A lot of you have been asking for a copy of the presentation I gave at last week’s Interactive Local Media conference. The subject was how to use keyword research and site architecture to help a site rank for variations of searches for service categories in a particular city.The challenge most local search sites have is that they are prisoners of their architecture which typically targets two types of searches: business name and category-in-city (e.g “plumber in Los Angeles”). So how can you expand the types of searches you can rank for without having to build an expensive new site?
Check out the powerpoint presentation. I looked at some sites that rank high in Google for variations on the term “plumbers in Los Angeles” and researched some possible reasons why each may rank for their term. Here’s a summary of the different tactics they used that you can use for your site:
1. Multiple variations in title tags. For example the title of this page on Magic Yellow is “Los Angeles Plumbers | Los Angeles Plumbing Company” and they rank for both.
2. Content. 1800Anytime uses the word “plumbing services” all over its site and so they rank well for “Los Angeles Plumbing Services”.
3. Alternative Navigation Paths. Yelp created a page which lists links to pages with popular variations of the page titles in the anchor text of the links. For example a link called “Restaurant Austin” links to a page titled “Austin Restaurants” in an attempt to rank for both searches.
5. Targeted Backlinks: If you can’t get the page to rank by tweaking the content of the site you can always get a link from another site that contains relevant anchor text. Check out this link for “Los Angeles Emergency Plumber” which I am assuming was purchased to help TVPlumbing.com rank for that term.
Here’s the presentation: Keyword Expansion for Local Category Search