Let's say you're an Internet marketing agency. And let's say your client is the Iron Maiden Repair Company: a national business that repairs iron maidens* in markets all over North America. One day the client comes to you with a serious problem:
CLIENT: "Hey, man, sup?"
YOU: "Hi, how have you bee–"
CLIENT: "Awesome, hey look — our Columbus and Cleveland locations are really rockin' but we're not doing any business at any of our other locations."
YOU: "Sure, we can help."
YOU: "We just need to target the search traffic in those other markets. Where else do you have repair stores?"
YOU: "OK, well, do you list all of these locations on your website?"
CLIENT: "Yeah, it says we offer iron maiden repair… everywhere."
Like any savvy marketer, you want to make sure your client is targeting geographic specific searches in all of their markets. Thus, instead of simply offering "iron maiden repair everywhere," your client needs to offer "iron maiden repair in Detroit, MI." And they also need to offer "iron maiden repair in Chicago, IL." They need to offer "iron maiden repair" in every individual market. This way, no matter where the customers are searching from, they will find the Iron Maiden Repair Company whenever their iron maidens break… or need cleaned… or whatever requires them to need repair.
I thought this blog post was about 'Google Sets'…
It is. So the first step in creating your geo-targeted search campaign is to create landing pages for all of the cities you want to target. In this case… everywhere. Well, 'everywhere' is a lot of cities. In fact, it's all of them. And if content is still king when it comes to search engine optimization (and it is), that is going to be a lot of content.
Writing a unique landing page about iron maiden repair in every city in North America would probably be a bit daunting, and quickly get repetitive. Since each geo-targeted page will only show up for searches in its specific market, having a paragraph or two of canned copy about the repair services is OK. But you still need unique information for each page. What makes iron maiden repair in Philly different from iron maiden repair in Los Angeles?
The problem is that you want to create a good page of content connecting each city to the nuances of iron maiden repair, but you're missing a bridge. What other information can you include? Research is the obvious solution, but you need a jumping off point.
Enter Google Sets.
Google sets is an interesting tool that is part of Google labs: labs.google.com/sets. You enter a few items that are related, and Google Sets gives you more items that might belong in that list: a sort of semantic association list generator. Although the formula is officially top secret, the information likely comes from Google's research and information about user search habits and tendencies.
In this case, you enter items related to your service and your market:
- Iron maiden
- Repair service
- Flint, Michigan
- Metal Bands
- Medieval Torture
Google will then generate a list of new items that relates to the items you've entered. These results may seem bizarre at first, but after you study them for a while, you'll begin to understand them. Each of the items in the new list somehow relates to the group of terms that you entered. Of course, not all of the suggestions will make for great info on your landing page. But if you play around with it enough, you're likely to find a gem or two.
Perhaps the list will include new industry slang for "iron maiden repair" that customers (and the competition) in Flint, MI are using. Or maybe you'll learn that magicians are an audience in that market that is frequently in need of iron maiden repair. If nothing else, you'll likely gain a few ideas to help create unique content for your landing pages that is search engine viable.