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Optimizing for State Names v. Abbreviations: SMX Local Update

October 1st, 2007
4 Comments


Here’s a quick tip I picked up at the SMX Local SEO panel. From Matt Van Wagner of FindMeFaster:

According to Matt he was working on a nursing home chain campaign and they found that using keyword+full state name (e.g. “nursing home New York”) outperformed keyword + state abbreviation (e.g. “nursing home NY”) for both organic local search optimization and paid search. A good tip for when you are creating pages that target where you do business.

And avoid using autogeneration if you can as it can result in some unfortunate terms emerging from your database onto your pages and ads (e.g. “ILL nursing homes” for Illinois).

I’ll try to catch up with Matt to get more details.


Tags: Local Search

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 AhmedF

    Good tip.

  • 2 Neil Street

    In general, I have seen a similar trend. However, there are other issues. If the name of the state is inconvenient to spell in full, eg Masschuseesstss or whatever the heck it is, then I think many users will opt for Mass. or Ma. When I optimize client sites, I use different iterations in different places on the site. I typically would use both spelling variants of a state on the home page.

  • 3 John Clinebell

    I was noticing this morning how the search engines seem to assign the value for both the full name and the abbreviation when the full state name is used. Not so much the other way around. I did a search and found this article… glad to see I’m not the only one who was thinking this was true!

  • 4 Mayor of Kentonville

    Thank you for the post, I was getting tired of arguing with myself about this.

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