Location-Based Optimization Vs. Reaching National Markets

Should your SEO efforts be aimed at your local market or have a nationwide reach?

David: You had one more question. Did you want to try to tackle that one?

Onawa: Was that the one where the guy was going in and trying to make it completely location-less?

David: Yes.

Onawa: I don’t usually get comments back, but this one seemed to be using my Google Doc. So, I got the comments all back, and his original one was very generic. His original site is like, all the business for everybody, everywhere.

David: Yeah.

Onawa: And so, I tried to make it better and then put the location, but he was like, I want to be all the business for everybody, everywhere.

David: Yeah. So, this is a common conversation with clients, too. And it’s all about nuance, how we provide the information to the client. So, for instance, I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have two clients in Charlotte. Most of my clients don’t live in Charlotte. Right? But I do try to optimize my website for Charlotte. Now, that does a couple of things. Number one, it is easier for me to reach my local market than it is to reach a nationwide market. Right? And so, it just sets myself so that I’m not competing with SEO Moz for the keyword SEO. Right? Good luck with that. That’s not going to happen anytime soon. So, it does help me have a goal that I can achieve. But the way I try to talk about it is that I am located here. So, it becomes a fact, but not that I am limited to here, kind of thing. So that’s just how I write it. I write, hey, I happen to be located in this place, which makes me feel human because I’m a human. And maybe it even gives me a sense of credibility. I’m not located in some third-world country with a sweatshop, with a bunch of people who just do nothing but spam people all day long. I’m located in Charlotte, North Carolina. There’s a credibility factor there. It humanizes me. I have flesh and I live somewhere, right? So, there are all kinds of branding reasons why you’d want to do that. But maybe, and you can look at the content and see, was it overly focused on Charlotte? The question becomes, hey, dude, we’re going to be working uphill if we have to try to optimize for everyone, everywhere. We can still optimize for everyone, everywhere and reach everyone, everywhere. But it would be a lot easier to talk about where we are than it is to try to be everything for everybody.

Onawa: Yeah.

David: And you can potentially show him comparison keywords between his keyword and his keyword with near me and show him people are looking for this service that are located near themselves. And if we don’t mention where you are, they won’t find you for near me because near me is a special keyword. Google doesn’t look for the words near me on your page. You don’t optimize for SEO near me by saying, I’m an SEO near me on your web page. That’s kind of a special word that Google says, well, what does near me mean to the user? And is this web page near that user? So, if I mention that I’m in Charlotte, and someone searches for near me, I can show up for near me without having the words near me on the page.

Onawa: So, you can explain it as kind of giving him more opportunity, in a way?

David: Yeah, it is. And think about it from a growing business perspective. It’s a whole lot easier to grow a business in your target market, to dominate that market, and then expand outward than it would be to start with a nationwide reach and hope maybe to get some of that market share from day one.

Tricia: I had someone explain it to me that looking at the local market like throwing a rock into a pond, rather than throwing it into the ocean. Your pond is your small local area. They get that more than if you’re just going to throw it in the ocean and hardly anybody sees it.

David: Right.

Tricia: That was kind of something that helped say, okay, do your small pond first, and then as you expand out, you get more known, and then you can expand out. But if you just start throwing in the ocean, hardly anybody’s going to see it. That kind of helped me.

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