Why Giving Some Direction Might Help Your Local SEO and Your Customers

April 8th, 2013 by

GPS, Smart Phones, Google Maps…its hard to believe that we needed a map or a Thomas Guide to get from point A to point B not too long ago.  But unfortunately we’ve become too reliant on the digital age, so much so that our dependence on new technology to navigate us can hurt not only consumers, but also the businesses that serve them.

This past weekend my family and I headed out to the Louis Rubidoux Nature Center for the annual butterfly festival.  We’ve been to the nature center in the past, but its been about a year and so our directions were fuzzy at best.  So we did what most people do and turned to the center’s website for some direction.

When we reached the site they had both an address, and what was supposed to be directions.  Unfortunately the directions widget on the site wasn’t working so we had to rely solely on the address provided and Google Maps on our phones.

We plugged the address in and when we “arrived” at our location we were actually in the middle of a nearby residential neighborhood.  Needless to say, Google Maps didn’t get it right.

Where Google thought our destination was and where our actual destination was.

The Benefits of Providing General Directions On Your Website

Getting us to where we needed to be proved to be a bit difficult.  Google struggled to find the address and it was really hard to navigate from satellite imagery on our phones. Ultimately I had to try and remember roughly where the Nature Center was located in order to get us there.

There’s benefits to including general directions to your location within your website.  First, it helps lost visitors like my family and I find your location in the event our means of navigation fail us.  Additionally it can generate some additional localized content for your website.

By including directions from different regions in the area you can help to build local content around other areas you may be interested in targeting, as Doug Antkowiak of Portent suggested in his Local Business SEO Q & A late last year.

Riley's Farm DirectionsA great example of this is the directions page from a seasonal favorite of mine, Riley’s Farm.  While the site itself is a bit dated, and they lack the latest mapping technology to help you find your way, they do an awesome job at explaining how to get to their location from nearly anywhere here in Southern California.

As you can see in the image from the site, Riley’s Farm does a stellar job calling out major cities in the surrounding areas and calls out specific landmarks and street names in its directions.  This helps build additional local relevance by referencing locations located in and around the location.

Takeaways

  1. If you use a Google Map on your website for the purpose of directions, make sure the widget works.
  2. If its working, make sure that it is giving people accurate directions to your location
  3. In addition to giving people a means of getting directions from Google on your site consider adding additional written directions to help grow local content and help visitors in the event their means of navigation fails them.

2 Responses to “Why Giving Some Direction Might Help Your Local SEO and Your Customers”

  1. Bill Bean says:

    I also encourage people to follow the advice in Takeaways #3. Written directions are good for the humans, and if it’s good for the humans let’s assume it might also help us with regards to Google, since they’re trying to do the same.

  2. Alex says:

    Seems like google maps aint something to trust, but better than asking an italian for directions 🙂

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