After my recent move, I was in the market for some new furniture. Actually, I was in the market for a lot of new furniture: a couch, chair, kitchen table, coffee tables, beds, lamps…everything. And as much as I wish I could tell you that I’m absolutely made of money and can afford anything I want at any time, the truth is that I am your typical middle-class American living in your typically expensive city of Tucson, Arizona. Budgeting is always a concern. So I needed furniture that was quality, yet budget-friendly, and that could be delivered soon. That ruled out the big name stores, for sure.
Anyway, in my attempt to plan my furniture shopping trips, I took to the internet to find stores here in Tucson that might sell what I was looking for at prices I wanted to pay. Considering search engine optimization (SEO) is a huge part of what I do in my business, I felt pretty confident that I’d find what I was looking for with relative ease. But guess what? I was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
Ladies and gentlemen, if you are a business person and you have any sort of online presence…and especially if you’re targeting local customers and clients…you MUST focus on local search engine optimization! Let’s face it: not every business can/is/wants to compete in the national or international marketplace. And that’s perfectly fine. But if you ARE competing for local customers then here are some things to keep in mind:
- Use the name of your city, town, county, or state in your keywords: In my situation (above), I needed quality, affordable furniture in the Tucson market. So naturally I searched for keywords that included “Tucson” in the description. Otherwise, my results were worthless for meeting my particular needs.
- Include words that your customers would use: Nobody wants to equate the word “cheap” with their business products or services. But if your customers are looking to save money, there’s a very good chance they’ll use it in their search query. So put away your pride and use the language of your people. It’s the difference between being found online…and not.
- Provide useful, targeted content to read: Maybe it’s just a pet peeve of mine, but I just don’t understand the concept of throwing a bunch of photos up on a site and calling it a day. Is there anything worse than going through the hassle of actually finding a business’ website only to see that there’s absolutely no useful information on it to help you decide whether you even want to make the drive to visit?? I don’t think so…So write something. Describe your product or service. And don’t forget to use words that your customers would use!
Think like a consumer. What would you, as someone looking to make a purchase, type into that little box on your computer screen? Keep in mind that YOU know your business products and services better than your customers or clients, so keep it simple. And if you’re targeting the local consumer, don’t forget to throw in a few mentions of where you are–city, county, state…whatever your idea of “local” may be.
And remember, if you need help…I might know someone who can get your website up to speed and getting found–in Tucson and beyond. *ahem* :)