Thursday, May 6, 2010

Google Places and the Prioritizing of Keywords and City/Zip Codes

Can you have it all?  Truth?  No.  You can do everything I suggest and do it at the top of the game, but you aren't going to get every keyword for every city and every zip code you care about on Google Places.  I happen to be working with a personal trainer in West Los Angeles right now who's business makes the case. 

She would like to rank high under Pilate Instructor, Pilate classes, Fitness, Exercise Classes, Nutrition, Personal Trainer, boot camp, weight loss consultant, personal fitness coach, and others.  In addition, her location in West Los Angeles  would allow her to draw from 15 actual cities such as Santa Monica, Culver City, and El Segundo, plus another 10 Los Angeles "villages" such as Westwood, Venice, and Marina Del Rey.  I wish there was a way to do all that.

Google Maps and other Local Search Engines (LSE's) are all structured to provide at least some indexing based on how close they are to the search city.  So in the example above, if I'm searching for Personal Trainer Santa Monica, I'm not going to want an El Segundo business to show up first.  (El Segundo is 8 miles away.) 

However, if I'm the business owner, and my business is on the border of Santa Monica and Mar Vista, but actually located in Mar Vista (a much smaller village of Los Angeles than the City of Santa Monica), I sure would like to show up on the MAP in Santa Monica. 

Unfortunately...reality check are going to have to do some prioritizing.  In fact, you should likely pick one key word and one city first.  Next decision.  Do you try to expand your reach under that keyword or work harder to show up under more key words in the primary city?  Either way, the further you get in distance or the more keywords you want, the harder it is to achieve.  But it is better to at least set clear goals.

If you want to expand your reach beyond the "natural" limits of Google Places algorithm, there are some tricks that I will likely never publish.  For that you probably need to call me at 310-910-1848.

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