Localized search engine optimization is often overlooked as an excellent tool to
bring in local traffic to your website. By including local information in your
tags and web pages, you help prospective customers find specific information on
the area and business they are searching for.
What Is Localized Search Engine Optimization?
Localized search engine optimization is the addition of local search terms to
your tags and web pages. For example, if you work in Sonoma County, California
and are targeting local or state visitors, be sure to include "Sonoma County"
and "California" in your tags and in the text on your page. This way when
searchers look for services in Sonoma County, California in the search engines,
your website will have a better chance of showing up in the search engine
How Do I Include Local Search Terms?
There are many way to include local optimization terms. Oftentimes we as web
page creators do not think like the user: we are too close to the subject matter
we display on our websites. Sometimes when you know a subject very well you
speak in shorthand when talking about it. Take a step back and read your web
pages again. Spell it out for your visitor, using easy to understand, clear
information. Realize that your visitors may not be as familiar with your message
or product as you are. Get specific. If you sell blue widgets, say so in your
text. If you sell primarily to a Sonoma County audience, include Sonoma County
in your tags and text.
Include your local search terms, just like your typical keyword phrase terms, in
your title and meta tags, headings, link text, and web page text as reasonable.
Most importantly, include local information on your contact page, where your
city and state location information is typically listed.
The simplest way:
<title>Blue Widgets Sonoma County California</title>
What if you want to get even more specific? Try including:
<title>Blue Widgets Santa Rosa Sonoma County California</title>
<h1>Blue Widgets For Sale - Sonoma County, California</h1>
Looking for blue widgets? We have the most affordable prices on blue
widgets in the Sonoma County area. We deliver throughout Sonoma County
and all of California.
In this way, users searching for "blue widgets sonoma county" will more likely
pull up your web page of blue widgets for sale.
What About Sales From Other Places?
Don't worry, localized search engine optimization works much the same as regular
optimization. With local search terms, you are simply providing additional
information for your local customers, much like you might in the yellow pages.
Your other search terms work the same way as always. This will not change your
opportunities to pull in traffic from across the country if you have your
regular optimization in place. What you may want to do is specify a few pages on
your website for local search terms, instead of the entire website if you are
reaching for both a local and country-wide audience. This gives you the
opportunity to drive local traffic to specific sections of your website with
regional information. Some users feel better about supporting their local
economy when buying from local vendors. You can even dedicate specific content
pages to your local search visitors, including advantages to buying your product
locally. In this way, you get the best of both worlds, your local audience as
well as visitors from across the country.
Use Localized Optimization
Be sure to use localized optimization to bring in your local visitors, providing
them with a personalized touch and regional information. Widening your scope of
traffic builds the number of your visitors, both near and far. Get specific for
optimum local website traffic.
August 23, 2004
Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant for Search Innovation, a Search Engine Promotion company serving small businesses. Besides running her own company, Daria is an associate of WebMama.com, an Internet web marketing strategies company. She has specialized in search engine optimization since 1998, including three years as the Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly & Associates, a technical book publishing company.