Localized Web Search: WELCOME TO BOB’S DINER!
Our friend, Bob, owns a small, local diner on Main Street. It’s where the locals get together each morning to talk about everything from politics to sports to downtown gossip. The menu is small, Bob’s marketplace even smaller. He’s not trying to draw in business from Rome or Beijing. He wants more local traffic through his stainless steel doors and he wants to sell more Morning Specials.
Well, fortunately for hash slinger Bob, today’s search engines – Google, Yahoo, Inktomi, Bing, Ask and all of the other big search engines – offer “local” search options. Search engine users aren’t looking for the morning special in Granada. They want to see what Bob’s serving up this morning. Oooo, Texas omelet special only $2.95. That pulls in visitors from a 25-mile radius – the service area of Bob’s Diner on Main Street.
Web Site Localization: Say ‘Hello’ to Your Neighbors
Localizing a web site to a geo-specific area isn’t hard. In fact, it’s pretty easy and search engines know when a user has gone “local.”
There are lots of ways to localize your web site to hit the geography of your area of service. If you’re an insurance broker, your service area may cover a few square miles or numerous communities in the region. So, step one is determining exactly who you want to reach with your reach. How far to do you want to extend your offerings or products in terms of straight-up geography?
Take a compass. Place the center on your location and draw a circle to define your service area. When optimizing for local search, you not only define the area you want to hit with your web site, you also want to define the edge of your service area so you don’t get calls from people you don’t sell to. Get it?
What’s That Address Again?
Put your business’ address on every page of your web site, and make sure it’s in a text format. You see a lot of web businesses with the address built into a logo or some other file with graphic extension: bmp, jpg, gif or some other graphics that can’t be spidered by search engine bots.
You or your programmer can add tags to your site code to “tell” bots what’s in the “graphic” but it’s just as easy to place your address on site as a text file – on every page and in the same place on every page. Upper left is where most of us begin scanning a site’s home or interior landing pages เว็บตรง so those are valuable pixels and the ideal place to place your:
- business name (also dba’s if you have any)
- complete street address (located in the Apple Tree Mall)
- postal code (this is one of the main sorters used by search engines during local search – your zip or postal code)
- telephone number (what if they want to call in an order or make a reservation?)
- fax number (simple transmission of hard copy)
- an email or chat module
Place this information on all pages. You never know when you’ll convert a site visitor to a consumer of your goods and services so make it simple to reach out and touch you. After all, you’re just down the street.
Submissions to Local Directories
Local Chamber of Commerces and other business and industry support groups often maintain a site of contact information of local businesses. These on-line directories are ideal for your local business.
Let’s say you’re a certified public account or CPA. Place your contact info in the Michigan Association of CPAs free. BTW, the more FREE advertising (like this) you use, the better. Use all of the web’s latest resources.