SEO Tips – Local Names Should be Used Wisely

    September 15, 2005

We see literally hundreds of websites every week, most of which are submitted for a

website review and service quote via our website. Most websites submitted for review are from various businesses that serve a very specific geographic area. Some websites we see are for businesses that serve larger urban areas, counties, states or provinces, and national or international clients.

At the bottom of documents in sites serving many geographic areas we sometimes find a list of dozens to hundreds of individual place names, often listed in alphabetical order. Every SEO or SEM sees this, often several times a day, especially on real estate related sites.

The lists of geographic names are placed there in the hopes that the major search engines will associate the site with the various locations. We have no idea why some webmasters would assume this method would achieve placements relating these geographic locations. It won’t.

A better idea would be to establish a unique content page for each of those locations, provided the location was truly large enough to warrant it. This is easier said than done as each page should be relevant to its topic and specific location and useful to site visitors. In other words, each page should contain location-specific information and content.

This will provide search spiders a good reason to consider documents highly relevant for Kalamazoo Real Estate or Hotels in Billings Montana or Tours of Madrid. When thinking about locations, search engines and local search options, keep in mind the major spiders really do know how and why a particular word is being used on a page. It is no longer a matter of simple character recognition. It is now a matter of contextual relevance.

Jim Hedger is the SEO Manager of StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc. Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth is the result of the consolidation of BraveArt Website Management, Promotion Experts, and Phoenix Creative Works, and has provided professional search engine placement and management services since 1997. Tel – 250-385-1190 Toll Free – 877-385-5526 Fax – 250-385-1198