Client:  We’re based in Lewisville and our site ranks great for our Lewisville keywords.  Flower Mound is only two miles away.  Why don’t we rank there as well?

Over simplified answer:  Because despite the sophistication of Google, the search engine is, at its fundamental level, a literal machine.  In fact, we’d argue that Google is far more a language tool than a technology tool.  To rank in Flower Mound, you have to tell Google in the right way what you do and where.  Even if your homepage has a broader aim.

Let’s illustrate:

Our own company is based in Lewisville and our neighbor, Flower Mound is literally less than a thousand yards away…by that stop sign.

For the keyword “lewisville website design”, our site ranks #6 on Google.  Not fantastic, but the cobbler always has the shoes with the hole in the bottom.

For the keyword “flower mound website design” our site is not in the top 100 (as of Feb 11, 2012).  We’re going to change that now…AND tell you what we did.

Tell Google that we do “Website Design” in “Flower Mound”

In our experience, for small markets like Flower Mound, the most effective method of improving search engine rankings for a specific keyword-city combo starts with a landing page created specifically to target our keyword-city phrase.

So we built this.

We relied upon the WordPress plugin SEOPressor to help us target our keyword phrase.  The page score is 87.78% (which is very good) and the key phrase density is 1.26% (lower than the 3% recommended by the plugin, but sometimes the content can really suffer is the keyword is put in there just for the sake of density).

Tell the World about the page

Google will typically find the new page within a day or so, but we’re impatient – and need to start building links back to the specific page – so we’re going to do some quick Social Bookmarking.

Google +1

Tweet It

Share on Facebook Fan Page

Stumble It.

Pin It.

Add a link to a Squidoo Lens

While we’re at it, we’ll go ahead and manually rebuild the sitemap.

The Short Term Result

We published the city-specific landing page on February 13, 2012.  By February 19, 2012 the page was ranked #9 on the first page of Google and #4 on the first pages of Bing and Yahoo.

There certainly is no guarantee that the page will remain on the first page, but with a bit of continued attention to the page as part of an on-going link building strategy we can help the page continue to rank – if not improve its rank over time.

We’ll check back on this in the coming weeks to update the progress.