Web-based companies are cropping up everyday, and each has it's own ambitious plan for global domination - regardless of the market they operate in. It's difficult for us to avoid getting swept up in the excitement and ambition when we speak to budding entrepreneurs and startup firms about projects which have so much 'potential'.
Many of the calls from such companies revolve around their need to improve organic rankings. We have a comprehensive SEO program which we use on a number of our clients' websites, but very few people realise that organic search engine success does not happen overnight.
Why can't I be guaranteed success overnight?
Search engines take time to learn about your website in order to uncover what it is about, and what your site has to offer. If you're looking to launch your business in a particularly crowded and competitive market, you're going to find it difficult to rank well and outperform the major players for some time - no matter who your SEO company is and how much money you pay them. Achieving 'page one' results against your priority keywords takes a great deal of hard-work and patience.
But whilst traditional SEO should be considered a long-term strategy, there are a number of things that can be done in order to kickstart the traffic into landing on your site. One such technique is to secure local success for your business.
Location is becoming more important
The fact is, local search is getting more and more important. Over recent years, Google, amongst other web-services, has incorporated into it's service, results which are local to you, the user. When you need to find a local pet sitting service to look after your dog whilst you're on holiday for example, you have no interest in the results from the rest of the country. You need the results to be location-specific.
Google has provided such results for many months now, but the accuracy of the results it returns is improving. The search giant is getting better at understanding and interpreting your requirements, in order to deliver relevant and local results to you. But that's not all.
What other platforms are centred around location?
With the rise of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz, location has become an important entity. People want to know where their friends are in the world, meaning more of the web is becoming location-centric. Services such as Groupon and Foursquare, have emerged as successful businesses as a result of this new environment. A few years ago, you would probably have laughed at a business which simply provided users with the ability to 'check-in' to real locations, on the web, but Foursquare is doing rather well for itself thank-you very much.
But the importance of location doesn't stop there. Susan Wojcicki, the individual widely credited with being the creator of Google AdSense, has recently stated that the local advertising market is her main focus these days, which indicates that Google's looking to help it's users find out more about their location, through products, stores and offers which are close to them whilst they're out-and-about.
I want my website to be a success. Where do I start?
The message that should be taken from this article is to start off your web venture by optimising for your local area…don't expect to achieve nationwide page one Google rankings immediately. The way things are going, it'd be no surprise if search engines and other web services start placing even more emphasis on location to the extent that local search engine optimisation takes priority over traditional SEO.