Web localization is the talk of the town at the moment. Extremely exciting for me considering that a project of mine that I am working on at the moment is extremely localized, and is a niche that I absolutely love.
This project is exciting for me, for a few very good reasons. Finally I have picked a niche that I love and have been active in for my whole life (yes, by whole life, I mean I was being bottle fed in this area as a 2 month old baby!), so needless to say, this is something that I am passionate about, and not only that, it is localized! And that is what I am going to talk to you briefly about today.
About 90% of people who ask me what they can do to boost traffic, the problem with a lot of their processes is that they are marketing to a world wide crowd. Now, if you have the man power and the resources, there is nothing at all wrong with doing that, huge success can be gained by those who market to a world wide audience, however I want you to sit back for a minute and think of what is local to you. Think of the questions that you see that consistently come up in your local paper. Where do people like to travel to in your local area to get away from things? Is there a particular stand out feature about your local culture? Is your town in need of a gazelle like website with a forum attached for interaction between locals? Is there a service that you can provide to locals in need?
You see, going localized and focusing on niches that are winnable in Google in your particular country, this is something that is a great basis for any business. Let me give away a quick trade secret. With every single website that I create, I make sure to submit a sitemap to my Google Webmaster account, and make sure that everything is functioning correctly. Did you know that you can actually set your primary country for your results to be listed in Google using Webmaster tools? If you didn’t know that, then now you do.
For example, Bright is a small town in Victoria, Australia, and I really don’t want to market that new website to people overseas (just yet anyway!), so if I can be straight up with Google, let them know that the audience that I am targeting is Australian, that means that my results will be more relevant to Australians searching through the dot com dot au Google search page, and my page wont appear irrelevant to people searching for that keyword overseas. Lets not forget that if the page is SEOed properly, this will mean that in Australia, this new website will be relevant to those searching here in my home country, and it will give me a good head start on my competition (who I am sure the majority wouldn’t be aware of this little trick).
So, what is the real benefit of localization. Lets take two web searches as an example. Lets say that I am doing a search for “country cabins” in Google. This search will then direct me to country cabins in the Hunter Valley, Montville, Belford, and so on and so forth. The problem is that I do not want to stay in any of these places. I want to stay in Halls Gap. So, lets do a localized search. “Country Cabins Halls Cap”, although a more long tail query, it is a selling phrase, and a localized phrase, meaning that the person who is searching knows what they want, and where they want it.
So, lets put this into principal when creating a website. As an example, you are wanting to create a website based on Country Cabins in Australia. By doing this, you are going to be entering into a niche which has a large amount of competition, an extremely large amount of information that would need to be created, plus literally tens of thousands of long tail phrases that you can focus on that you probably will not have the time and resources to win. Although winnable, it will be a long slog, and will more than likely mean that it will not be an easy win. However, if you chose to create a website based on accommodation in Halls Gap in Victoria, you could then provide extremely localized results under a domain that (if keyword rich) is relevant to the content contained within.
Localization is a way forward, there is no doubt about that. The internet is becoming congested with irrelevant results, and as much as Google is doing everything in its power to filter the junk, creating websites that attract a worldwide audience is an extremely hard task. Going local is good for a few reasons. You get to provide something to a local area that they will more than likely appreciate, and secondly, local websites are easier to win from a keyword perspective, and in most cases, you will attract buyers rather than browsers.