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Local Search Engine Optimization

Friday, June 06, 2008

Local search engine optimization has been in talks lately. Many local and small business companies that are catering to their local clientèle find it hard to SEO for local markets despite targeting the best keywords. Appearing in Search result pages has been a gruesome task for new and local businesses, because with millions of companies competing for top 10 placements for their products and services, local search engine optimization provides a competitive advantage as well as allows consumers to conveniently shop locally as a result of using the web to locate the best deals.

Search engines do what they know the best and that is delivering most relevant results. So, when it comes to Local Search Engine Optimization, it uses a little more creativity. If you are a local pizza delivery shop it will be of less use appearing in world results of Pizza Delivery. If you own a big company and run local delivery offices it might sound useful to you to appear in local searches.

The crux of the matter here is SEO for local markets is only a small part of larger marketing exercises, with certain twists, to get exposure with local locations.

In a study performed by comScore Networks it was found that in 2007 local search grew at a rate of 24%, compared to 14% for general search. Today local search accounts for roughly 40% of all searches and at the current pace of growth local search will pass general search in the next few years, especially considering the increase of internet access on mobile devices. Local SEO is a way to appear in search results when someone types in “Chicago suburb Chartered Accountant” or “Ohama Shoes”.

By NOT focusing and targeting locally, you run the risk of missing out on a lot of great opportunities that just happen to be closer to home and may actually come with a lower cost of conversion. Why? Because its easy for people to trust someone who has closer proximity and is working from their town. It is human tendency to try and find links and relationships with everyone they meet. Users searching for local terms are more likely to convert than someone who figured you when searching for the term “Blogging”.

Search engines are getting smarter and have already started including local results if they find regional modifiers attached to it. Opportunities for local search are growing by leaps and bounds.

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posted by Divya Uttam, 7:55 AM

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