Everyone with a website wants to have their site listed on the first page of the Google search results. It’s a well known fact that the results on the first page get over 50% of clicks (as confirmed by this recent report). My inbox is constantly being bombarded with emails from (as they describe themselves) SEO gurus who promise that they can get my website listed on the first page. However, the emphasis on the placement in the search engine results pages (SERPs) can often be overvalued for businesses with a limited audience. I doubt that a pizza shop in Orlando is going to really find any real value in traffic from people living in Las Vegas…or Germany. That would have to be some really, really good pizza. Instead of using tactics that target a broad audience, you should optimize for local search results.
In general, if you run a brick-n-mortar business, you should really be targeting local customers in your search engine optimization efforts. The people in your surrounding communities and cities are the folks who will have a much higher probability to actually buy your product. They are also an easier audience to target. The competition within a local area is usually less formidable than in a national or international market. Large brands with large budgets typically dominate the top results for competitive keywords.
To get a better idea of what I mean, do a google search for “tax preparation”. In my experiment, the top 2 spots belonged to Turbotax and Jackson Hewitt. Below the top 2 results was a section of local results that were relative to my location, Houston, TX. That’s where local businesses should target. If you optimize for local search, your business will have a better chance of appearing on the first page within the local results section.
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