Business listings in Columbus, Ohio: Why are they different from any other city?

Here in Columbus, we have been conditioned to add “Ohio” after Columbus. That’s a good thing, for a few reasons:

1) It’s correct writing, according to the Associated Press Stylebook, the bible for all questions of writing that aren’t exactly grammar but fall into the grey area of “style.”

2) There is more than one city called Columbus.

If you’ve ever ended up on a website for Columbus, Indiana or Columbus, Georgia, when you were searching for something here in Columbus, Ohio, you know what I’m talking about. And so, whether we like it or not, when we are searching for something in Columbus, we usually type “oh” or “ohio” at the end of our search string. For example, “pizza columbus oh” or “allergist columbus ohio.”

Why is this important? Well, if you live in Los Angeles, you don’t have to worry about this problem. But if you have a website here, you do. You’ll need to add “columbus ohio” and “columbus oh” to your keywords or tags when working on your SEO, and especially add them to the written text on your site. A good place to add it unobtrusively is in the area where you write about your business location, and your map and directions page. You can also slip it quietly into other sentences.

Even though most search engines can tell where your computer is when you are searching, and can return search results relevant to that location, most people don’t know that, so they still type in “columbus oh” at the end of their search string. It’s important to keep this in mind if your website is not ranking very well on Google for your industry area.

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