Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Optimisation?

SEOW-Geo-Targeting-590-300So, is it Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Optimisation? Geo-targeting is an important Google SEO strategy to localise your website’s content and technical infrastructure and increase your local Search Engine ranking. Here are ten tips to help you with your SEO Australia strategy or local Sydney SEO strategy. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to use Search Engine Optimization with a ‘z’.

Country-specific domain name

There are many aspects used by Search Engines to understand which country your website is located in. One of the major factors determining your local Search Engine visibility is the top level domain [.com.au extension]. If your website has a ‘com.au’ extension, the Search Engines recognise the website as being in the Australian region and will index the website in local searches for that locality.

Location of site hosting

Where your site is hosted is also very important to local Search Engine indexing. Your service provider may be based in Australia but use servers and equipment based overseas. Make sure you check whether your hosting provider uses equipment based in Australia. If you still are not sure, you can check their IP address using SEOmoz’s IP Location Tool.

Google Local Business Centre Listing

Creating a Google Local Business Centre listing for your business will impact on your local Google page ranking. Ranking highly on Google’s Local Business Centre listings is becoming increasingly important as the Google Map and first seven listings are being displayed before organic listings even start. Read our article on how to Optimise Your Google Local Business Centre Listing for ten SEO tips on how you can optimise your listing.

Technical infrastructure

The website should have on page Search Engine Optimization which is tailored towards the region – country – city. So, in other words these three elements, if they are identified as the target market, should be mentioned in titles, keywords, meta tags, content, on page titles, links and so forth within the website. For example, if you are targeting customers looking for Brisbane plumbers, you should mention this in your on page elements to increase your ranking when customers are searching for Brisbane-based plumbers.

Spelling

When optimising your website for the Australian market, you need to localise your website with Australian spelling so that Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing understand what country your website is located in. English words in the Australian and American market can have the same meaning but different spellings. For example, Search Engine Optimization is written with an ‘s’ for the Australian market and Search Engine Optimization with a ‘z’ is correct for the American market. Using localised keywords your target market is more likely to use in Search Engines will improve your Search Engine visibility in the local market.

Language

As well as spelling, the language, terminology and the tone must be adapted and reflect the local market. When you are writing for the Australian market, you need to use terms that your customers are familiar with and use Australian vernacular. For example, in regards to hotel SEO, in Australia we are more likely to go on a ‘holiday’ rather than a ‘vacation’ or look for ‘accommodation’ than ‘lodging’ so these keywords would be used when targeting an Australian clientele. Similarly, Australians go to ‘university’ and Americans call this ‘college’. You also need to convert all standard unit measurements to the metric system when writing content for the Australian market. An understanding of market language within each country should drive keyword phrase choices.

Link Building

An inbound link is like a personal referral or testimonial for your website and your Search Engine Ranking is improved by websites linking back to your website which are relevant, trustworthy and credible. When targeting a local customer base, building a link profile with links from other relevant local sites will be far more valuable in improving your local Search Engine ranking than having lots of inbound links from overseas sites.

Physical address

The listing of your physical address, phone number and region on your website and in particular on the footer of each page will help Search Engines recognise the locality of your business. In addition, having a regional specific or local phone number rather than a 1300 or 1800 number and including a Google map on the web page will also help assist your local Search Engine ranking.

Traffic

The location of people looking at your site can also determine your local Search Engine ranking. If your site has more traffic from Australian visitors, it is more likely to rank better in Google.com.au than it would in Google.com.

Local directories

Submit your website to local business and local search directories – this can often be one of the easiest methods of attracting local links and local traffic.

If your company is targeting a niche market in a particular region, wants to reach the local market and have a strong local presence, it is essential to have a SEO Australia strategy and localise your website. By increasing your local Search Engine ranking and improving your local Search Engine visibility, this will improve the number of better targeted and quality visitors going to your website and lower your bandwidth costs. This in turn will lead to more business, even greater opportunities and a higher SEO return on investment.

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