For businesses that are competing in local SEO, Orange County SEO is often an enticing market. This has to do, in part, with the fact that Orange County is home to more than 37 different cities — including Laguna Beach, Irvine, Coto de Caza, and Las Flores, to name a few. All of these cities identify, holistically, as Orange County.
Because there are so many cities within this county, there’s a lot of opportunities for businesses to capitalize on it for local SEO. If you can rank in Orange County searches, you’ll also have tons of chances to bring in more traffic.
It’s important to note, though, that you can’t become competitive in Orange County just by stuffing keywords that contain the term “Orange County” into your online content. It takes a lot more. Those interested in following a guide we suggest you read our Orange County SEO Guide.
First Off, You’ll Need an Address in One of the Cities
If you want to rank for any kind of city or county, including Orange County, it helps immensely to have an address in that city or county. This is because Google will give preference to businesses that have addresses in one of Orange County’s cities.
How important is an address in one of these cities? In our experience, it’s pretty important. We’ve seen plenty of businesses that have relatively weak SEO profiles still be able to rank in their local city because they have the benefit of being located within its limits.
If you’re located outside of an Orange County city but still want to try and rank in Orange County search engine results, you’re fighting an uphill battle. You have to work hard to overcome the handicap that Google gives to businesses that don’t have an address in the city.
It’s Not Impossible
Of course, it’s not impossible for your business to rank in other cities. While we’ve seen businesses with weak SEO profiles rank in Orange County searches, we’ve also seen lots of instances in which businesses managed to rank in cities outside of their own with the help of good SEO practices.
If you want to rank in a city that’s not yours, you’ll need to prioritize certain SEO initiatives. One of the most beneficial things you can do is to develop content and create sections of your website that are devoted purely to that city or the county (such as Orange County) for which you’re trying to rank.
There are lots of other factors to keep in mind when you start publishing this type of content and optimizing your site for another city. Your site will have to grow with that content in mind.
For example, let’s say you have 100 pages devoted to optimizing your SEO for Irvine, a city in Orange County. Then, let’s say you decided you also wanted to rank for Tustin. You might start taking some of the Irvine-optimized pages and optimizing them for Tustin instead.
By doing this, you’ll have split your pages in half, and you’ll only have 50 SEO-optimized pages each for Irvine and Tustin. This waters down the SEO strength of your website and, in the worst-case scenario, can make it harder for you to rank for either Tustin or Irvine.
If you want to try to rank for another city, you need to create new content for that city instead of borrowing from what you already have. This will give you the SEO resources to improve your ranking, and you won’t be at risk of cannibalizing your own content and spreading yourself too thin.
If you have a goal of optimizing your site and ranking for Orange County searches, your best bet is to get an address within that county. If that’s not possible, you’ll then need to start investing heavily in growing your site and optimizing it for an Orange County city so that you can effectively expand into a new market.