything I get stressed out.

So I'm doing what you're talking about, taking my favorite area of work I used to do and focusing exclusively on that. The main pieces of advice so far that's working really well for me:

1 - Pick a vertical. People want testimonials from others in their demographic. Your own marketing and community building will snowball much easier, and you'll have much better luck optimizing your internal systems if you can stick to one area. Dentists, lawyers, doctors, realtors, photographers, plumbers, hotels, restaurants, every single one of those industries has massive differences in local SEO, even aside from basic research like profitable keywords and good citations. Backlink opportunities in particular is one I wouldn't want to have to go back to the drawing board for every new client.

2 - Get involved. I've been getting into the wedding photographer's scene, and people are hungry for real, actionable advice from people who know what they're talking about. If you approach like someone there to help instead of like a salesman, you'll have people thanking you for taking the time to speak and do interviews and build your network. With your background in content creation, it should be an easy fit.

Big tip #3 - hammer down on your own base knowledge. I got much more involved here and on the Google forums, and started reading more industry blogs, doing my own research, etc. If you're going to switch tracks and specialize, don't skimp on your own education. I've spent at least 5 hours a week on just that for the last nine months, and I feel like I know less than I did when I started, if just because I have a much more clear perspective on my holes now than I did before. (the Dunning-Kruger effect)

Good luck!
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Hi James,

Thanks for taking the time to respond...much appreciated!

Great advice on all accounts: initially, I focused on the ?Martial Arts? and ?Personal Fitness & Training? verticals i.e. martial arts schools, fitness gyms, dojos, supplies/suppliers etc. But, as well know, some verticals tend to be more lucrative than others: based on my experience, martial arts schools/supplies & fitness centers do not fall into that category. I do Local SEO for a number of professionals (dentists, veterinarians, lawyers) on an individual basis, but am not sure that I want to put all of my eggs in one professional basket?yet. So the search continues. I?m also open to researching under-serviced niches, particularly in the B2B sector.

Like you, I consider myself a professional Internet Marketer and as such take a consultative approach which seems to work. Sounds like you do the same thing.

If I may ask, who do you use to gather information for these industry surveys? I would be very interested in learning more.

Agreed! The more you learn?the more you know. You will definitely be seeing more of my questions - and answers - in the forum in the coming weeks/months. And thanks for the 411 on the Dunning-Kruger effect. I?ve come across both archetypes over the years.

Thanks again for those pearls of wisdom James!


Yeah, I'm not surprised gyms and martial arts studios wasn't a very lucrative niche. I know most struggle even just to stay afloat. Wedding photographers (what I picked) has a high profit per gig, but even still it's probably on the absolute lowest end of what a consultant should consider going after. I like working with artists though, and once you do get in front of business owners, most are really grateful to get some good advice, and are very interested in self education, so it suits the kind of business I'm interested in running right now. Probably could be making more money if I was going after dentists instead, but hey... I'm having a good time, helping some good people, and supporting my family, so it's all good.

B2B is interesting, I know there can be a lot of money there, but I suspect the vast majority of them wouldn't have a lot of use for local SEO. Traditional SEO maybe, but even there, in my experience at least it can be a pretty different ballgame. Which niches were you thinking that would have some use for local?

For information gathering, scrapers to get the lead list, Facebook ads, and direct outreach mainly. Nothing fancy, but it worked. That's this month's little experiment, looks like I'll end up with a cool little piece to share.

Looking forward to seeing you around Ray, enjoy the forum.

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