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Going after the local market.

A great idea for any business owner that has both an offline business, and online business selling the same products and services is to take advantage of the local market through the keywords they go after.  It sounds simple, like duh; but you would be surprised at how many go about it in the wrong way.

Heres the problem.  Let's say you have a local business selling kitchen appliances and furniture.  Most of these business owners when starting up their website they have no clue how the search engines work and how they will really be found.  For example on most of these kind of sites I see that do this wrong, they will go after the general too hard to achieve words to be found.  They do not know they are doing the wrong thing though.  They will get traffic to their website simply because people know about the business or they talk about visiting their website through a radio ad.  They will never get good rankings just starting out by going after the bigger more general words like "kitchen appliance" or "kitchen furniture" and they are missing out on some really good "natural" traffic opportunities.

Here is what they need to do.  Localize.  If your business is in a small town in Alabama, then use the name of that town in front of the keyword you are wanting to be found for.  If you live in a bigger town also try going after that town, county or surrounding areas.  For example:  "Miami kitchen appliances", or "Dade county kitchen furniture."  By localizing you are letting the search engines also know where your business is established helping you come up higher on the search results when people in your towns search for more general words.   They will be able to associate the IP addresses as two of the same county or town.  It's also not a bad idea to throw in a zip code if possible inside the content somewhere. 

A great place to include these kind of localized keywords and phrases is in your meta tags, title tag or any other place on the website where it seems appropriate.  Giving the search engines more information about you, and your business will help them bring better, and more targeted traffic to your website more often!

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