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Local Search Optimization: To do or not to do

Okay, so Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Did you know St. Patrick was Italian? I didn’t, but being Italian myself…I see an opportunity. And then important news; Kraft has recalled Mac and Cheese. So that’s our current events tidbits for the day.

So, here’s a question: If you are a national manufacturer, should you push a  local search optimization strategy and what was the impact to the site if you do?  Great question!

So first off, if you’re a local house painter, its a great strategy and path to follow. There is the 8-pack. You know that A B C D thing. This is what that was truly designed for. And it’s much easier to rank there. But if your a national manufacturer, is it a good idea to try to utilize the local strategy, and what is the fall out of that?

We need to understand what you are. Are you a business that Google would consider local? Well if you don’t know, here’s what you do. Go to Google. Type in a keyword your thinking of and see if a map and the 8-pack or 3-pack appear. If you see a map, Google considers that keyword a local search word. So for us, Web Design, Google considers us local and ranks agencies that way. I have customers all over the U.S. so I have never pursued that angle. I’ve always thought it would pigeon-hole us.

So if a manufacturer makes whistles that can be bought and sold all over the country, what should they do? I would not pursue a strategy that locked me into a local market only. I believe that we send signals to Google, and if they read your signals as Local only, you are going to have a hard time to get them to ‘reclassify’ you (for lack of a better term) into a national brand.

It’s doable and don’t misunderstand me on that. But how heavy of a lift is it, and how much are you fighting the semantic elements of Google? You should use them in a positive way for your business. We know that they know what words means. I always tell customers that every keyword has to be analyzed so that not only you know what the word means to you, but more importantly, what does it mean to Google? If the word means something Local to Google then your best advised to take a wide berth on that word. If you are an artist, don’t optimize for painters, because they are people that paint houses. And so forth.

So my best advise to the customer was let’s not paint ourselves into a local corner and use our resources to make the broader, more national searches more effective. Someday, once we are sure Google knows they are a national brand, then fine, peruse local search optimization.

 

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