View Full Version : 'Local' Sites & Google

09-10-2011, 04:47 PM

This may sound like a dumb question but I thought I'd ask anyway...

When you build a web site that you want to cater only to local towns and cities how would go about structuring your site for the SE's?

Now for the reason I'm asking this question...

I have a website - www.parentprakopins.com (http://www.parentprakopins.com) - which, when a client enters a search using the keyphrase "insurance agency" coupled with the town in which this Co. resides, the site shows up on page one of Google. However, if a client puts in another "local" town name instead the site may not show up at all on Google. This happens even though the other local towns are part of the Title and also included in the content of that page.
What would you add (or subtract) from this website in order for Google and other SE's to recognize the other cities and towns?
Also, does the ISP's local "server" location play into this at all? I.e.; the ISP's local server is located in a city (other than where this Co. is located), and is basically a hub for a number of towns and cities.

09-10-2011, 06:06 PM
Known for detailed replies, I will TRY to keep this very brief instead ...

1. The Main domain is very much an oddity with regard to demonstrable relationship to your KW values, and the only traffic which predominantly is directed is either organically direcfted in the first place, or too heavily dependent on under-developed META information on the site (meaning the first 'Search' results -- the first City --- is what comes up, due to additional cities either not being prominent on a single page within the site to merit it's own directed traffic metric values, or the Index page being diluted of prominent value with multiple mentions without universal optimization being applied).
2. Your industry is vast, and there are innumerable players all vying for the same KW values, and unless your site is super-optimized and incredibly composed, it will not score with sustainable results or SERP. For example, it is one thing to serve 4 cities with dog-walking services compared to the hundreds of "local" insurance businesses, yes?
3. Since you have a peculiar Domain instead of say, "CleavelandInsuranceBrokers.com" (with hyphens, underscores, or however necessary based on availability), your situation makes good foundation to instead apply sub-directories as a means to re-focus each "site" to be completely relevant to a specific KW, KeyPhrase, or SERP value desired. Much easier to compose unique and tightly cohesive Content on all the "site's" pages as dictated by even the most lax SEO requirements. You'd have much better results allowing the Content of such developed sub-directories to stand out on their own merit rather than try to finagle some lesser values on a weak foundation. For example, you'd have better luck using www.parentprakopins.com/ (http://www.parentprakopins.com/cleaveland-insurance-brokers/) cleveland/ instead.
4.. Has nothing to do with ISP addresses or corporate headquarters whatsoever. It all based on the merits of the site's content, construct, and overall demonstrated relevancy (Content, composition, optimization, etc.) to the Search Client's request. Local domainace/SERP usually applies only to non-US internet routing and/or country-specific domain extensions (due to it indicating a language or data specifivity).

Find more useful information here > Using Sub-Directories Properly (http://www.vodahost.com/vodatalk/hyperlinking-making/61786-directories-properly.html)

09-10-2011, 09:21 PM
Thanks Vasili,

I understand what you conveyed to me and really appreciate it. I'm going to take your advice and check out the link "Using Sub-Directories Properly" (http://www.vodahost.com/vodatalk/hyperlinking-making/61786-directories-properly.html) you so graciously added. Your response is something that others on this forum with similar "local" website issues can benefit from.
Thanks again,

09-11-2011, 06:31 AM
I appreciate your comments, Paul. I was hoping you could read through my stacatto-style comments to get the drift ....

Keep in mind, however, that although use of sub-directories will elevate overall the Main Domain somewhat (based on the domain itself with less than visible relevance -- i.e. 'insurance' is abbreviated 'ins' and the name means nothing to anyone but those specifically keying in the name) and provide some organizational structure, you would be better off using sub-domains, since they are fully recognized by the SE's as independent websites and have the same base valuations and importance (as well as being able to optimize fully), as well as are allowed to fully apply normal optimization methods and tools.... and thus be better suited to re-focus any possible SEO benefits upon the city-specific values rather than the industry values (the Main Domain base values) to best compete in a smaller market with super-tightly composed Content.

Being able to use the optimization tools on a sub-domain to properly elevate the "independent" site to better "compete" in a vast sea of sites is simply a smarter move, IMO. These city-specific sub-domains wil naturally be much more cohesive and relevant to the city and the products/services that are important to that specific market, demonstrating advanced optimization, and will likely earn better SERP even above single-domain competeing sites. Let your Main Domain evolve into a more "corporate" site, a 'Portal' if you will, and let the main thrust be the specifically designed city-sites, which will organically compete with a leaner build and better focus of Content.

NOW ... if it were ME, I would go a couple steps further to assure a greater overall success: I would purchase a cryptic domain to "replace" the Main Domain currently being used, spin off the Main Domain into a Portal proper, and use the new simple domain to be the "foundation" for the city-specific sub-domains, which will make it easier to not only remain easier for Visitors to rememeber and identify, but will also allow a cleaner relevancy to develop between a single page site and the content-rich sub-domains linked to it. Make sense?
I would go get maybe, www.PPI.com (http://www.PPI.com) (ParentPrakopIns) to use as http://memphis-insurance.ppi.com .... much easier to rememeber (much more effective to market, promote, advertise, etc.), much more "visitor-friendly" even if you have to get one (based on availability) like www.PPIco.com (http://www.PPIco.com) or even the new www.PPI (http://www.PPI).co
The PPI.com site can be only a single page, with a valued KW rich intro, and however many buttons to link them to the city sites and to the Corporate Site also. Do you see it now, how to simplify the better building of usable relevancy??

Now, if you are more keen on producing results, and understand marketing/advertising and are counting on line sales to produce the profit that is potentially there ... Want a better idea? I just checked, and "BestLocalAgency.com" is available, which would make it look like http://memphis-insurance.BestLocalAgency.com ... Get creative, get serious about establishing a brand that reaches past personal names! You will probably need to spend a few hours searching for Domains and letting the idea take hold in your business scheme, but I am sure you see the benefits clearer of site-wide relevancy extending from the very Domain itself across the site deeply and with very tight compositional focus. You don't think people won't key in "best insurance agency memphis" for example?? See ....

* Remember to keep each city-site super-focused on that city, even re-naming the Forms and resources .... and to make sure you "compensate" for the fact it is a sub-domain by publishing a much greater depth of Content that is so tightly relevant: put up as much as possible to hammer the same city and "purpose" focus, including all kinds of Forms visitors can print out, news clippings, "Whitepapers" that have been given their own page on the site, etc.: don't provide links to PDFs, but actually Copy+Paste the articles onto a page in the site, and that goes for Forms too .... the point is to have actual page Content rich with value, even if a transparent shape is put over it to thwart any real "use" by visitors, as it can still be read and contribute to Content SE values. If you can't find the time or wherewithal to duplicate a "smaller version" of the Form on your page (essentially providing a look at the Form but making it too small to actuall use) then you can resort to scanning a Form to create an image of it, and you can show it on your web page at a reduced size, say 3/4 size, and provide a prominent link to "Download/Print Form" for clients to use, which will THEN go a PDF file they can print out.

Depth of Relevancy Will Influence SERP Far More Reliably Than Simple Compliance With Standards: Content Is The Core SE Focus

09-11-2011, 02:16 PM
Hi Vasili,

WOW - this is fantastic information! I wish I had known all of this prior to creating www.parentprakopins.com. As it now stands my sister-in-law (her business) is happy with the site the way it is. She is getting some business from it albeit not what she could get if I had built the way you suggested.

I do have my own business website that is also a "local" site that I might just re-vamp now.

Vasili, have you considered writing a book on this subject? Such as; "How to Build a "Local" Website for Dummies". I don't recall ever reading anything about "local" websites anywhere.

Thanks again,

09-11-2011, 02:54 PM
If I only had $1 for every time someone suggested I write a book of some sort ... ;^)

Just remember the basic Rules: Sub-Directory for an EXTENSION to a site (all SEO is contextual to the Primary Domain, and optimization methods ineffective/improper on sub-sites), Sub-Domain for INDEPENDENCE (SEO valuations, building better relevancy site-to-site without using Add-On's or resorting to non-related domain names).

12-25-2011, 03:10 AM
Don't be afraid to invest in a Domain that makes the most sense for your plans for a spectacular website or Business Plan .... sometimes the few extra dollars are well worth spending if you get a perfect "fit" as you strive for success!