Besides being available 24/7, one of the biggest “selling points” for the internet is its global scope. In fact, the abbreviation “www” which stands for “World Wide Web” emphasizes the global character of the web.
Many local businesses, however, don’t find this global aspect of the web appealing. There’s no way they can supply the needs of anyone outside of what they think of as their local market. For example, it would be prohibitively expensive for businesses in the various construction trades to service the needs of those who live beyond the normal driving range of their service vehicles.
Fortunately, Google and the other major search engines have recognized the real need for a more localized approach to search marketing and have begun to respond accordingly. By letting the search engines know where your business is located and what areas you service, you can get marketing results focused on your local area.
For one thing, your website will be featured more prominently in the search results returned to someone who is either physically located in your service area or who has entered a search for something “near” some locale in your service area.
Another way the search engines try to support localized web marketing is to restrict the display of paid ads to those people who are either searching from within your services area or who have entered a search for something near a locale in your service area. They realize that it does you no good for them to display your ad to someone in Seattle if your business is located in New York.
So, the good news is that even if you can’t service the whole world, you can still take advantage of the web to market your services to your own local area.