Two Key Ways to Optimize for Local Searches
"When you perform a search at Google or Bing, the results are significantly influenced by your physical location, even on queries where you don't specify a location," writes Ray Comstock at Search Engine Watch. "So if you're in New York and you search for [pizza], or [hot tubs] or [DMV], your results will be very different than if you do the same searches in San Diego."
To help businesses increase the chances they'll show up in local searches, Comstock offers tips like these:
Create pages dedicated to localized content. Identify information that is relevant to certain geographical areas—whether at the state, city or community level. Examples include dealer locations, shipping rates and climate-based recommendations for your product.
"By doing so," he says, "you not only increase your propensity to show up in organic search queries in those places, but you also potentially improve your conversion rate by creating a more custom experience for ... users [that] speaks specifically to their needs."
Create link connectivity with websites relevant to each region. Pursue reciprocity with local business directories and bloggers. "If you want to make Google believe that your site is a great resource for people in New York," he notes, "they expect to see sites that are relevant to New York linking to you."
Avoid the appearance of spam by selecting link partners that provide your visitors with relevant, valuable content. "They should become a seamless part of the user experience of your site for the best results," he explains.
The Po!nt: Think global, link local. When properly constructed, a local search strategy will create value for customers and search engines.
Source: Search Engine Watch.