BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

Competing with the Locals: How to Optimize Your Online Business

July 11, 2013

As local business starts to dominate Page 1 of Google, optimizing for local search results has quickly become the new hot topic in internet marketing. While the brick and mortars may feel like they have finally caught a break, this new trend can have online retailers feeling a little left out. How does one compete in an online world that is suddenly very geocentric? Fear not online merchants because you have ways of making it to page one too.

The first and most important thing to remember is that, you too have a location: online. This is an advantage that you have over your neighborhood competition and one that you should use, especially when starting out. We all know long tailed terms are better so just like we use “seo san diego” you should also include terms that state you are in fact online. But how many people are really searching for “online” terms?  More than you probably think:

art supplies online                          12,100 global searches

wedding invitations online            49,500 global searches

party supplies online                      18,100 global searches

These are definitely not numbers to disregard. Keep in mind that today is all about convenience and usually “online” equals the least amount of effort. So cater to those costumers, as they are looking for exactly what you are offering, ease.

While keywords are great, you can also compete with local markets by thinking a little outside the box, especially if you carter to specific areas. For one, local directories should also be your new best friend. While it’s not a store-front address, getting listed in these directories will give you some clout as a legitimate business in that area. Also take advantage of your shipping information page.  There’s nothing wrong with calling out the areas you service, so use that content wisely. Have testimonials that include that customer’s location. The goal is to make yourself relevant.

It should go without saying that thinking outside the box, does not mean tricking Google. Most likely trying to be something you’re not is going to get you anywhere and if it does, the reward will be short-lived while the punishment may not. Be creative but not sneaky and don’t try to force yourself where you don’t belong. Embrace you online status and you might find it bring you more benefits in the long run.

Elisa Houghtelin is one of the Account Managers at SEOhaus. If you would like to stay up-to-date on all of the latest SEO industry news and tips, you can subscribe to our blog here. Thanks for reading the SEOhaus blog!