Going Down The Long Tail of Local Search

As the growth of local search continues, companies who serve large regions by remote service, warehouses, or otherwise should not feel disadvantaged from an obscure physical address. These companies can naturally optimize across a region by discovering how searches for niche areas occur within a larger region. Because so many searches are now localized a long tail of local phrases are emerging within major metropolitan areas. By drilling down for the names of towns, neighborhoods, municipalities, counties, and zip codes that receive search volume businesses serving larger regions can take the long tail approach to incremental increases in local search traffic.

Take for example Jacksonville FL, the largest city in the U.S. by definition of land area. Jacksonville has many micro regions and some very far apart from one another. Considering its likely people in such a large region may search not just by "Jacksonville," but more so by their immediate area, for a business operating across Jacksonville the greater number of long tail localized searches equals more opportunities to create a top ranking and boost website traffic.

Regional Keyword Research

The trick is to identify how many towns, zip codes, townships, counties, and so on get a high volume of search traffic throughout a region. Then, match these phrases with the ones used to describe a company's services. Here are a few tips for identifying niche regions:

  • Use Wikipedia to find out what counties are within Jacksonville.
  • Search the county names on Wikipedia to discover additional towns, and municipalities.
  • Run a search on Google for "Jacksonville Zip Codes."
  • Run a search for "Jacksonville" on any map website and slowly zoom in, noting the names of towns.
  • For state wide optimization search "List of Cities Florida" on Wikipedia.

The result of these steps should deliver a long list of notable areas within a region. The next step is to plug that list into a keyword research tool, and find out what areas are searched the most.

Adapting to a SEM Campaign

The final step is to integrate the smaller region names into your search marketing campaign. This could be done either with a paid search campaign, or by building out landing pages well optimized for the regional terms like, "Neptune Beach Home Theater Installation."

It's probably best to first beta test the tactic for a few areas and then measures the effectiveness. As for landing pages, the content could basically describe a company's availability in the area, or go into more detail possibly including some localized customer reviews, pictures, and local news as it relates to products and services offered.


Super niche localized traffic doesn't just apply to small businesses servicing small areas. If you're a company serving larger regions local seo can be a means to improve sales in a specific neighborhood, building up website traffic incrementally across multiple areas.

November 5, 2009

Jeff Howard