Geo-targeting is a subject we have covered consistently on this blog, considering its prime importance for local and location-specific search. We continuously stress the value in incorporating geo-targeted search terms in on-site content and optimizing for them with a coordinated SEO campaign. Now, Search Engine Watch conducted a study to test the SEO merit of domain and site relevance to the target location. As the state of search evolves continuously, it is helpful to test certain practices in such a way and re-evaluate their worth, and the results give us some additional proof for what SEO experts have been finding in their work.
The study itself set out to analyze the performance of related keywords in 10 different geographic locations against a term closely related to the domain name. The subject matter involved was spring break at the University of Sothern California and the web searching surrounding it. The domain used was Travelfromlosangeles.com, it was a wordpress blog, had 32 links, had been live for roughly one year, and had basic SEO and optimized meta tags details. An article was written for it and was shared via social media. The page climbed the SERPS and achieved the top ranking for "UCLA Spring Break 2012." The researchers used Google Webmaster Tools and analyzed data looking at search terms which varied only in the location of the school. Results: over a 30 day span, a pattern emerged where rank of the page decreased as the distance from Los Angeles (represented in the location detailed in each search term) increased.
In the end, SERP positions were correlated to the distance the locations (detailed in the search terms) are from Los Angeles. The link between domain contents and geo-targeted search terms is clear, thus providing some proof for the worth of having the location in the domain name for geo-targeted search terms relating to that location. The researchers point out that such terms in the domain have SEO as well as customer-recognition value. If the goals and target customer-base of your business is location-specific, you will be able to utilize geo-targeted search terms to drive more traffic and grow your business.
Reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and @ryanwbudd with any questions regarding how your business can utilize geo-targeting to advance on its mission.