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Get Local With SEO - Search Engine Optimization

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Getting Local With SEO

If you were looking for a car mechanic on the Internet, are you likely going to be interested in those services that are hundreds, if not thousands of miles away? Probably not. Yet many web sites out there offering services like this and others, often unknowingly are competing for search engine rankings in a much larger geographic area than they intend to serve.

Consider the following example content:

Bills Mechanic Shop is a full service auto mechanic shop providing everything from oil changes to rebuilding engines. All of our staff are highly trained ASE auto mechanics, who participate in our on-going quality assurance program so you can be assured that the job is being done right, and to specifications.

Auto repairs can be a frustrating event causing delays in your schedule, interruptions at work, and lost time. At Bills Mechanic Shop we understand how these events can impose on a personal schedule, and offer you free transport to your job after checking your car in, and we have WIFI if you choose to wait on you auto repair, so you can continue working while you are here.

With 20 years in the same location, membership in the Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau, you can rest assured you will be treated fairly and honestly for all of your auto repair needs. Stop by or call today.

Summary:

Well from the looks of things above, Bill's is a rather decent automotive shop. The problem is that probably nobody will find him on the Internet, and if you talked to Bill he would probably tell you that he gets traffic, but nobody uses his online scheduling and he doesn't think he's getting many calls as the result of his site, because he is taking in few of his online coupons.

Bill's problem is that his web site has no geographic mentions in his content. His site isn't large enough in scope to properly compete for vague rankings such as "car repairs," "auto repairs" and "car mechanics" and other broad queries, and he is getting ate alive by his true competition who are using those elements. For this example we will say that Bill is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, but there are real Bill's with real problems like everywhere, and many don't even know it. For Bill's fix consider the following rewrite of his content with proper adjustment to his tags.

The Rewrite:

Looking for car mechanics in Cincinnati, Ohio? Bills Mechanic Shop is a full service auto mechanic shop serving the Greater Cincinnati area for over 20 years. We are full service and provide everything from oil changes to rebuilding engines. All of our staff are highly trained ASE auto mechanics, who participate in our on-going quality assurance program so you can be assured that the job is being done right, and to specifications.

Auto repairs can be a frustrating event causing delays in your schedule, interruptions at work, and lost time. At Bills Mechanic Shop we understand how these events can impose on a personal schedule, and offer you free transport to your job within 20 miles of downtown Cincinnati after checking your car in. We also have WIFI through Cincinnati Bell if you choose to wait on you auto repair, so you can continue working while you are here.

With 20 years in the same location, membership in the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau, you can rest assured you will be treated fairly and honestly for all of your auto repair needs. Stop by or call today.

Comparison:

Yes, there are many ways you could say, but in the point being made is Bill now has a chance. In fact Bill with the modifications made, Bill will "PROBABLY" make top 10 rankings for auto repairs in Cincinnati, and reduce the amount of traffic to his web site from people who found him that would have never considered using him because of distance.

Summary:

Search engine optimization is not just about high rankings, it's about getting the highest possible rankings for phrases that people will actually use to search you out. In this example there might still be hundreds of criteria that people might use to search, and some that would not include the geo element. However, Bill's customer and highest potential for conversion are those who are searching for auto mechanics and related services in Cincinnati. As such, we want Bill to make sure he is ranking highly for those phrases, rather than competing in an area he doesn't serve.

You can apply this example to any regional business.

Hope this helps you with your SEO ills.

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Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Today I received a notice about this article in my email and I just realized it is 5 years old. The information is not entirely correct today.  For a small local business, one of the first things you should do is make sure your google/bing local information is updated, correct and filled out as much as possible.  

https://www.google.com/local or https://plus.google.com (a business plus page)
https://www.bingplaces.com

Stuffing keywords in your content may not work as it once did.  Instead, concentrate on continually adding unique, well written content on the subject matter of your business.
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