Online Marketing Blog

Web design resources and news for small business owners in Snohomish and around the world.

An easy (and important) way to boost your Google rankings:

An easy (and important) way to boost your Google rankings:

Focus on location and service area

If we run blog content for you, you’ll notice that we almost always include location in the call-to-action at the end of every post. This is for two reasons: your location is a major part of your Unique Selling Proposition, and Google search results make a huge deal out of location --- even when the user doesn’t specify a location.

How search engines deal with location

Search engines assume, based on search queries, that a user is looking for a business in their area. For local businesses, this is something to take advantage of.

Other businesses that have more money into their online presence can dial in their SEO to take the lion’s share of leads, but one thing that’s hard to game is location. Short of either a) lying, or b) renting out a business space so that the address can be used as a proxy, there’s nothing a company can do to fake their location.

That’s why we make a big deal out of talking about location and service area when it comes to SEO content.

Google now has about two decades worth of analytics to inform them about how to bring the user the most relevant results possible. You’ve probably noticed that they’re so good it's kind of scary, these days. The location services on a user’s phone play a big part in that. Even if location services are turned off on the user’s device, a web service (like Google) can still pick up a user’s general location through their IP address (see what does a website know about its users?). The use of cookies also reminds a web service of any prior info they have about a user’s location. And, of course, users often include terms like “near me” or “in Snohomish” in their queries.

Your Unique Selling Proposition is defined by your location

This tip has less to do with SEO and online presence than it does with marketing in general. Say you’re a small business, like a local hardware store. It's unlikely that you have much to offer over a similar business in the next town over...except that you’re closer.

Being in a convenient location can be the difference that makes a customer choose you, and often is. Even if you don’t have a physical office or store space for the customer – like when you’re a strictly E-commerce business or a services broker – the user may make a decision based on shipping times, or the reassurance they get knowing they can meet you in person if they ever need to.

No address = confusion and uncertainty

If your address isn’t listed, the user will wonder why. They will, of course, consider the idea that there are practical reasons for this. But that might not be enough to make up for the uncertainty or inconvenience they feel. Frankly, not having an address raises questions about the legitimacy of your business.

Using location to strengthen your online presence

Here are four key steps to take to leverage your location:

1. Put an address on your site, even if it's not an address you use for hosting clients or selling goods. You can always mention that contact should be initiated online or by phone. If people don’t see a location at all, they’ll be confused about you and that’s often enough to make them look for less confusing options.

2. List your address with Google My Business, so that Google knows your location and takes it into account.

3. Mention your location and service area frequently on your site. Tip: don’t shoe horn it in every where you possibly can, as this will dilute the value the user gets from your content. If you’re unsure how to write content that does this effectively, you can hire somebody to write your content.

4. Brand strategically. A lot of businesses are putting their location in their name now. Snohomish Web Services, for example, would be a dead match for anybody who searches for web services in Snohomish. If this works for your branding, it gives you an edge.

                                                                                                                                              -

Sharing your location is the easiest way to set yourself apart as a business and make yourself visible on the internet. If you don’t leverage your location, you’re almost throwing money away with your marketing efforts.