Challenges of Local SEO

March 1, 2012 by  Filed under: SEO 

There are many different types of Local SEO scenarios, some of which may include:

  • One physical location, customers come to that location and customers are served within a certain mile radius of that location.
  • One physical location, products and/or services are delivered to customers within a 5 – 20 mile radius of that location.
  • One physical location, products and/or services are delivered to customers within a larger radius than 5 – 20 miles or a specific region, state, etc.
  • One physical location and products and/or services are delivered to specific regions but cannot be defined accurately by using a radius, and must be defined by zip codes, city names or regional names.
  • More than one physical location with criteria from above samples.

For some Local SEO campaigns, we create, edit and/or enhance clients Google Places listings or create backlink campaign for localized keywords.

A few sample concepts of the challenges facing any typical Local SEO situation.

A check cashing company located in a city in Southern California. Their immediate need was to let people in the area know that they existed. This is a good example of specific market information that varies from client to client. People will only travel so far to cash a check, they may also go directly from their work to cash a check, so they may work in the area, we had to look at large employers in the area to decide the cities to rank in. In this case, we enhanced their Google Places listing to include a wider radius, they consistently got highest rankings in Google Places and mission was accomplished. No back link building, minimal on page SEO, as there were not many keywords.

A more complex example was a furniture store in the greater Los Angeles area. The owner wanted to appear in some cities, but not in others. There were other dealers in some of those other cities that he did not want to compete directly with.

A common approach to Local SEO is to target main keywords like “plumber” or “electrician” by building text back links containing these keywords, in a similar way you would approach a national SEO campaign, but then follow up with very strong on page SEO that was more directed towards the local, geographic identifiers, such as “plumber, Los Angeles”. The localized keywords would need to be very pervasive and prominent throughout the site.

Another consideration for local SEO is practical considerations. People will only drive so far for church, a restaurant or other services. Likewise, businesses will only service, or prefer to service customers within a certain mile radius of their business. All of this must be taken into consideration when developing an effective Local SEO campaign.

Usually, at the end of the day, the main goal of local SEO is the same, to put more people in the store, to sell more merchandise. There are many things that have to happen from the time the buyer searches in Google and walks in your door.

Martin Walker is President and CEO of Walker SEO, a leading SEO firm located in Los Angeles, Ca. and creator of PageInvasion, a Local SEO WordPress Plugin that creates thousands of optimized landing pages.

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