If you sell to local people, or to those within a specific area, and especially if you want to reach people or businesses that will search for your service or product, and want it local – then for goodness sake include that in your keywords. Make it easy for the search engines to know this.
For instance, recently I was determined to buy a bonsai tree as a gift. So the first thing I do is pop to Google and type in bonsai trees Kent (to give it a wider chance than just Maidstone). Well a place in Whitstable came up, but that’s a bit far for me, and little of much use, quite honestly. So I tried Maidstone in the search instead of Kent – the Google Local focussed on trees, unfortunately – none actually did bonsai – however a phone call to one of them pointed me to a new shop with an astonishing array of bonsai trees, expertise and related items. I mentioned that I’d tried to find them online and they now have a website that comes up immediately for a Maidstone search (time to suggest they include Kent in their keywords – Maidstone being well placed in the county).
This may be a particularly specific search, but you get the idea. It is astonishing how few businesses are bothering to include the town/area/county in their keywords. Crazy!
So – even if you don’t want to limit yourself to local custom, it’s not going to harm you to include your locality with your keywords – quite the opposite, I suggest.
And be sure to register your business with Google’s Local Business Centre (the UK link) – be sure to add your website.
And of course there will be local directories from which to request links – make sure you make use of those too. How to find them? Search for area directory (replacing area with your target area!), and you could try the search “local directory” and see if any offer free listing – no need to go mad on that – you’ll likely find that a few enterprising local people have set up specific directories.
And of course use the online social and business networks, such as Business Scene, Ecademy, Word of Mouse, WeCanDo.Biz, BT Tradespace, UK Business Forums, and plenty more… (which will be covered in another blog later this week). Some will include for local business networking – so see which appeal to you and get stuck in!
Go optimise for local searches – it’s easier than you think.