Local Seo - What It Is & How To Use It Successfully In Your Search Strategy

by Jon Cook - Date: 2010-10-13 - Word Count: 517 Share This!

Local SEO. Do you really know what it is? It's a term you often hear thrown around at parties by guys wearing glasses with hip frames and carefully maintained goatees. They always agree that Local SEO is extremely important. That's true, it is. But what exactly is it? Some believe it means search optimization done by someone in the same zip code as you. Here's the real definition in simple terms.

Local SEO is search engine optimization that's:

- Targeted to appear for keyphrases in your industry that also contain keywords for a specific locale (such as Tallahassee; Iowa; Cape Hatteras)


- Targeted to show your site listing(s) to searchers from a specific area

Local SEO Means Local Geography

Let's look at the first qualification. Say you're a stereo repairman (or stereo repairwoman) in Philadelphia. You really only need to reach prospecs who are within, or just outside, the city. After all, people outside a certain radius won't be using your repair service. Who's going to travel up from Orlando just to have you repair their Panasonic? Not me. So, what do you need to do in order to reach your true, viable prospects and customers? Easy.

You simply target your related keyphrases - stereo repair, blown speakers, etc, - but coupled with the word'Philadelphia'. You probably will also want to go beyond that targeting to include names of significant neighborhoods and districts there. Searchers can get very specific about where they want to find a stereo repair shop. Or at least locate one that serves their particular neighborhood.

Remember, your customer is thinking the same way you are about the local market. They want to find somebody nearby that's selling what they need, so they're going to add in those geographic terms to search for someone like you. Make senses, doesn't it? But what about that 2nd qualification for Local SEO?

How Google Is Boosting Local Results for Non-Local Searches

Despite the fact that most searchers looking for a local service or shop do use the geographical terms, some do not. They forget to include them or it might be because they've realized something important. That something is the fact that Google's smarter search targeting means that they can now show you local listings in the search results even if you don't specify a location. That's extremely important to understand if you're a business that depends on a local audience. Why is that?

Google's capability to serve different results for the same keyphrase depending on the searcher's location means that you must identify your service area and location so you appear in those non-location searches as well. You should be hitting your local keyphrases, but you can't forget to state both your address and service area(s) on-site, especially if you're a brick and mortar business.

That's Local SEO in a nutshell, or at least in a short article. It just means search engine optimization aimed to reach local customers in a specific geographic area. So now when those guys with the creative facial hair start putting on their show at the next public gathering, you'll know exactly what they're talking about.

Related Tags: marketing, seo, internet, google, search, online, web, engine, optimization, sem, rankings, listings, campaign, local

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