The New Way to Attract Online Customers- Going Local

By: Sarah Carlye

Yellow Pages does it, your local business directory does it and a myriad of local directories do it to great effect, so why don`t you do it? Why do you try to dominate page one of Google for a single keyword when realistically, you`re not likely to get there for a good year or so?

One can only assume the answer is something to do with vanity, but by taking this route you are missing out on thousands of business opportunities and the obvious wealth that comes with it. You see, many people are quite happy to look for their next product locally and not go nationwide and the number of people doing this is increasing as the web gets ever more confusing.

Although many will buy small items such as books and CDs quite happily over the Internet and put their trust in the mail to deliver on time, there are those that will not be so happy purchasing large items or, in particular, services over such great distances. What`s the point of hiring a business consultant from Leeds if your company is based in Suffolk? So web users are getting savvy and using `local search` and confining their results to the area in which they live.

This isn`t even a new phenomena, it`s been going on for years and many localised directories have sprung up to take advantage of it. Think of local directory and sites like `The Best Of` and `City Local` spring to mind. These have taken over from Yell in the local directory stakes and their search results very often appear very high on Google.

But something`s changing. If you`re an AdWords user then you will have already noticed that Google gives you the ability to `draw` the area where you want your adverts to appear - so Google now knows where people are searching from so they can provide the best results for that area.

Users of search though are getting even more savvy and are now starting to add their location to the query. For example, `SEO Services Birmingham` for West Midlands based companies is now becoming common. It`s probably the same for your industry too.

There`s also another benefit in that the competition is probably much less than for your product name alone. Concentrate on optimising for your product in a particular area and you can save money and get a more prominent position in the rankings.

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