Lately I have been incorporating more localization into my efforts for clients. What are some of the best practices for that and what exactly is localization anyway and why bother? What are the benefits of localization and who wants or needs the effort involved? And what does it cost? I will try to answer some of those questions in this post.
Localization effort is basically a checklist of activities to add visibility to a client website. Here they are;
- Citation resources
- Citation strategy
- Competition analysis of THEIR citations
- The local Google+Place Page Complete
- Reviews / Testimonials strategically placed
- Reputation Management
- On Page optimization for static pages and every blogging article you write
- Keyword analysis for choosing topics for pages and steady review of older pages for performance metrics.
Some of the list may be familiar to you and maybe not. Let's dig a bit into what that is all about.
A citation is basically your business listed on a business directory & perhaps on an off site industry blog or industry directory. It defines your business description and your contact information, uses keywords that are relevant to your industry category.
So for example if you are a lawyer you would want your name, phone number, address, type of law you practice, descriptive content and keywords in that description that are optimized for your practice. You want it to be the exact same information found on your site, your contact page, your mission statement etc. The reason for this is both hypothetical and logical.
Google wants to be sure it is not getting spammed. With over 250 Billion sites or more, it needs to categorize and classify and quantify and judge the truth of what it finds. If it finds on your site that you are a divorce lawyer, but in a business citation it finds you are practicing family law, perhaps it will see there is no semantic difference and check it off as relevant and not judge it badly. But why take that chance - use the exact same wording on your contact page as you do on your business citation and then not have to worry about indexing and possible penalty. Certainly obvious here is you would not want to say on your site you do brain surgery but on a business citation just say surgery. You need to make sure they are worded closely - exactly.
You need multiple citations to make a dent in local search. We are talking hundreds not tens. And if your company is in a dense micro niche then possibly more than that. You need to find directories to make the data entry. Does this sound tedious to you? Yes it should. Do you want to do this yourself? Probably not. Do you want to farm it out to somebody you do not know? You shouldn't. How much is it worth to you to be ahead of the curve locally? To be in front of the others on the search engine result pages? If it means more clients it should be worth thousands, depending on your return on investment ratios.
Your citation strategy should not stand still, and your on page strategy should not either. Also you should be aware that blogging is essential to continued life of your site, as a site is not a dead thing and a one off. That is a given. So then your SEO strategy for blogging is also a requirement.
Do you have the time to think about this and actually apply your skills where they are most needed ( in your industry)? Probably not. That has inspired a whole host of SEO experts and Ad agencies to do the work for you. Who you hire is a decision that requires a bit of knowledge and question and answer gathering. But again you need to have trust in somebody when you make any decision like that, since that is not your field. Its a paradoxical situation. That is what a hiring situation is all about anyway.
I've asked a few pertinent questions, maybe scratched the surface yet it feels there is more to be said on the subject. Perhaps I will address some other things in a future post. I am available for your comments and offer my time at your convenience. Just call and we can discuss your own issues.
Edward worked at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in the hills of Berkeley Ca in the 70's, where the current internet backbone was being developed. He consulted scientists and programmed in fortran, cobol, pascal, C, and Oracle and Informix 4gl's. He worked corporate in the city as a freelancer for 12 years. Higher Source Web Sites started developing web sites in 2001, while in the real estate business. He started blogging and developing sites for his colleagues and his company, then other Real Estate companies. His background in business programming, database administration, & software development made staying within the soft technologies more appealing than other choices. He lives in Santa Rosa Ca with his wife Pam and runs a beagle rescue with Pam, teaches chess, and loves music and cinema.