What do you think of when you think of SEO in Seattle? Many people would think of SEOmoz.
Let’s search for “seattle seo” in google…
Notice the local results above the normal ones? SEOmoz isn’t there.
This is bad in a couple of ways, but the worse part of it is something I haven’t heard many people speak about. If you are not in the local results for your keywords it does not only affect those searching for “city name + keyword”
It also will affect you in results personalized by Google for just “keyword”.
Time to wake up people.
Geo location and Google personalized results are intimately tied. If Google assumes someone is in Seattle, then it will return results for “seo seattle” or more to the point for this example, it will not show SEOmoz.
We have probably all seen cases of Google personalized results by city, but if you haven’t you will soon. Think about it in the terms of countries where we already are used to getting an entirely different set of results for the same terms in Google and in Google UK for example.
It is Google’s goal to provide the most useful results for the search terms a user enters.
Google knows that Google UK users are likely in the UK thus it shows results relevant and useful for the UK.
It would be silly to think that the same is not true of cities. If Google knows someone is in Seattle, they will begin to provide Seattle results. Therefore, expect to see those local results on top of alot of your future searches.
So to wrap up this point:
Local results are becoming more and more common in Google searches, and will continue to do so. Google has begun localizing their personalized search results. Part of that localization is the inclusion of local results. If you are not in local results, you need to be.
Rebecca Kelley recently wrote on the SEOmoz blog about the things she discovered about their local listings via GetListed.org and she discovered a couple things that are affecting them negatively.
The main thing she found out via GetListed is that there were three different SEOmoz entries in Google local…
This is a common thing, to have more than one listing. With SEOmoz this occurred because they have moved a couple of times (which highlights the challenge that Google faces with local listings).
To see how this looks in Google local let’s search for SEOmoz…
There are literally three “SEOmoz’s” (even though they only have one office)
This brings up another important reason Local SEO is important to Non-Local SEO.
If your local listings are not correct or they don’t exist you will not be found by widgets and mobile applications who use Google local data.
This might not have seemed to important a couple of years ago, but in the iPhone and Android world it is very important.
If you don’t believe me then try to get to SEOmoz’s office via your iPhone.
Virtually every mobile application uses local data from search engines or data providers. If you are not properly listed, or are not listed at all, then you will be invisible.
If your listing are inaccurate then you are going to be frustrating real people trying to go to your location.
Luckily for SEOmoz, Rebecca is on top of this and is currently cleaning their local listings up. In a few weeks, expect a very different set of results.
There are two quick and easy steps that I think every business, large or small, should take to ensure they are taking full advantage of the free local listings available to them.
1) Search for “your city + your key words” on Google and see if you show up in the local results.
2) Go to GetListed.org (free tool that examines your local listings on several platforms)