The “world wide web” has always been just that: Global. But more and more, what people are searching for on the internet are local businesses on the results page. This means that when people enter search terms they are not looking for a website owned by a company overseas, they are looking for businesses in their own city, town, or community.
The reality however, is that businesses have not caught up to this trend. International results continue to pop up even though local results are what the end-user is looking for, which means that some companies are wasting money on SEO for search terms that are not a good match for the end-user. That’s not going to result in sales, and that’s a waste of their marketing and advertising dollars.
If you surf the net at all, it’s probably happened to you. You type in “video stores” into your favourite search engine and you get a company in Japan that sells discounted DVDs in the search results when really they just want to know where the nearest Blockbuster (TM) is. When this happens, you know there is a gap between what the end-user wants and what Google provides, and what keywords businesses are optimized for.
How can you exploit this gap?
One way is to approach local business and offer SEO services. If someone types in “video stores” into a search engine and they get back international results they will enter a new search term: “video stores San Fransisco” or whatever city they are looking in. The video stores in San Fransisco (or any locality) should have a vested interested in being in the top listings for that keyword with their locality attached rather than that keyword by itself. Because Google is not generating the results they are looking for, keyword plus locality is a search term that is getting used, and one that will produce quality targeted traffic. Not only that, it will have far less competition.
The good news is that it’s easy to be in the top listings when end-users have to include a city in their search terms because there is still relatively little competition when a locality must be listed to get the results the end-user is looking for.
This gap doesn’t happen in every niche though. Google automatically includes local listings in the search results now, which means end users don’t need to include a locality when entering “video stores” as their search term. But there are a few niches that Google has not yet recognized as being “local”, meaning end-users will have to include a locality with their search term that they are using if they want local results. If you know what those niches are, then you can approach local businesses (anywhere in the world) and offer SEO for their search term plus locality. Impress the socks off them by getting them to the top of the organic
A second way to take advantage of this gap is to offer affiliate products using local search terms as keywords. The affiliate products can be physical products or electronic, so long as you can deliver the product or service to the locality you have specified. For example, if you are optimized for “video stores San Fransisco”, you can offer related products and services with far less competition than for the search term “video stores”. Simply optimize your site or affiliate link for search terms containing a locality where your product or service is in demand. The results compared to using search terms without a locality included can be profound.
The time to begin taking advantage of this gap between what the end-user wants (local results) and what Google provides (global results) is now. The beauty of this approach is that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can market your SEO services to local markets anywhere, and promote affiliate products using local search terms to anyone who can access the end product. The need to market with local searches in mind is a global one.