As an SEO company offering locally targeted services for small businesses we have had considerable experience with the use of geographically targeted SEO. In today’s post we will share some tips gained from that experience.
As a business serving a local geographic customer base you want to rank well for your most important keywords combined with your geographic targets. Keyword research was discussed in this previous post – Small Business SEO Keyword Research.
But once you have your core keywords in hand how do you decide on the geographic locations to target. Of course you will be looking in your service area but should you use counties, zip codes, towns..etc. And how many should you target.
Here is what we have found through customer results and review of website analytics keywords reports.
Counties – Counties are good. You should include them. Use all the counties that are in your service area.
Cities/towns – I would pick the ones that people would reasonably use in a search. For example, near West Chester, PA there’s a town named West Goshen. Someone living in West Goshen looking for a near by service will probably search West Chester. You really don’t need to include every tiny town. The larger the city/town the more searches there will be with that location phrase in it.
Excluding a town or city/town won’t give site visitors the impression that you won’t provide services there. Including it will help you come up for searches when people include that city/town in the search phrase.
Zip codes – A relatively small percentage of searches include zip codes. But why not include them. They are very specific and the more specific the search the better your conversion on it will be. Also, the competition for zip code searches is low so you won’t have to commit as much resources to get good ranking on them.
States – We usually use the state as a top level landing page and then to link counties and cities…etc to it. This also helps to create a well organized website.
Nick Names – We don’t see nick names like “Philly” used much in analytics reports. I wouldn’t commit a web page to it. But if you are able to slip it in, great. I just wouldn’t make it part of your optimization strategy.
Prioritize – The best thing to do is to work your way down from the largest to the smallest city/town and think about what people would probably use in a search.
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