Localised Search

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Google gives you every opportunity to make sure that your business not only appears in its search engines, but that it also has a ‘local’ dimension to it. Some companies seem to throw their hat at the whole search scene as they feel that, in the greater scheme of things, they, as a local business, won’t be found. But the search engines and SEO in general really do place an emphasis on companies being locally found. In the USA it’s a tad more sophisticated with Google primarily using the searchers IP address to ‘geo-locate; US IP’s are in general much more geographically clustered, and then serve up results based on their location. Certainly for local searches I have done they have been ‘localised’ to city level but no further as my IP would not be a reasonable reflection of my actual location.  One ISP I used some time back showed my location as being in another county – so don’t rely too much in the IP to get you there. But people, looking for services especially, will search locally – Plumber Drogheda or Builder Galway, Courier Dublin etc. So, unless you have optimised your site to be found in those local terms, you may as well not exist. Certainly, I would suggest that you sign in to Google Local business and (so long as you have a location that you want people find) register there on Google maps. It gives you a chance to fill in address, map location and some other details about your business and (eventually) they will send you a post card (!) which you then log back on and verify your address using information therein. I put a company on the service some time back and it’s great to see in their server logs the location reference in Google Maps. It’s nothing hectic, but the way I look at it, if they weren’t registered as a local business the company would have no hope at all of being found by this method and a competitor could. Lots of businesses have already registered themselves on Google Maps although I thought that some services would be more plentiful (even if they had small websites). Doctors I thought that they would be prime candidates along with late night pharmacies (good enough showing there) and dentists. Bars: The bars are making a bigger effort than most and some even getting in the karaoke message! Also make sure that your address and telephone number are on your contacts page and if you feel that your business is particularly suited to localised searching (Doctor Rathmines for example) then make sure that the localised keyword is in a few of your page titles, body copy and have a localised link to it – “Our surgery in Rathmines” linking back to a map would work. Also try and get linked locally from business, clubs, suppliers, societies – any place that ring fences the local touch.