Monday, August 17, 2009

Loudoun Online Advertising Stays Local - Hyperlocal SEO Outpaces Traditional Regional Media?

Over at the DullesDistrict.com sports blog, there's a recent entry concerning the evidently well-founded information that LoudounExtra.com will shortly "take the old horse behind the barn", so to speak.

We've seen this coming for a while....many signs were evident, though of course it's always easier to see these details in hindsight:

1) local, significant advertising took too long to integrate into and across their site

2) the Arlington-centric staff simply didn't "connect", personally, in Loudoun communities

3) the Loudoun blogerati weren't ever really included (except the singular "living in loco blog, but not like the crew at the Loudoun Times) - in fact the blogroll wasn't really maintained at all, with several defunct ones listed with no particular ordering

4) very little to no "Search Engine Optimization (SEO)" was enabled for the site (though it may be argued it wasn't so necessary, with the Post's backing and traffic boost - but more on this later)

5) while the site did include lots of decent, local news and great local sports coverage, they simply didn't generate as much commenting/online reaction as stories over at Leesburg Today or the Loudoun Times - due partly the requirement that one has to register with the Post to enable commenting, and again, the lack of local personalities clearly associated to the news entries

One factor related to item #4, that really isn't hindsight at all, is the fact that LoudounExtra seemed to count altogether on its status as a premiere content destination, a known entity, a recognized banner above the Washington Post fortress -but not necessarily a place people, businesses or organizations might find answers and information from, coming through the search engines (either to read, or to advertise).

Search in Google for "Loudoun businesses", "Loudoun County Business", "Loudoun Schools", "Loudoun online advertising", "Loudoun online marketing", "Loudoun Shopping", "Loudoun blog", "Loudoun Social Media", "Loudoun news"....you'll find that invariably, either local marketing firms or other local papers and businesses show up far above LoudounExtra in the results. As LoudounExtra implemented its content and advertising strategy, but without tending to its online search rankings - the local competition shored up their own (with the help of local Internet Marketing companies like KME Internet Marketing), and outpaced the Post fairly easily.

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