Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by James Fuller on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 12, 2018).

How can reach my target audience more effectively?

Ok, so I have a small business that operates almost solely in one area. I noticed in my keywords in Search Console that I am ranking high for an area two hours away. Not ideal. It doesn`t help my business and might actually dilute the focus from the area I am targeting. I have no idea why or how I had this keyword phrase for the other area activate. i don`t use that word in my website anywhere that I am aware. What is the best way to address the problem so I can reach my target audience more effectively and not waste time on an area I really don`t want to target?

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Jim Munro: Tim Capper?
  • Dave Elliott: Do a google search for site:example.com intext:auckland (also try using intitle and inurl) and see what comes up. I`d also have a look at your top backlinks in something like majestic (or search console if you don`t have something that monitors your links) and check what anchor text is being used to link to your site.I`d also look to see if there is any text/links in your footer, from say your web design company adding the words "best web designer in area i don`t care about" or something weird.
  • James Fuller: thanks for that. I designed it myself so i know i shouldn`t have any text i there i don`t know about, but backlinks are a good place to look
  • James Fuller: I`ve been getting contacts from Hamilton, I`m not against doing business there but it is generally a waste of my time to follow up on them because travel expense to is often prohibitive for the size of the job
  • Neil Cheesman: I wonder if you are being contacted as there is nowhere in that area who could do the work - possible suggestions - a) offer to do it at a rate that suits you (saying it is higher due to distance) and/or b) make contact with someone in that area that you could possibly do some reciprocal business with... just a thought...
  • James Fuller: Neil Cheesman I`m giving them my price for local but telling them it only applies to local, then I`m giving them my travel cost separate. If I can arrange several jobs there in a single day it can be worth my while and theirs, but generally it costs me three slots . I would need at least three slots there to be worth my while without charging too much for travel, Setting up a reciprocal trade is a good idea.
  • Neil Cheesman: James Fuller You never know, there might be another business in that area in your line of work that is getting similar enquiries :)
  • James Fuller: Neil Cheesman I do birthday entertainment, most of the birthday entertainers from that area come up here for the weekend. Some have shifted here permanently.
  • James Fuller: Found it, thanks that advice paid off, now to contact the website where I am listed, they have me in the wrong category
  • Mal Ö Tonge: Use GMB and create a service area so that you only cover the area that you wish to cover. Let me know if you already did that.
  • James Fuller: Done that. It works great. I come up near the top of every page, in my industry, on the business and maps listings, even on key phrases my standard google ranking isn`t that strong on yet. Unfortunately one directory has listed me in a different geographical area by mistake and it is driving several leads that aren`t likely to pay off.
  • Mal Ö Tonge: Is that a listing you made yourself or is that from citation package. I have only ever used 1 citation package that I actually won from Chase Reiner, but unfortunately them citations have done more harm than good, they put us into directories all across the world and then printed my personal email in the listings. We are in places like Dubai, Turkey, Pakistan, but no where to be found in the country the business resides. Be careful when adding to directories or paying for citations. I wish I checked up the company who did our citations before I let them loose, o well a lesson learnt. Don`t trust others word alone, always check a company out for yourself before you use them. :(
  • James Fuller: Mal Ö Tonge It is a free/paid local directory. I researched them before I contacted them. I know some directories can hurt your SEO. I`m not sure if it was their mistake or if I simply checked the wrong box. I wasn`t able to create the listing directly though, I had to send a request and wait for a reply, so I think it was their mistake.
  • Mal Ö Tonge: O at least your in contact with them im sure they will rectify the mistake, It could also be worth as someone mentioned above to make contact with same business from surrounding areas, get them to send you work and you send them work. Anyway, hope you get it sorted sooner rather than later. Good Luck James Fuller
  • Jim Munro: Mal Ö Tonge I blocked Chase from here for multiple reasons just like this one. I`ve felt bad about it since but you`ve made me feel better. :)
  • Dumb SEO Questions: So this location 2hrs away, how is it related in terminology, where have or has it been used either on site or offsite?Can I get the site URL and what these terms are. Reading all the comment, it seems there was some inconstancy in your NAP.
  • Stockbridge Truslow: Google comprehends locations pretty well at this stage in the game. If you`re the closest in that area (or the closest to that area with a search engine friendly site) you`re probably going to rank well. If you really don`t want the business from there, try tamping down on your "areaServed" in your schema markup for the business. Just list the towns, zip codes, or however you decide to define the area that are cost effective. You might still rank for some searches in that area, but it should act as at least some sort of self-imposed ranking penalty. Another option is to simply let yourself rank but put some sort of disclaimer on your contact form or whatever you`re goal is which alerts people to the fact of "If you live outside of x miles of my_location, it can be cost prohibitive for you." Something along those lines. Honestly, though - unless you`re really overhwhelmed by better contacts - I`m not sure I`d ever dissuade contact from these people. Your sales staff can quickly steer the call to the point where this person understands it`s probably too much for them, but you`ve left a positive brand message in their mind (due to honesty) that can help with referrals to friends who ARE in your local area or something that might trigger in their mind if they eventually relocate to your area.
  • Michael Martinez: If you are ranking for unexpected keywords you are NOT "diluting" your rankings for keywords you target. There is no way to "dilute" rankings. If you`re not investing resources in showing the search engine what you want to be relevant for that is cer...Lihat Lainnya
  • James Fuller: Thank you for trying to help, but, ... 1) I found the problem and since it has me categorized incorrectly once it is fixed it will stop counting toward the key word I do not want, it will count toward the key word I do want. That should add toward a stronger rating, since it is a backlink it actually carries more weight than my organic keywords, it is doing very little to help my target ranking and even contradicts the keywords I do have on my site. 2) it is generating unwanted traffic, it takes time to respond to each contact and I should respond to all leads, the time I spend doing that could be spent responding to valid leads. 3) once it is fixed it will most assuredly give me more leads from my targeted audience. might not be my responsibility to fix but if I don`t then it will keep wasting my time. 4) when you understand how the words on your sites are analyzed you realize something. The all the words and phrases on your site are counted, The keywords are itemized and divided into the whole for a weighted average. Having rich keywords on your site that have nothing to do with your business will dilute the words you are targeting. i.e. someone uses a template to build their website. they make a nice landing page and publish the site. They wait several months and see zero progress. They analyze their site and see that the crawlers are classifying their site in an entirely different industry. Their targeted keywords are barely registering while their unrelated keywords are strong. They look back at their website and find it still contains all the template examples. Their targeted keywords are indeed diluted even to a point that their website is coming up in unrelated searches. (This was a case study, I`ve seen it happen). Unrelated keywords and backlinks hurt your website.
  • Michael Martinez: James Fuller I`m glad you feel you have fixed your problem. I`m not going to debate "dilution" with you. You will eventually see that that is just another SEO myth.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 12, 2018).

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