How to Improve Local Search Results – SEO Tip Week 31
In SEO, local search should never be overlooked. It can provide a boost in traffic has a higher tendency to convert more visitors to customers since most people prefer working with local companies, even SEO companies.
Here are some factors that Big Oak SEO feels are important and should be considered when trying to get higher rankings for your site, whether or not you are marketing to a national or local market. I have tried to list them in order of importance but it really depends how important local traffic is to your site.
Location in the Title of your Pages
Including your city and state, especially if you are counting on local customers is imperative. Don’t overdue it, but be sure to include it. I talk about this in detail on my SEO Titles: Using the Title Tag post.
Link Building with City and State Keywords
When building links to your site, include some with local terms like we do in this example: Richmond Virginia Search Engine Optimization Company. You get the idea.
Tell the Search Engines Where You Work
The physical location of your site should be on the footer of every page. If you work from home, get a P.O. box and list that address. It is important for the city, state and zip code be on every page.
Submit Your Site to Google’s Local Business Center
You can’t get found in a search unless Google knows where you are. Submit your business to Google’s Local Business Center even if you don’t have a website…yet.
Keep Your Contact Page Connected
Your physical address should be at the top of the contact page, above your contact form. At the very least it should be easy to find and accurate.
Link to your address on the Google Maps and Yahoo Maps. For example, go to Google Maps and then do a search for you physical address. After finding your location you will see a “Link to this page” link. Click that and then copy and paste that link on your contact page.
Adding written driving directions will allow for many local keywords to be included so having this in addition to a link to maps.google.com is a good idea.
List Coverage Area
Big Oak SEO is located in Glen Allen, Virginia, but very few people have heard of or search for Glen Allen. We are in the Richmond, Virginia area so we use Richmond in our footer and mention it on our company page as well as other local locations. Try to include the metropolitan areas on your site if that is what people will be searching for.
Add Listings in Yellow Pages, Superpages & Similar Sites
While I don’t often feel the cost is warranted for phone book sites, if you can get a free listing or a discount because you are already paying for a printed listing it can help to have a link pointing to your site from the online listing.
Provide a Local Phone number on Every Page
It is a no-brainer to have your 800 present at the top of every page, but be sure to list your local number in the footer as well. Don’t forget to include the area code.
List your Site in Directories for Local businesses
Sites like Yelp.com and Citysearch.com are good places for local businesses. They can also provide real traffic and not just higher rankings. I’m looking more into Yelp and hope to write a post about them soon.
Get your site or business reviewed
I think this is undervalued in importance, but getting a few reviews from a site like CitySearch and Yelp is a good thing for search engine rankings. Submit your site and ask friends to review for you. Of course this isn’t applicable to all businesses, but it should be part of the marketing plan if you count on local consumers.
This isn’t new but not many people are using it. Google coupons was announced in August 2006. It may help your ranking, but it can’t hurt, especially if you have actual cost savings to offer over your competition.
Do you have any ideas or have any advice that has worked for you concerning local search. If so, send us an email or submit a comment to this post. We are always looking for new ideas to share.