Enterprise SEO & Localization
About a year ago or so, we noticed something changing on the front of Google search results for one of our enterprise SEO clients. For several of their top tier global keyword phrases, we started seeing a larger percentage of localized pages showing up in the search results. This dynamic is even more profound on mobile devices. And ever since we first noticed this trend, we’ve been following it very closely to see how localization in Google would change our enterprise SEO strategy over time.
And oh boy… is it ever changing — and fast!
Today, when we search our enterprise SEO client’s globally targeted keyword phrases, we see an ever increasing presence of localized pages appearing in the search results. Here’s a quick breakdown of the percentage of localized pages for some of our client’s globally targeted keyword phrases:
- keyword phrase: tennis camps / 60% localized
- keyword phrase: baseball camps / 50% localized
- keyword phrase: soccer camps / 30% localized
- keyword phrase: boys soccer camps / 50% localized
- keyword phrase: girls soccer camps / 70% localized
- keyword phrase: football camps / 60% localized
- keyword phrase: basketball camps / 40% localized
- keyword phrase: lacrosse camps / 40% localized
- keyword phrase: golf camps / 30% localized
So for the global keyword phrase “tennis camps”, 6 out of the 10 search results on page one are for camps within a 50 mile radius of my location. Even more profound, for the global keyword phrase “girls soccer camps”, localization is impacting 70% of the pages on page one.
Since I’m located in metro Atlanta, I wanted to see if the same thing happened in a completely different location. So we had someone in NYC do the same search and we found the exact same thing was happening for them.
There is absolutely no question that localization is impacting enterprise SEO strategy.
And the sooner your company realizes this trend and responds according, the better you’ll position your business for exposure in your most profitable local markets.
Challenges with Localization for Enterprise SEO
One of the challenges with localization for our enterprise client is they have only one location for their business.
So all of their customers from around the world come to their location for sports camps.
The good thing, they have data on the most profitable local markets for their business, i.e. cities, countries, etc… where their customers are coming from.
But the challenge has been figuring out how to respond to this localization trend within their website, with a business that has only one location.
In essence, we’ve been asking the question: how do we gain exposure in localized search results when the business has only one location?
As challenging as its been, we believe we have an answer!
Localization SEO Strategy for Enterprise Business
Now that we’ve been analyzing this trend for nearly a year now, we believe we have a strategy that will work as the localization of search results becomes more profound. And since our strategy and implementation is still in its early stages, I’ll have to follow up with more information as we move forward. But here’s the SEO strategy we have for responding to the growing influence of local SEO (localization) in globally targeted business.
And for any other business that has only one location, yet your customers are coming to you from all over the world, perhaps this localization strategy can work for you as well.
#1: Identify your key local markets
First, you have to identify the most profitable local markets for your business.
You probably already have this data in your CRM. But you’ll want to identify the largest metro areas where the majority of your customers are coming from.
And the localization data can be applicable at both the metro area and national level.
For example, the majority of your customers might come from Los Angeles, California and Australia. If so, as you plan your localization strategy, you’ll want to create pages of content that target both of these geographic markets.
#2: Create localized pages of content
Once you’ve identified your most profitable markets, both at the metro area and country level, you’ll now need a content strategy for producing localized pages of content.
For our enterprise client, we are looking at pulling demographic data on the customers from their most profitable local markets.
So we are looking at data points such as total number of customers, time of year they come to their location, and other relevant facts that can be tied back to their local market.
Then, we’ll simply create a new page of content on their main website that’s optimized for their globally targeted keyword phrase + the metro area, and then share the demographic data as the content source.
Within the content, we’ll find other opportunities to include highly localized information. This can include information on the specific metro area or country, maps, images, videos, and anything else that can be justified to include in the pages.
#3: Site Structuring for localized pages
Finally, as we create these highly localized pages of content, we’ll include core structural elements to enhance their presence within the global site.
This will include elements such as:
- inclusion in localized navigation menus
- sitemaps – both at the global sitemap level and even localized sitemaps designated for localized pages
- internal linking structures to make it easier for Google to crawl and index the localized pages
Ultimately, the goal is to increase the presence of our global enterprise client in highly localized markets. Which has been a challenge since their business has only one location, yet customers come to them from all over the world.
That’s our strategy for responding to the growing influence of localization in the search results.
We would love to hear some feedback on strategies that you’ve been implementing in response to localization SEO challenges…