Here’s a quick experiment that will speak volumes about your online presence. The results may be inspiring, frustrating or ho-hum all at the same time. I call it window shopping the competition.

Here’s how it works. Hop onto and type in the main keyword related to your business, along with the name of your suburb or region. Also check the ‘pages from Australia’ button.

Go on, I’ll stop writing until you get back. As an illustration, I entered landscaping Bendigo.

Results may show your business is nowhere to be seen or that you’re being outranked by some new upstart. Alternatively, you might be pleasantly surprised to see your hard work has paid off and that you’re high in the results.

The results of my example were interesting. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of landscaping businesses in and around Bendigo, a small and simple website belonging to Ian Kelly grabbed the number one spot in Google.

Why? Because he was the only one that had made an effort to optimise his website for that search term. Plus at the top of the page, only one landscaping business is listed in the Google Maps results for the entire location!

If I happened to run a landscaping business in Bendigo, I would register (available at time of writing), start work on an optimised website, create a free listing on Google Maps and get my business high up the list quick smart.

So landscaping Bendigo may not be a high volume keyword for most businesses, but it certainly is very valuable if you offer landscaping services in Bendigo. And currently, it’s going begging.

Yes, ranking highly for more competitive industries or major cities is infinitely harder – say for example websites Perth – but for local areas there’s a wealth of prime online real estate yet to be tapped into.

Is SEO important to your business? We’d love to hear your opinions. If you’ve got a specific question why not get into our forums and ask the experts in our community.

If search engine optimisation (SEO) is a mystery to you, this article outlines the basics.

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