NYC is not one local market. To win requires hyper-localization. As with everything in NYC, location is everything. Leverage it in your marketing strategies
There are only slightly more people living in Australia than in the New York City Metro Area. Thinking about localizing something for all the region is akin to doing for an entire country. This thinking is incorrect and can lead you astray.
A mile in Brooklyn, NY differs greatly from a mile in Brooklyn, IN. For local search engine optimization (SEO), this nuance matters.
Consider the fact that only 8% of businesses, whose search result tops the list for local search, would even make the 1st page of search engine results page (SERP) on Google if searched normally. Therefore, local search is so important to small businesses and larger ones, too.
The mathematics surrounding local search is complicated, however the principle is not. I call it the “largest hill in Kansas” principle. This simply means that the model looks for the highest peak within a local boundary. It is meant to return the best result within a reasonable distance.
If the terrain is flat or empty, the boundary can be large. If the terrain is hilly or mountainous and very crowded, like the Rockies, the boundary has to be smaller.
I mean this similar metaphor to show why the term local SEO for a large metro area is nonsensical. A better way is to think about SEO under these conditions is hyper-localization.
In determining local or hyper-local results, bots care about three things: proximity, prominence, and relevance.
Proximity is a simple concept. It is as the name suggests. It is a measure of how far your business location is from the geolocation of the searcher.
However, proximity is bounded by the terrain, as mentioned above. The proximity bound will be much narrower in Manhattan than in Walla Walla, WA.
You need to know this nuance if you plan to be effective in local SEO or hyper-local SEO. If they optimize you for locations outside your bound, it is a wasted effort.
Prominence is very similar to the concepts we covered for search engine optimization. Prominence is a measure of your online clout. This closely tracks your domain authority.
It calculates domain authority using an algorithm based on the number of backlinks you have from other credible sources, how visibility you are on local listing, etc. The bot is trying to validate two things. First, are you truly a local business, or are you pretending to be one? Second, how well respected your business is.
Relevance is a fairly simple concept. It is a measure of how you page ranks for the keywords relating to the user’s search. If your product or service has a higher rank than others in your local area, Google will consider you more relevant.
There are several on-page, off-page, and technical techniques you can use to help with all three. I divide this section into two parts.
The first section contains steps that most people can do on their own. The second are steps you should consider hiring an SEO expert or SEO company or agency to do, as they require coding.
Remember that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all listings, as this is a strong signal of local prominence. These basic steps should help drive more potential customers and traffic to your website.
Since most small businesses will have less than a 1 in 10 chance of making the first page SERP, local search is a great way to help level the playing field. It is time-consuming, which is why many businesses choose to hire an outside SEO agency or SEO company for optimization services.
If you do, it is wise that you have a basic understanding of SEO. Unfortunately, not all firms are reputable. Often they promise much more than is possible to deliver.
Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkenIn profile
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