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Posted 03 August 2004 - 09:01 AM
How have others dealt with more challenging geographic areas? For example, what if a business covers 30-40 towns spread across two or three counties, where they cover perhaps half or less of each county? Searchers might search for them under the searcher's home town name, under the county name, or perhaps under the state ... that's a lot of keywords to cover.
I really don't think it helps our visitors, for example, to have a page for "Livingston house cleaning" and another page for "Roseland house cleaning" and another for "Florham Park house cleaning" and so forth. The info's the same for all towns, obviously, and we know how search engines despise redundant content.
On the other hand, trying to get all these towns and counties into title tags is a real challenge.
I'm sure some of the contributers here have figured this out. I'm unashamedly looking to steal a few good ideas.
Posted 03 August 2004 - 09:20 AM
I would actually reference your main town or area but possibly include a key phrase such as...
"greater tri-state area" or
"statename - tir-state area" or
"countyname - surrounding areas"
thats just a few ideas. I'm sure some others will be posted as well!
Posted 03 August 2004 - 09:58 AM
(Northern NJ is an interesting area to try to "get local" with, isn't it! Lotsa towns in a very compact area... almost as much fun to optimize sites for it as it is to try to drive around in it! )
The point is, figure out where the competition is, web-wise. Then put most of your effort into those. I suspect you'll find that there are only a relative handful of towns -- if any -- where you have any real competition in terms of other well-optimized sites. Which means that you probably don't have to put a HUGE amount of effort into ranking well for localized terms.
Key thing is to make sure your site has a good strong internal navigation so that spiders and visitors can get easily from one page to another without having to go through a lot of clicks. You particularly want to avoid any "dead ends".
Then you could create a page (or maybe a series of pages -- perhaps one for each county) showing your service area(s). Presumably, people who visit your site would be interested in knowing what area(s) you service, so these pages would be a benefit to your human visitors. You could provide a map on each page showing the general geographic area that you cover. Along with the map image, include some text, along the general lines of "we provide the following sorts of services...(bullet list of services). .... to these towns in Essex County... (bullet list of towns)".
Or if you're doing one large page, maybe break it down by county, so you "provide these services (list) to the following areas in Northern NJ..."
(heading) Essex County
(bullet list of towns)
(Heading) Morris County
(bullet list of towns)...
If you divide it up by county, you could provide similar -- but not identical -- text on each page for the services you provide (assuming that you do actually provide the identical services everywhere; if not, your job is even easier), and, of course, the list of towns would be unique for each page.
Then you work on getting inbound links from local directories and locally-oriented sites. I would think that for less-competitive local terms that could probably be enough, and would certainly help even with the more competitive local terms.
Posted 03 August 2004 - 04:19 PM
The good thing about this is that you end up with the most powerful SEO for each locale, and you increase the number of pages in your site. The bad thing is that often there simply isn't that much to say about each town and you end up doing a lot of "copy 'n paste" stuff, combined with adding "information" for no other reason than adding local specific content. IMO, this is not far removed from spam.
In practice, I've found that if you optimise your site for the main phrase "Pet Photographer", then create sections for the main cities/towns, and then put some of the surrounding towns in the content, you end up with a fairly good blend. Most smaller towns don't need a lot of optimisation to show up in.
I live in Calgary. Surounding small towns include Airdie, Strathmore and Langdon.
The next major town to the south is Lethbridge. Surrounding small towns and hamlets include Coaldale, Claresholm and Pincher Creek.
Chances are that the competitiveness of the smaller towns is much smaller that that of the larger ones.
So I would optimise 2 locale pages - one for Calgary, and one for Lethbridge. In the first paragraph (or at least near the top) I would put something to the effect of "Our company services Calgary and it's surrounding areas, including Airdie, Strathmore and Langdon. Since our pet photography service is based in Calgary, travelling distance to these areas averages 40 minutes or less."
Then do a similar thing to the Lethbridge one.
This is just a quick example off the top of my head - no doubt either of us could do much better with a little thought. But the main scenario is the same.
This is neither the right or wrong way - it's simply how I would handle it.
ps: I just read torka's post again - I'll add a "me too" to her suggestions, as well.
Posted 03 August 2004 - 04:48 PM
A couple of others, don't forget also, that some locations and place names are not unique.
There is for example a Boston in the UK, as is there an Essex and a Cambridge too.
I try to ensure that where possible wider geo clues are provided, at an appropriate point in the title tag, and other places within the page.
E.g a page about hotels in Cambridge, England, might have a title tag that says "Hotels in Cambridge, Find accommodation in Cambridge, England"
Which is better than "Hotels in Cambridge, Find accommodation in Cambridge" Simply because its more descriptive, and instantly recognisable as pertaining to the Cambridge in England.
I hear reports that SE's are beginning to differentiate and deliver the serp based on hosting location, but as not everyone is 'aware' as to where their files are sitting (some people just buy the cheapest hosting package regardless of location), then IMO it doesnt hurt to give a further textual clue, especially if you know that a similar placename exists elsewhere.
Posted 13 October 2005 - 12:01 PM
A recent client does house cleaning across the state of New Jersey. I'm just using NJ and New Jersey as geographic modifiers, since I'd go nuts trying to optimize for every town of any decent size.
Wordtracker shows virtually no traffic for searches like "Morristown house cleaning"or "Trenton housekeeping", although I'll be interested to see the results from KeywordDiscovery . . .
Posted 13 October 2005 - 12:56 PM
Posted 13 October 2005 - 06:04 PM
On other pages with photo examples I then name the town & state where i did the photography work so specific targeted pages exist also for the engines.
Posted 14 October 2005 - 08:45 AM
Targeting a specific geo area is where it's at. More focused for the clients and consumers. Easier to do.
Posted 14 October 2005 - 09:09 AM
E.g "I was looking for a housecleaning service in Morristown, and found that xyz was the best by far. service excellent, yadayada... "
..for other satisfied housecleaning customer, both in Morristown and the surrounding area of city x, y, z, read our customer reference letters [link here]...
That would get you around the duplicity of content issue; it also makes your story much more believable, since you can back up your claim with local endorsements...
Posted 14 October 2005 - 09:22 AM
That's a good idea as long as you actually get the endorsements from REAL customers. Nothing is worse than fake endorsements.
Posted 14 October 2005 - 09:28 AM
That goes without saying... Otherwise, you may as well run for Unethical Company of the Year in that geo - that may also get you some links
Posted 17 October 2005 - 03:30 AM
I think if we are going for target some particular region than we have to consider some important points :
1. The physical location of the webserver (IP number)
2. The TLD
3. The meta languages tag(s)
4. Where the incoming links come from and also the actual language of text.
5. Lastly provides information regarding that regions .
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