I have been a fan of location based SEO for a long time. There are many reasons to focus on a location based search engine optimization strategy.
-You do not have a national presence
-Your site is new and not ready to go after national keywords
-They have higher conversion rates in most cases
Well, apparently Google feels the same way I do because Google recommended location based search strategies at the International Search Summit at SMX West. Here are some of their main points.
Show Relevant Local URLs
This one is pretty straightforward, but you would be surprised how many companies do not take advantage of it. If you offer SEO in San Diego, then you should make a page for it. If you are a law firm in San Diego, you should have a page for that. Google recommends working geographic information into your optimization as much as possible.
Hreflang Implementation Helps
In some cases you may have the same content in different languages or simply created for various regions (example.com/mx/page or example.com/fr/page). When this is the case, you should use the rel=”alternate” hreflang in the HTTP header and the XML sitemap if possible. This tells Google that it is the same page, just meant for people in different regions. If you do not tag your alternates Google may not understand the connection and your SEO rankings could suffer.
Summing It Up
Location is an incredibly important segment for any websites keyword strategy.
I often like to break up the optimization into.
– Location Keywords
– Category Keywords
– Product Keywords
– Branded Keywords
It gets much more advanced that this, especially when evaluating the category segments, but you get the idea. Any company that is not taking advantage of a local optimization is surly leaving search traffic on the table. Think to yourself does my website target:
– Language – Country – State – County – City – Zip – Community
If not, then you have an opportunity to do more with location based search. There is also much more that goes into a local strategy than this post let’s on, but I will not go over all of it here.