March 17th, 2009With millions of blogs and websites, what can your business do to stand out? In my opinion the best strategy for local businesses in Denver to succeed in search engine rankings is to provide hyper local content.
First, some stats: According to SBI + M:
- 54% of Americans have substituted the Internet and local search for phone books (comScore networks).
- 66% of Americans use online local search, like Google local search, to locate local businesses (TMP/comScore/SBI + M).
- 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP/comScore).
Now can you see why local search is so important? Here are are few ideas of how to make you business stand out in Denver:
1. First take John Jantsch’s local content post to heart:
Make sure that you use the names of cities and suburbs on your pages, add your address to Google maps, talk about local and community events in your blog posts and titles. Link out to local sites using town and neighborhood names in the anchor text. As wells as using local words in you title tags of pages, anchor text for internal and external links, H1 tags, bold and italics tags, urls of page names, and alt and title description of images.
- Use outside.in to comment and post about news in your area. They help you find places around you, get news for the places and neighborhoods you really care about, and engage more with your neighbors.
- Use getlisted.org to get started registering your business to local directories.
2. Get descriptive. For example, according to Google’s Keyword Tool, keywords “Denver Restaurants” get about 135,000 searches a month and “Thornton Restaurants” gets only 2,400. Sure, it would be nice to be ranked well for the 135 thousand searches for Denver restaurants, but also consider that there are 10,900,000 competing pages for those keywords. The chances of being ranked well for those words are slim. Meanwhile, Thornton restaurants has only 1,090,000 competing pages; that’s 9,810,000 less pages of competition.
And think of the mindset of someone searching for restaurants in Denver vs. restaurants in Thornton. The Thornton searcher is much more likely to be looking for a place to eat near them right now then someone broadly searching for restaurants in Denver where they may be doing research for later or any other host of things.
3. There is this idea of Needle in a Haystack Marketing where you can publish very specific ideas to the Internet and, thanks to the long tail and search engines, people looking for specific things can find what they are looking for thanks to you. Your message doesn’t reach everyone but that’s OK because the people you do reach are the ones looking for you. If you have a specific product or service unique to what you do in Denver, then use it in your content.
This should get you started. For more ideas see SEOBook’s web publishing strategies.