By Duncan Carver – In Association With Popup Domination -
“I have just built a website for a Waipawa, New Zealand business http://www.waipawaclockshop.co.nz/ and want to build some links to it for search engine rankings. I was wondering if you have any specific strategies for promoting a country specific product over an international one or whether you just build the links and let Google deal with the country issue? ~ Ray Burton”
This is an interesting question as we’re dealing with clocks from Waipawa.
I highly doubt there are many people searching Google to specifically buy a clock from Waipawa (let alone much else). I don’t think that small town is renown for their clocks, in fact, short of cows, I can’t even remember what they are known for, but she is a nice little New Zealand country town, I’ll give it that ;-0
So forgetting the actual product type for the moment I’ll answer the key question here which relates primarily to geo-specific search engine optimization…
“…strategies for promoting a country specific product over an international one or whether you just build the links and let Google deal with the country issue?”
…at the end of the day (and as my starting point) I’ll generally just build links to the website with specific anchor text related to the product / service / offer and let the content of the website self-theme for the geo-location.
What I mean by that is generally a website is going to contain standard contact information including town, city, and country on the website somewhere.
The most obvious place for this is the “about us” or “contact pages” but there is also a natural tendency to use those geo specific keywords in the overall website content as well (particularly if you’re specializing in servicing these areas).
Further, it’s also common practice for most businesses to run this “address information” through the footer of an entire website.
As a result, often times, and particularly when you’re dealing with extremely specific locations or place names, or very small and non-competitive locations, that’s all it might take to rank for the product type and place name.
I haven’t checked the above website (I’m writing this down the beach without internet access) but I imagine if the website is already indexed in Google and you were to type in “Waipawa Clocks” or “Clocks In Waipawa”, the website probably already ranks in the top 10 for those terms on it’s on merits (potentially without any link building required given that it’s that specific and has next to no competition).
Trying to put aside the fact that the only people likely to be searching on those keyword terms would be you, the website owner, me if I was connected to check, and anyone else reading this who is curious, I generally always let the content stand on it’s own merits before tweaking any link building campaign towards being geo-specific.
The main reason being if I can rank a local website for “vintage grandfather clocks” or “custom made grandfather clocks” in the global Google.COM search results, it’s almost a sure bet that you’re also going to rank extremely well for the geo specific version of those and related keyword terms as well.
This is even more true given your client has a .co.nz domain name.
However when your dealing with more popular place names (bigger towns, cities, locations), or naturally more SEO competitive locations / products / services, that’s when you might want to start to get more geo-specific with your link building if required.
For example “California Dentists” or “California Chiropractors” are going to be much more competitive search terms (even if we got more specific and break it down into individual towns in California) simply because there are more dentists and chiropractors in these regions servicing the population.
There are also more SEO companies helping these guys generate leads for their businesses online and there are also more potential customers searching on those terms.
In such a case, you might also start to look to generate links from other “California” related websites (or whatever geo-specific term you’re targeting) in addition to getting themed links related to the product type / service / or offer.
If you get links from other websites located in the area, you’ll be helping to theme the website around that specific area. If you’re generating links from websites related to the product, you’ll be helping to them the website around that specific product.
If you use the most appropriate anchor text in both cases above (location and product name) it’s going to have even more impact.
That’s essentially how I deal with geo-specific stuff – in fact I did this not long ago for the website of a local Yoga instructor. Right off the bat it ranked well for keyword terms related to the city she is based in based purely on the content, but to rank better for the terms related to the biggest city she is closest too (and could still generate a large proportion of business from – Wellington City) it would require some additional strategic link building.
So going back to the fact that you’re looking to generate organic search engine traffic to a clock related website. I would be much more inclined to focus on optimizing for very product specific, longer tailed keyword terms for global search (assuming they are prepared to ship their clocks of course).
Terms like those I’ve already mentioned i.e. “vintage grandfather clocks” or “custom made grandfather clocks” – and assuming those terms are actually being searched on.
That way not only will they pick up business for anyone searching geo-specifically, but you’ve got a decent chance of bringing in a much wider customer based from around the world – and if not customers directly, it can generate potential exposure and business development leads in many other ways.
Hope that helps.
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