Local SEO Question - Need Clarification

10 replies
  • SEO
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If you are trying to rank a small biz site for local keywords do you have to put the city in front of every keyword in the meta keywords for it to rank for those local searches? i.e. Phoenix Boxing Gym, Phoenix Boxing Gyms, Boxing Gyms Phoenix. Boxing Phoenix, Boxing Gym Phoenix Az

or
can you just put Phoenix as one keyword and Boxing gym, boxing gyms, boxing, etc in the meta keywords and it will be understood you are trying to rank for Phoenix plus those other keywords?

Hopefully that makes sense.
#clarification #keywords #local #question #seo
  • Profile picture of the author AravGupta
    Can you please tell me how many times does your targeted keyword and city appears in your on page optimization?
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  • Profile picture of the author Bryan V
    Having or not having meta keywords does not affect your ranking in Google.

    However, you can put the main ones and a few sensible variations in there in case some site auto-pulls data from your site for something.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark_Saenz
    I just want to clarify....

    You know when you go to a site's home page and you view source code and you can see what keywords the site is targeting...

    That's what I am talking about when I say meta keywords.

    It's just that sometimes I see sites that have the city in front of every keyword phrase and then I've seen some that only have the city once out of all the keywords. So I was wondering which was correct.

    I personally have always put the city + every variation of the phrases and I always rank high.

    I was just thinking maybe there was something I wasn't understanding correctly.
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  • Profile picture of the author rbrShorty
    Mark, actually having meta keywords would not only NOT affect positively your rankings, but it might even be a negative ranking factor. You might be interested in this article:

    Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking

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  • Profile picture of the author SEOtraveler
    You are probably talking about meta data, are you?

    It helps to stick your geographically marked keywords in meta titles.
    It doesn't really matter where exactly they go, but Google considers keywords that come first a bit more important.

    As for meta descriptions and meta keywords, don't bother with them.

    Also, why don't you get a Google Places listing? In this case you'll have to get citations and all, but it's often well worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fixers
    You shouldn't worry too much about it. As a rule I would normally only place the place name in once, this is normally on the main target keyword. Then just target keywords as normal, get your G place listing and make sure the matching address is on your sites contact page, then just get on with seo in the normal way.

    Remember that G automatically localises these types of searches, so it would not show up national search results if you searched for pizza takeaway it would give you a local result. So as long as you target your keywords and anchor text with a mix of keyword only and location keyword mix then you should rank well for local results.
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    • Profile picture of the author mikehansen
      As many have already noted, the meta keywords tags are no longer an important ranking factor ... so don't worry about the meta keywords tags.

      What you SHOULD be concerned about are the following:

      - Title
      - Description
      - On-page Content including:
      - H1 & H2 anchor text
      - Keyword Density
      - Alt-image tags

      Using your example for wanting to target Phoenix Boxing Gym, Phoenix Boxing Gyms, Boxing Gyms Phoenix. Boxing Phoenix, Boxing Gym Phoenix Az, etc.

      Your primary targeted keyword phrase should be in the title (preferably in the beginning), in the description (also preferably in the beginning and even in the end to repeat if possible), and within the page content.

      Use the keyword in the H1 tag, and incorporate into the H2 tag too if possible. Also make sure your keyword phrase is within the actual content, again preferably somewhere towards the top within the first sentence or two.

      If the content is lengthy, try to repeat the keyphrase every 80-100 words (and only if it read well and makes sense). Otherwise, just try to repeat the keyphrase three times with short content - in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.

      Any image file names should be named "keyword+city" or "city+keyword" to help build additional relevance with Google.

      There is also a lot that can be done to get a Google Places Maps listing showing up on the first page, which dominates the first page SERPs for most geo-targeted searches including your example "boxing gym phoenix".
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Please don't just ignore meta keyword tags just because Google says they don't use them. Well they don't, but the other major search engines do use them. Use them wisely and make sure they are relevant of course.

    Also despite what some believe Google does look at you're meta description and may or may not choose to use it in the search results snippet. I write all my meta descriptions because I want to do everything I can to control as many aspects as I possibly can. 99% of the time Google chooses to use my meta description instead of pulling it off my pages content.
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  • Profile picture of the author shopperpk
    Google mostly rank your content, if you have good content written on your site and you are not spamming on other sites posting good content with anchor, its must Google will rank you.meta tags has importance but not compulsory.
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  • Profile picture of the author DynaPass
    As someone said before if a website pulls data from your site they may use meta data. It is important to keep the keywords in this field balanced. If the website builds a page for your website with this data and links back to you wouldn't you want that data to be as SEO friendly as possible?

    I only use the city in so many of the keywords I am targeting, the top ones. That way its not spammy and it builds a page with strong keywords on it.
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