Local Search

July 18, 2012 | Written by: jeffrey.friend | Filed under: Local Search,Search-Engine Optimization,Small Business Strategies

We recently participated in a local search webinar from our friends at “Market Motive” to brush up on the latest local search strategies. You’d know, search algorithms are changing all the time, so it really pays to stay current. Here are my notes from the presentation:

30% of all searches are local in nature (both desktop and mobile)

Google Maps Places + Local is not your fathers Yellow Pages! Get customers to follow your business on Google+ Local, and ask for reviews.

Where should you start?

  • Do a keyword search using your geographic area
  • Notice the related seaches (for addition keywords/key-phrases)
  • Check Google Insights for search (for the amount of searches for your keywords)

Create a Google+ Local page for your business NOW.

  • Be sure your business is in the right category!
  • You can select up to 5. Use them all (even if you have to add a custom category)
  • Use Google Map Maker (add your business if you are not already there).

What should your website include?

  • Use City & State keywords throughout your website
  • Your NAP address on every page (name, street address, and phone number)
  • page for each location of your business

Where should your website show up?

  • Google Places
  • Google Map
  • Localeze
  • Bing
  • Citysearch
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare
  • Industry directories
  • See how you are listed locally at GetListed.org, and find links to get listed on the above web properties

Keep in mind that your business name and address must be consistent across the web.

Add a KML file to your server (www.geositemapgenerator.com/)

Local search Ranking factors

  • Place page criteria
  • off place page/ off site criteria
  • website criteria
  • review criteria

Positive ranking local search factors:

  • Physical address in search city
  • Proper category associations
  • Your proximity of address to city center
  • Number of your NAP addresses found across the web
  • Domain authority of your site (how old is your domain?)
  • It is critical that Google must be able to associate your website with your locations
  • City State on your Places landing page
  • Reviews on your Google Places page
  • Quantity/Authority of reviews (including third-party reviews)
  • ZAGAT Rating (you need 10 reviews on Google Plus to get this)
  • Branded anchor text (link text)
  • quantity/quality of localy relevant links

Less helpful info for getting ranked locally:

  • location based link text
  • Keyword based anchor text (link text)
  • Social/mobile criteria

Negative ranking local search factors

  • Do not use tracking phone numbers
  • Multiple Google Places pages with the same Phone Number
  • Multiple Google Places pages with the same Addresses
  • Mis-matched Adderesses on Places Page
  • Absence of crawlable NAP Address on website

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