The advertising landscape for Toronto and other large cities has changed dramatically over the past decade, where the traditional media such as print, television and radio is now being replaced by internet based media. Today research has demonstrated that more than half the searches performed on the internet are done to find local products and services. To be in front of your prospect, your business must show up in the results for local searches in your municipality. In the past, sales agents for the media companies would advise a business owner on how to reach prospects in their neighbourhoods or local communities. It is more an exception than a rule to consider the city of Toronto as your market.
With Metro Toronto as it’s called, consisting of 7 municipalities that are spread over an area of 2700 square miles it is foolish to think that people will come from across town to consume your products or services. More than 5.6 million people consider Toronto their home town even if in reality they reside in York, Mississauga or Markham. When it comes to advertising your business for your local business you must understand what your prospects consider “local”.
After being asked “What part of Toronto are you from?” many people start getting into the habit of volunteering a more concise answer to the question “where do you live?” Sometimes narrowing it down to the municipality like saying “I’m from Markham” will still trigger more questions and one might need to focus it to the neighbourhood like “I’m from Milliken or Brimley Woods “. Oftentimes, a landmark or intersection like “I live near the Terry Fox Park” or “I live near Steeles and Kennedy” can provide clarity to a location query.
Metro Toronto is divided into 47 Wards that sub-divides the Municipalities in smaller sections. The complete list can be found at the Metro Toronto Website. The municipality of Etobicoke for example is further split into 6 wards covering 3 localities; Etobicoke North, Lakeshore and Center. Search users have also discovered that searching without adding a place will get them results that are either too far away for them to travel or just plain irrelevant. Google is trying to help users by displaying local results but that technology is not 100% effective yet.
To have a good internet presence for you local company you first have to determine how far will your preferred customer will travel to visit your business and also how they will travel so you can take advantage of the Toronto Transit Company’s routes and names. It does not matter how good your soup is, it’s doubtful that folks will take the TTC to go from Markham to Vaughan for lunch. Many people do not have their own cars and have not been outside the Brampton or other local area for years. How to find your local business keywords Start with your top Keywords, your money words and expand the list as much as you can. For a plumbing company, this would be something like plumber, plumbing, emergency plumbers, etc.
Then make a list of local modifiers for your area starting with your street name, plaza, ward name, neighbourhood, landmark, parks, area nickname, municipality, and you it won’t hurt you to add Toronto, Ontario or even Canada. An Example of this would be for a dentist office in Markham could target the keywords; Managed IT Services Company Toronto
- Dentist Finch Street
- Dentist at Finch & Brimley
- Bowlerama Kennedy White Shield Plaza Dentist
- Agincourt Dentist
- Agincourt Community Dentist
- Agincourt Station Dentist
- Agincourt North Dentist
- Brimley Woods Dentist
- Markham Dentist
- East Toronto Dentist
- Toronto Dentist
So if you combine the business name, products and service and other information with all the local modifiers you are certain to get some results if people are looking for your type of business in your local area. This might seem like a lot of work and it is. But if you do right and you do it now, you might see great results for years to come in the form of free traffic from the internet.