Getting Specific With Local Search Engine Optimization

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 results.

How Do I Include Local Search Terms?

There are many way to include local optimization terms. Oftentimes we as web page creator 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 tag

Blue Widgets Sonoma County California

What if you want to get even more specific? Try including:

* Title tag

Blue Widgets Santa Rosa Sonoma County California

* Heading tag

Blue Widgets For Sale - Sonoma County, California

* Page text:

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.

Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant for Search Innovation Marketing, a Search Engine Marketing company serving small businesses. She has specialized in Search Engine Optimization since 1998, including three years as the Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly Media, Inc., a technical book publishing company.

Copyright © 2002-2005 Search Innovation Marketing. http://www.searchinnovation.com All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this article is granted if the article is reproduced in its entirety, without editing, including the bio information. Please include a hyperlink to http://www.searchinnovation.com when using this article in newsletters or online.

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