As I mentioned in my previous blog post, search marketers must change the way they think about page two results—instead, of throwing up their hands in despair when the miss one of the coveted top 10 spots, they need to take advantage of the opportunity that search results on page two and beyond can provide. And the way that they can do this is through focusing on affecting search visitors on a granular, local level.
As Google, Yahoo! and MSN become better at delivering regionally-driven search results, understanding how your site’s key pages are ranking in different cities becomes paramount to a winning strategy. Add this to the fact that our phones, PDAs and GPSs are becoming even more important to our daily lives, and there’s no denying that successful search engine optimization campaigns have to be planned on a local level.
Every page can place well in some geographic location—for example, a web page that ranks on page two for the New York area may rank on page one in Iowa City—or even Beijing. Why? Because even within the same country (not to mention the entire world) searchers use different terms and keyword phrases when they’re trying to find the same item or information.
For example, I might be searching for ‘antique LPs’ while a young lady in New Mexico is searching for ‘vintage records.’ The key is to not only discover which region uses a particular keyword phrase most frequently—you also want to take a look at which pages are ALMOST receiving top ranking for a particular region.
Armed with that knowledge—basically, who searches for what, and where they’re from–SEOs and webmasters can start making a world of difference on your sites. With a tweak of copy in one place and a rearrangement of titles, tags and anchor-text in another, SEOs can improve their local placements by simply letting regional search users inform them of the keywords they prefer.
Richard Zwicky is the founder and President of Enquisite, a leading search analytics firm. He’s been actively involved in search marketing since 1998, and is a regular speaker at conferences worldwide.