Depending on you business product or service you may benefit from placing a local slant on your SEO efforts. For example, if you operate a car spares company in London it may be possible to rank higher for a more exact localised key term. Perhaps the autospares company in the example is specifically located in Hammersmith. Not only do the potential customers want to know where there local garages are as opposed to the city wide locations, but Google wants to know too. Using Google’s ‘Places’ feature companies are able to register their company details and become searchable live on Google maps. You may also notice when searching some key terms combined with a location parameter, that the relevant businesses in that search vacinty will feature near the top of the results page. Not a bad place to be? Depending on the level of competition in your industry it may be that many businesses within certain locations may have Google Places all to themselves.

The second side to this story poses a more Search Optimisation related question. Could you possibly rank higher by optimising your favoured key words in conjunction with your locality? There are of course a few important variables, which as ever, dictate a slighty more complicated answer than we may like. In a highly competitive market this potential is heavily dimished due to the strength of the competition sites general keyword optimisation. Lets now try to illustrate this point a little. Take the car spare company... If John the car spares site owner from hammersmith, optimises ‘car spares hammersmith’ he still has to compete with sites ranking highly for ‘car spares’. The fact that John has used a more refined key term gives him a strong chance of competing for that top local slot. If however there are 2 or 3 pages of incredibly strong competitors for ‘car spare’, John may still find himself listed further down the page.

Optimisation of any web site should always be looked upon as a long term strategy. Localised derivatives are just one example of how you may be able to capitalise and dominate a niche within your market. Of course if you already have a strong standing inside your market with more generic higher yielding keyterms, you must always seek to maintain this status. As your web site ages and traffic takes a natural flow upwards you want the word to spread using the keywords chosen for the long term future of your business.


Update - 21.01.11

You may be interested in Localised updates from Google running into 2011:

Changes to Google Local and SERPS