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Optimize your site for the right location


In this week’s Wednesday Workshop, we share a tip that stems from a discussion with a dealer in our booth at Digital Dealer 23 last week. The dealer was wondering why he didn’t show up for generic brand searches in his own town town. After a bit of digging, we realized that he was optimizing his entire site for the wrong location, because he was trying to target a larger city (and it wasn’t even nearby!). Watch this week’s video to learn how you should optimize for your location, and why it’s important to get it right…


Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn. We had a blast last week in Vegas at Digital Dealer 23 – it was awesome seeing so many of you and catching up!

If you didn’t make it out to Vegas, or you just didn’t make it to our sessions, we’ll be posting recordings of them here on the blog in the following weeks, so keep an eye out! I’ll also be posting a recording of my local link building session from Brighton SEO, the UK’s biggest search marketing conference.

But for today, we’ve got a tip about local optimization. I was talking to a dealer in the booth at Digital Dealer last week, and he was upset that he wasn’t showing up for a generic brand search in his city. If you just searched “Buick GMC dealer” in his city, he was nowhere to be found.

I thought that was strange, so I took a look at his site… and it was immediately obvious. He was optimizing his site for a larger city – which a lot of dealers do. If you want to show up in a major metro but you’re in the suburbs, you can optimize for the bigger city and get better visibility.

The problem was – he wasn’t a suburb. He was over an hour away, and besides that – the bigger city was in a different state! Since he was so heavily optimized for the bigger city, he hardly mentioned his actual city at all.

I did a Wednesday Workshop last December about owning your own back yard… You’ve got to be sure that you rank well in your own city before you try to gain extra visibility by optimizing for another city. If you push too hard on your optimization for another location and there’s nothing on your site to back up where you actually are, you’re shooting yourself in the foot… You’re not gonna show up in either place.

So – make sure you’re optimizing your site for the city where you’re actually located. Stop adding in the “also serving city A and City B” crap in your title tags, H1 headings, and content. That’s not going to help you show up in other cities. Make sure you’re rocking your own location first – you can get more advanced once you’ve dominated your own area.

That’s all the time we’ve got for today – as always, if you’ve got questions or comments, leave ‘em down below and we’ll get back to you shortly. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

Author Greg Gifford

Greg Gifford is the Vice President of Search at DealerOn. He has over 16 years of online marketing and web design experience, and has specialized in automotive SEO for the last 8 years, helping hundreds of auto dealers thrive while the industry has struggled during the recession. Greg speaks internationally at both automotive and SEO conferences, teaching thousands of small business owners and marketers how to get their sites to show up higher in local search rankings. Greg also spends his spare time doing freelance website design and SEO for local businesses. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Cinema and Communications, and has an obscure movie quote for just about any situation.

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