Post updated 30/07/2013
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It can be much easier to come high for locally targeted keywords, here's how...
Achieving a 1st page position for your chosen keyword phrases can be very challenging, if not impossible for some keywords.
Locally based keyword targeted may be a more realistic goal.
A much more realistic goal might be to aim to achieve first page position for the very same phrase when mentioning your local town or area in the phrase as well.
For example www.racing-challenge.com, a client I work with offers children's party entertainment. Coming top on Google across the UK for say "kids party ideas", is going to be tough, but is much more achievable for their local area in Oxford, using the phrase "kids party ideas oxford".
Many companies seek business in their local area.
This is because many companies seek a good percentage of their business from the local area around them. The Google search engine will know this, and seems to show preference to locally based businesses, if it has access to this information on the website or from Google Places.
You need to give Google a bit of help!
But you do need to give Google a bit of help. The search engine may know where you are based, but if you don't place the right keywords onto the pages you're not going to have much chance of the site coming high for searches relating to your local area.
Make sure your business address is on your site.
Thing that can help with this include: making sure your business address is present on the site (I see a lot of sites without any business address, which makes it hard for Google to figure out where they are based, and also qualify them as real businesses). Also make sure your address is added to your Facebook, Linkedin Company & Google+ Pages.
Do you know the keyword phrases you'd like your site to be found for?
And most important of all is to make sure that you have some idea of the keyword phrases you'd like to be found for, and to include locally related phrases into the pages where possible. Examples of these could be case studies of local businesses you've helped, a how to find us page, a page on other local towns and areas you offer your services, are just a few examples.
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