This is the most important question that small and medium-sized businesses should be asking themselves, particularly if they aren’t tuned towards the international market. It has been noticed that most of the SEO service providers fail to ensure the most critical demand for any brand that has a neighborhood or regional presence—its visibility in the local search engines and the ability to gain online popularity for the regional audience.

The more established SEO firms like Trace Media provide packaged services for small businesses that are trying to occupy a share of the local market. Such SEO services are often highlighted as SEO for regional domains or Geo-targeted optimization.

These packages are also suited for a brand that has a country-specific focus. For instance, a business in New York might be trying to capture the increasing green market consumer trends in a south-east Asian nation. Thus, the brand needs something beyond the usual SEO services, i.e. its online visibility in a particular nation.

These services make sense since Google’s search patterns seem to have a distinct, regionalization pattern. Every time a search for a product or service is made, the results listed on Google’s SERP seem to be attuned towards listing a few, high-ranking sites followed by a preference for most of the local businesses that have been able to maintain their online marketing standards as per Google’s benchmarks.

In fact, most of the search engines seem a bit inclined towards listing the results with an emphasis on providing information with the viewpoint that local businesses in the vicinity or regional search engine results would be more useful to the browser.

If you are a small business or a start-up that is aimed towards promoting good or services in a particular city, province or the state, it is imperative that you establish an aggressive, regional search engine optimization outline for your website.

Most of the SEO specialists and webmasters agree that any local business should be following some basic SEO guidelines to make their site search-friendly for the regional, online searches. Some commonly-advocated recommendations in this regard include:

USING GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS—it is imperative that the webmaster taking care of a regional portal mentions the country in the Google Webmaster Tools. This Google application also provides the freedom of adding any specific, national association that the business might be associated with. Google refers to this application as Geotargeting. As a part of the tools, the webmaster can use the geographic target tool application that is oriented towards improving the relevance of geographic queries made on Google. Please understand that this kind of data is not meant to increase the page rank but to make the search results more relevant.

LISTING DETAILED CONTACT INFORMATION—rather than specifying a general address, a business should list local landmarks, business lanes, nearby markets, historic places in the vicinity and any other information that can underline the businesses’ presence in a particular geographical location. This makes the site more relevant to Google’s indexing patterns when indexing information for a regional audience.

LISTING LOCAL DIRECTORIES—nearly every SEO firm provides services like manual submission of the site in link directories and social bookmarking listings. However, a regionally-oriented business needs to ensure that its site is fed to the local directories rather than international directories that receive millions of submissions from across the world. This is a simple and effective way of targeting the local audience.

Most importantly, a business should be working with an SEO provider who can keep a check on the latest of trends that might affect the geographical or regional listing of the site. For instance, when Google launched its Google Places service, Trace Media was among first of SEO consulting New York firms that immediately used the application for its New York-based clients.

Comments Off on Does Your Small Business Have the Regional SEO Advantage?