I have a friend who asked me to optimize his website a couple months back… he’s a general contractor that focuses on home painting, remodeling, room additions, concrete, etc. He moved to a neighboring city and needed to optimize his website for his new location. It’s not a big deal so I went ahead and completely redesigned and optimized his website and I asked him about keyword locations he wanted to target. He gave me a few suggestions and I went with it.
That’s where I messed up.
Well, several months later my friend is ranking high for the keywords he wanted, the problem is NO ONE is searching for the city he target. He targeted a small outskirt city outside of Houston, TX with a population of only 20,000 when he should have targeted either Houston itself or the city literally a mile from where he moved, League city with a population of almost 100,000 people.
It’s my fault really for not doing enough research ahead of time. I expected him to know you want to target large CITIES, rather small outskirts where there is barely enough people to call it a city. I guess the lesson would be to measure twice and cut once, right?
So, now I’m going to redo his website again and target the larger surrounding cities in his area, I might even target Houston, he wants to expand there in a few months anyhow. No more going after cities of 20,000 people and hoping for the best.
We go after large markets and leave the outskirts for the mom and pop shops.
That said, next time what I’m going to do is go to Google maps, look at all the large surrounding cities and target them. The cities and areas I should have targeted are: League City, Pasadena, Pearland, Baytown, Deer Park, Friendswood, Galveston, La Porte, Texas City and that’s pretty much it… with a FOCUS on Pasadena and Pearland because their populations are over 100k.
Even better, Wiki Pages seems to have a list of cities WITH their population that can come in hand. Just know if you’re doing local SEO work… target CITIES, not counties as we’ve tried before. And don’t target SMALL cities that Google doesn’t seem to care about. LARGE cities is where it’s at.