Yes, the results above show my competitors for the search phrase "Commercial Photographer Raleigh NC" which is OK because if you do a Google search, you will see them anyway. Competition is the nature of business and no one "Commercial Photographer" can do it all anyway.
I thought this post might be helpful to other photographers or anyone competing in a local market because it shows how something as simple as "Raleigh" vs. "Raleigh NC" can change the results. For example, "Commercial Photographer Raleigh" shows only 4 local results vs. the one for "Commercial Photographer Raleigh NC" above that shows 7 local results. The only difference in the searches in the search bar are NC. Oh, and I'm not in the 4 results which I find interesting and don't know enough about all the reasons why to go into those details here. But I have a couple of friends that come to mind that may know the answer.
Just remember when writing content for your site, writing blog posts or doing social media that little things make a difference in the search results. There are so many variations of the way people search online that it's almost impossible to show in the same spot for everyone of them. For example, some people may search "Raleigh Commercial Photographer" putting the city first. So I just went out and checked that result just now and guess what? I go from E above to D. Also, remember that NC was in the first one that I mentioned above and NC is NOT in the one that I just mentioned. Just by changing word orders, can change the results. In addition, the results include 7 listings for "Raleigh Commercial Photographer," but when "Commercial Photographer Raleigh" is searched only 4 listings show up. The only difference in the search is Raleigh at the beginning vs. Raleigh at the end. Kind of crazy eh?
It can all seem kind of confusing at times. However, the best approach is to just write naturally, dot your I's and cross your T's so to speak and not get so caught up in trying to be in the results for every variation. Natural writing is better than old school keyword stuffing. The key is to stay active with blogging and/or social media to help keep your presence alive on the internet.
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