With technology becoming more affordable, hosting and domain costs more achievable and smart phones, TV's and computers featuring in nearly every home it's perhaps of little surprise that more businesses than ever are looking to the internet in search of customers and potential new revenue streams. Companies ranging from small independent retail outlets right up to the multimillion pound blue chips are investing more and more in online projects. Yet with the excitement of owning a brand new website, it can be all too easy to forget exactly who it is you want to reach out to.
With Google continuing to be the search engine of choice, achieving good organic visibility across their search platform is considered by many companies a main goal. But what if you’re only a small company or a company based in a specific location? If you've chosen a .co.uk domain chances are you want your company to appeal to the UK marketplace, but what if you’re a locally focussed business, based in a single city that only serves the local community, do you really want to compete at a national level?
The good news is that over the last 12 months Google has made many changes to the way their search engine retrieves search results and one such change has opened up locally focussed, organic search opportunities, that shouldn't be overlooked.
I Hear Venice Is Lovely This Time Of Year
With the Google Panda update (more info here - Three Reasons the Panda Update is Good for Copywriters) covering some 40 odd changes, it's the change that’s been named Venice that opens the door for local businesses to make the most of their online opportunities. Simply put, Google Venice gives priority to businesses and organisations in your local area. It does this by checking your location, which if you look to the left of your results is displayed in an editable box. By default Google will use your computer’s physical location, although this can be changed back to UK if you were looking for online marketplaces or nationwide e-commerce stores that don't need to be locally ordered.
An example of this might be that of a local pharmacy website. If you were living in York, had Google set to consider York as your current location and typed '24 Hour Pharmacy', the organic search results would now in theory give preference to pharmacies based in the York area.
So How Does This Help My Business?
Perhaps the best way to explain the benefits associated with Venice is with another example. If you were the aforementioned pharmacy and wanted to be visible for a specific key term (let’s use the same example “24 Hour Pharmacy”) you'd previously have been competing with pharmacies based all across the country. If you were to conduct the same organic search post Venice, the results being generated no longer focus on just website authority, but give weight to local relevancy. The new changes assume that you'll want to find local businesses first, which in most cases is true.
While the above description of the Venice update is only brief, it certainly opens up the idea of locally focussed online marketing, something that many of our clients welcome. However, as with many marketing and search related business opportunities, ensuring that your site is locally focussed isn't as simple as just featuring a company address. Why not call a member of the 9xb marketing department to further understand how Venice is impacting on your search engine results and discover how we can help your business be where it needs to be online?