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Having web presence is only the first step in getting found in a search. The next step is appearing in a search engine results page in Google or the other major search engines. If you are a Canadian company and/or you are targeting the Canadian market, you will need to get found in a country-specific search.

Not sure? Here are two very simple tests:

1. Country-specific search engines
Using Google Canada, try a basic search for your “business name” (in quotes). Ensure that you select “pages from Canada”. Google.ca also offers searches in French (français). Test this option as well if applicable. You can also conduct this test using Yahoo! Canada (select “Canada only”) and MSN / Live Search Canada (select “only from Canada”).

Google Canada

Does your website appear in the search results? And… are you getting high rankings?

2. Country-specific search traffic
Using Google Analytics, or your web analytics program, check which countries your search traffic is coming from. If you want to get found by Canadians, you should see these results in your Map Overlay and country-specific data. You can even drill down to find out the language used in the search (English or French).

Google Analytics Map Overlay

Are your site visitors coming from Canada? And… what language are they using in a search (if applicable)?

Geo-targeting is at the core of local search engine optimization. It is also known as country-specific search engine optimization. This is an important, not to be overlooked, aspect in both the build of your site – as well as in Internet marketing.