For this interview we’re going to be talking to Lyndon Antcliff.
Hi Lyndon why don’t you take a few minutes to tell everyone a little bit about yourself
I’m a full time solo web developer, specializing in the area of SEO and now social media optimisation. My blog is at www.cornwallseo.com and I co-host www.web-design-book.com with designer, Richard Quick.
I have quite a number of websites scattered about the place which are constantly being developed. I live in the extremely pleasant part of Britain called Cornwall with my family. I have developed websites since 1998.
Let’s pretend you aren’t involved in internet marketing for a moment, what kind of local searches do you find yourself doing?
Recently I tried to get a plumber, and the first few pages of Google were filled with the big local directories, most of which did not offer usable information I required, or simply duplicated out of date information.
Although the big companies had websites, none of the smaller companies or one man bands were listed, so using Google was useless.
In the end I used yell.co.uk which is the UK version of the Yellow pages. But I still had to phone around to each one
I recently discovered your blog and see that you’re targeting Cornwall SEO is there a great untapped demand for SEO skills on the County of Cornwall?
Probably not, but if I can’t rank in my own backyard then I’m not much of an SEO.
The local thing is more of an experiment. The area is rural and tourism is the biggest industry. There are a lot of hotels and guest houses which could benefit from an seo service. But I am more interested in joint ventures with local, web savvy businesses.
I also think if you are plugged in to your local community it can be quite rewarding getting backlinks.
Let’s get into some strategy, what do you think are the key areas to address for anyone targeting a local search market?
First, develop a keyword strategy. Local knowledge is important, when people search at a geographical level they may use descriptions only used locally.
Sometimes it is as simple as putting your full postal address and phone number on your site. I find I search sometimes by phone numbers and post codes (zip codes).
Backlinks can be easy to get as you can talk to people face to face and develop relationships more easily.
Definitely get listed on places like the local Chamber of Commerce and other groups and organisations.
I am offering our local baby gym a website for free, it would cost no money and a few hours of my time. I get a backlink from what could be a popular site and they pass on my details to anyone who asks about the website and getting a charitable based baby gym to rank is easier than any kind of MFA site.
If you have a business, get your suppliers to link to you using geographical anchor text.
I see you’ve also taken an interest in social media sites do you think they can help you drive traffic or build links for local terms?
I suspect yes. Simply by giving my url a geographical term i.e. Cornwall, means that any anchor text to my site includes the keyword “Cornwall”. I presently rank number one for “Cornwall SEO”, and whilst not a competitive term, there are other SEO’s in the area and I now outrank them.
When people link to me via a social optimisation campaign, they are not linking to me because I am Cornish based, in fact the word is geographically meaningless to them. It’s simply a word used to identify my site. However the importance of the word shifts when applied to local searches based on Cornwall.
My tactic is to use the huge monster that is the social crowd to delicately thread the needle of the local search.
Let’s try and look into the future, where do you see local going in the next few years, and big changes you think are coming down the road?
I think there will be a big shake up on the way, simply because local search is not effective as it could be for the regular user. All the second tier directories need to be got rid of.
Local sites will have to spend more time trying to rank for local terms, there are still a large percentage of sites out there that do not rank for anything useful.
The data is out there, it just needs to be collated and presented in a usable form. I hear a lot about this system and that. But most concentrate on the technical aspects and seem to ignore the regular user.
We have had the technology to organise local search for years, but it’s a problem with the market place rather than technology.
Whoever can figure out how to offer a useful local search is going to make a lot of money.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today, if you’d like to read more from Lyndon be sure to stop by his blog Cornwall SEO.
Tags: local+search, seo, Lyndon+Antcliff