Okay, we went to dinner with friends tonight... who are trying to get a new local business off the ground... and over appetizers they tell me they realize their website isn't working buried in the bowels of Google SERPs....
So, as I toy with the idea of helping them out I have one question. When choosing a domain name for a local business does one tack the city to the front or back of the keyword phrase? What makes sense? Does one yield better results than the other?
So do I name it KeywordPhraseCity or CityKeywordPhrase?
I would think I should name it whichever way I can use it logically in sentences?
So if I use it in a sentence and throw in another word between the keyword phrase and the city does that mess with the SEO and SERP results?
ie. if I say "looking for Keyword phrase in City?"
I guess if I am going to do this for them I want to do it right... so can anyone that has delved into the local business SEO market shed some light for me?
who thinks its funny, b/c I didn't go looking for business but its coming to ME!
Oh, and yes, I went and looked at their site, and out of the 1,730,000 possible pages they are lucky if they break into the top million...
I'm no where near experienced enough to answer your question Maggie but found it very interesting. What was SEOT like for your combined City Keyword Phrase?
I've recently looked at doing something similar for a friend of a friend. Problem was that when I researched their combined Keyword Phrase and City in MS it came back with no data what so ever, suggesting that people are not searching for this particular service in that particular city through the search engines. However, the top 10 competition was extremely weak.
So here's the dilemma; do I take on the job and attempt to get their website in the top 10 for a keyword phrase that nobody is searching for?
Local, while optimized somewhat the same (people say you need tweaks here and there but I took my son's business to page 1 on Google just doing what I learned doing the 30DC myself earlier this year - before the new Challenge) are a different ballgame. My friends already realize that if you put in their keyword phrase into Google that its not bringing up people that actually perform the service, but rather stores that offer it to their customers... they know that's where they need their site to show up and they are right.
That being said, when I enter the keyword phrase without the City attached the SEOT is 370. BUT when I add the City to the keyword, in either order, it fails to bring back a result.
But I could have predicted that seeing the page one results. If I type keyword phrase city into Google, there are 1,720,000 pages in one order, and 1,630,000 broad matches in the other.
If I put in "keyword phrase CITY" I get 7 hits. If I put it in "CITY keyword phrase" it tells me there are NO sites and gives me alternatives, which are the ones from the opposite order....
HMMMM... so does that mean that keyword phrase CITY at the end will yield better results than put at the beginning of the keyword phrase?
Boy I wish there was a "Challenge" segment for local business!
On the Q&A Challenge podcast, one of the team mentioned in passing "google local" and how it would change the game, but no detail. Do you think this might be relevant to your problem. I say your problem but it is something I would be interested in for possibly offering a service for promoting local businesses based on what we have learned but this is the "missing link".
I know that Caro has a full local business venture started...
I watched the two videos she put out (I think you can find links here somewhere)
but I am not looking to do that on a full-time basis so hesitate (and actually never heard costs involved)
to invest in a full program that I might only ever use once, helping out a friend for free...
I haven't found the time to listen to the Q&A yet, might get to it this afternoon...
Has anyone noticed the broadcast of the London seminar? Someone tweeted last week that it was going
to be available online, but I have yet to see another post, tweet, or msg saying when or where.
The thing with a domain name for local, it works the same way as for a Challenge test project domain name. You want to pick the domain that a) get's the best stats results and b) is available as close to that actual phrase as possible. And you want the tld to be reflective of the country the local business is in, and also hosted there.
So in some instances a keyword phrase may have the city in the front, other times it may be at the end. Another determinant of what to go after, is whether there are Local Listings (Google Places) for that phrase already - as you want to put a local business into those.
Also remember you want to analyze the matrix and the whole shebang. Understanding that SEOT may be a lower figure (if they want phone calls a day - how many a day would excited them?) and also you want the SEOC to be less as well - as if it's even 30K for the local keyword phrase, that means there are a lot of websites to compete with locally. Having said that, I have gone for a higher SEOC locally before, but that was based on not needing a result in 3 months, I knew it would take about 12 months to get to number one, and it did, there abouts.
I am actually doing all of that. The "problem" is that no one is optimizing their websites for the particular keyword phrase that my friend feels people will use to search Google,
not with the city (which is a fairly major one here in the USA), anyway. I think my next step is to ask him what his main competitors are, see if they have sites, and analyze them
with MS or online programs to determine what keyword phrases their customers are using to locate their websites. So would that put me on the right track?
Thanks for all your help, now and throughout the Challenge!
This is quite a common issue you are facing with a local client (even a friend ). It is an opportunity for you to educate them on how the Internet works. And that unless they have a healthy offline budget to drive traffic, it is simply about the keyword phrase, and what people are ACTUALLY typing in. So if they feel that it is another phrase, ask them for the source of traffic figures they have that support that.
If they respond that they 'just know as it's their business', then I would smile, and warmly say it seems like they have it sewn up and walk away. If they ask you to help them, then again you gently but firmly let them know that for you to stay in good conscious with your own professionalism, you approach it the way you know the Internet works. Which you accept does not work for them. And smile, be warm, friendly yet resolute.
I am lucky, in that they do understand (I almost slapped myself in the head and uttered WOW, they GET it!) what they need to target.
Its just trying to find the right keyword phrase, I told them that once we find the main phrase we can optimize the site for the others.
I am going to try to analyze any sites they compete with for keywords... and now that I think about it, if I investigate other cities that are
using that keyword phrase that that might also give me a direction to go in?!
Looking at competition is a great way to go. Always bring it back to what keywords are being searched for in your specific target area.
For example, I believe that how the market will go for say Personal Training, is that it will become more suburb specific, vs just the city. However right now the main keyword phrase with traffic includes the city. What I would do then is target that main one as my theme, and I would include others as my category phrases, and see what sort of traffic they do get in the future.
I do believe that some phrases do grow in traffic numbers due to it all moving more and more local. However I am conscious of NOT having the 'build it and they will come' mentally for online.