Give me a hint.
The web is a seemingly endless source of information on anything and everything. Problems arise when the information is incorrect or incomplete. Suppose, for example, your company has a name like Universal Import & Exports. There are a lot of companies with this name and similar names, including Universal Exports of James Bond fame.
If a client looks for your company, what do they find? You? Someone with a similar (or even identical name, in a global context)? And what if they find you when looking for someone else? Should you care? To the last question, yes. Everyone is a potential client. Figure out why they are finding you. Some things you can’t fix, but some things you can.
What can you do to minimize search results which are incorrect, not errors but simply not you, or are you when they shouldn’t be? Localization is one answer, except …you’re online to reach a larger audience, right? You are reaching a larger audience. What you want to do though is quickly demonstrate to the audience they are in the right place. Most people have some idea where you physically are, even if it is where you aren’t.
For example, I might not know Universal Export is in Manchester, but I do know that the one I want is in England, not India. So a quick check of the home page should tell me I am in the right place. Not anything flashy, just something in the footer.
What does this have to do with Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Strategy, and Online Marketing? It’s a reminder. Take a look online. Search for your company and see what other people are seeing. Are they confusing you with anyone else? Then remember, your clients might not know where you are, but they might know where you aren’t. So giving them regional hints can help them figure out if you are the company they are looking for.
When you consider keywords and optimization, don’t forget regional references even if you want to sell to a global audience. Two very similar companies, with identical names, same products, but one is in Beijing and one is in Cork—do you want the other company to get the sale? Let them know where you are so they know who you are.