Before the invention of the directory you only had to be unique within a certain distance, on your street or within your small community.
When the Yellow Pages hit critical mass you only had to be unique in the directory, stand out on the page from the other options, be that one plumber in your town or region that had the best reputation. The one place people knew they could get what they were looking for.
Now you have to be unique on Google. You need to be the most relevant to the search that your customer is doing, be the one business that can answer their specific question. This has two important outcomes for people.
1. As long as your business isn’t a service that you personally have to deliver, you can now have a customer from nearly anywhere in the world.
2. You are competing with every business that does what you do, in the whole world.
There is really one thing to do in response to this. Be more relevant to less people. Find a way to be more specific to an audience that can really get behind what you do. Know what Google searches you will be found for. Or better yet. Get to know the people you serve really well, be part of their life and have them talk about you.
Image by Veronica Benavides