So I happen to help clients with their search engine optimization primarily in Orlando, FL. That’s not to say I don’t help them in other areas, but since that’s where I reside, I find that most of my clients happen to be in the same city, not to mention it’s the largest city in the area. My company is located in Lake Mary, FL but as many companies do around here, we all state that we operate in Orlando.
This is a good idea to think about when optimizing your company’s website; thinking about the largest market closest to you. Why? Because you should always be trying to make the most money; go where the money is.
It happens all over the country, and you should take this into consideration. Even though there are numerous cities around Orlando, most companies say that’s where they operate. Copy and paste this with any large city in America. Businesses will give you a list of areas they operate, not just the one they have their address linked to. In the same way, your internet marketing efforts should be to all those regions.
Geography is a big deal that far too many business owners neglect to completely harness. It’s great that you can make kitchens look like a palace, but are you including geographic keywords into your website? Are you optimizing not only for your product, but also for your area? It’s important to note that many people include locations in their search queries when using search engines.
Xing Yi, Hema Raghavan, & Chris Leggetter are a team from Yahoo! Labs who analyzed geographic intent built into people’s searches. See the full paper here: http://www2009.org/proceedings/pdf/p481.pdf. Their findings had a couple interesting conclusions. First, 13% of searches included phrases with some sort of local intent. Second, 84% of searches that do include a geographical term in the query use the name of the city they are searching in.
What can this tell us? What should we learn from this? The first thing to note is that some serious leg work has been done and let’s all be thankful we don’t have to do it ourselves. The other thing we can learn is that it is very important to ensure we are using city specific keywords when optimizing websites. If I am helping a cabinet company in Orlando, I better make sure that I am including Orlando into the keywords I am trying to rank high on search engines with. I should also use the cities in and around Orlando (of course, I always base this on the client’s service area).
Overall, make sure to remember that it’s not always important to only concentrate your search engine optimization efforts on the products and services you supply, but also to include the area you have made your products and services available.