Local Search Boyz & The Hoods – The Value of Neighborhood Names on Your Site: SMX Local Update

October 2nd, 2007

Ian White’s Urban Mapping provides neighborhood data to local search companies meaning when you search for “Starbucks in Soho”, chances are the search engine you’re using uses Urban Mapping’s data to figure out where “Soho” is. Neighborhoods are weird things, most of them do not have defined boundaries of where they start and stop. I sort of know what I’m talking about when I say the “West Village” of NYC but chances are my definition is different than yours.

At SMX Local today, Ian went through the data that AOL accidentally leaked (something like 20 million searches) and found that 9% the search terms people used included what he classified as “neighborhood-specific” terms. Compare that to zip codes which accounted for less than 1% of the searches.

What this means is that you may want to consider using neighborhood-specific keywords in your SEM/SEO campaigns. After all, if I am at the office and need to find a place to get a quick bite to eat I am not going to search “pizza in san francisco”, I’m more likely to search “Tenderloin pizza” or whatever neighborhood I might be in.

Knowing the neighborhoods that your business targets might be no big thing, but if you’re a national agency you might not be as intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in a client’s city. And if you’re servicing a national chain and need the neighborhoods for multiple cities it gets even trickier. That’s why I’d love it if Ian opened up his service to marketers who need to develop a good neighborhood keyword list.

(Full disclosure: A few months ago I did some consulting work for Urban Mapping)

If you have any questions about how to use state, city and neighborhood names and abbreviations for local search engine optimization please contact me.

Tags: Local Data · Local Search · Neighborhood Data

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marc Phillips // Oct 4, 2007 at 9:08 am

    By far and away the most exciting new product I saw at the Local Search conference in Denver.

    Urban Mapping is a natural extension for any keyword exercise.

  • 2 There Goes The Neighborhood… // Jan 9, 2008 at 8:30 am

    [...] I mentioned in my post on the value of neighborhood names for SEO, this data is gold.  There are very few local search co’s targeting neighborhood names in [...]

  • 3 Best Practices for Using PPC for Local Targeting: Kelsey ILM 07 // Oct 19, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    [...] Use long tail targeting to generate cost-effective leads. If you’re a plumber instead of competing against an expensive high volume term like “plumber” target numerous long-tail terms like “broken drain pipe”, “sink installation”, etc. Use the same technique to target geography. Instead of Chicago target a neighborhood like Rogers Park or a zipcode like 60201 (see my post on seo for neighborhood names and state abbreviations). [...]

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