Are you a business owner?
If so, you probably understand the importance of having your website appear on the first page of Google for keyword phrases relating to your services and the location that you work in.
For example if you are a dentist in Croydon, you would like to be ranking for the keyword phrase “dentists in Croydon”.
Do you know what you need to do to improve your search position locally?
Our detailed Local SEO infographic below points out everything you need to get your site ranking well. Click on the infographic to make it larger. Alternatively, please scroll down the page to read the information in text format.
I hope you found our local SEO infographic useful, if you have any questions or queries please leave us a comment below. Moreover, if you feel this information would be useful to someone you know please share it!
Local SEO Factors
Are you a small business owner? If so, you probably understand the importance of having your website appear on the first page of Google for keyword phrases relating to your services and the area that you work in.
This infographic explains exactly what you need to do to get your website ranked for local search queries.
1. Google + Local Page
To rank locally the first thing you need to do is set up a Google+ Local page. Go to https://plus.google.com/pages/create and set-up your page.
During the process of creating your page make use of the 9 categories Google allows you to add. All categories should be chosen from Google’s pre-set category selection.
Whichever categories you select you will have the opportunity to rank in Google’s “local pack of results”.
Your business is most likely to appear in Google’s pack of local results for searches that contain the name of the city in which it is physically located. This is taken from your Google + Local page address.
If you are a dentist in Kent, you are most likely to appear in the local pack of results for a search like “kent dentist”, or if someone searches for “dentist” from a computer or mobile device based in Kent.
Verified Google+ Local page
After setting up your Google + Local page you need to verify its ownership. To verify your account you will be sent a letter from Google with a PIN. The letter typically takes around 2 weeks to arrive.
Local area code on local Plus page
Adding your business’ local phone number on your Google+ Local page has a positive effect on your search ranking position. Instead of adding a free phone number or mobile number be sure to add your local area phone number instead.
Quantity of native Google Places reviews
“It is currently felt that the number of reviews your business earns on its Google+ Local page influences rank more than reviews you might earn on other review platforms.” – Miriam Ellis, Local SEO expert (1).
Do not copy and paste reviews from your Google + Local page and put them on your website. Google wants these reviews to be exclusive and if they are placed elsewhere on the web they will be removed from your Google + Local page (2).
A citation is any mention of your company’s name, address, and phone number online, also referred to as NAP. It is extremely important your business’ citations are consistent.
Consistency of citations
Make sure the name, address and phone number on your business’ Google + Local page is the same as the name, address and phone number advertised on your website and across all citations on the web.
Quality of citations
As with link building it is vitally important that the links pointing to your site are of a high quality. Use MajesticSEO and OpenSiteExplorer to check theauthority and quality of a domain citing your business. The higher the quality the domain, the more effective its citation will be in ranking you locally.
Use GetListed.org to start your citation building process.
Quantity of citations
While the quality of your citations count most, quantity is also important, too. Use Rocket Ranking’s Local Citation Finder tool to find citation opportunities. The tool is extremely cheap and points out great citation and link opportunities in a matter of moments.
Having a number of citations from locally relevant domains helps build trust in your sites relevance to the local area. Moreover, having citations on industry relevant domains helps build your domains trust and relevance in terms of its industry niche.
3. Landing Page and Domain Level Factors
The landing page linked to from your Google + Local page needs to be optimised from an on-page SEO level (see on-page SEO best practices).
Area in landing page title
The Title tag of the page linking from your Google + Local page should include the area you want to rank for, e.g. to use our example from earlier ‘Kent’ should be in the landing page’s <title> tag.
Authority of landing page URL
The domain authority of the landing page connected to your Google + Local page is a factor taken into consideration when ranking your site in the local set of results.
Domain authority of website’s homepage
The domain authority of a business’ website has a great influence on its position in the local search results. To improve your domain authority you need to make sure your site offers great content, is coded correctly has links from relevant, high quality domains.
As with organic SEO the quality of inbound links to your domain is an important factor in ranking for Local SEO.
Keyword in business title
If you business name contains a keyword you are trying to rank for e.g. if you dentist practice was called ‘The Kent Dentist’ this would help you rank for a search for ‘dentists in Kent’.
4. Other Factors
Proximity of address to city centre
Businesses located close to the city centre will benefit from a ranking advantage.
Proximity of physical location to the point of search
Google has the ability to work out where users are when they make a search. If they feel the search is of local intent they will automatically show related businesses in close proximity to the search location.
Quantity of third-party traditional reviews
Encourage your customers to give reviews of your business via sites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp. It is thought Google takes the reviews your business receives across third party review sites and uses them in part of their formula to work out where your site should rank.
And that’s it! Yes, your position in the local set of results in Google is based on these simple factors!
- Make sure your Google + Local page is set-up correctly and optimised
- Make sure the landing page linked to from your Google + Local page is fully optimised
- Make sure you have a number of high quality citations
References and further reading
2. Greg Gifford webinar on Moz – How to be a local search superhero. – http://www.slideshare.net/GregGifford/how-to-be-a-local-search-superhero
3. Moz’s 83 local search engine ranking factors here – http://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors
4. Get Listed – http://www.getlisted.org
5. Majestic SEO – http://www.majesticseo.com
6. Open Site Explorer – http://www.opensiteexploter.org
7. White Sparks Local Citation Finder – http://www.whitespark.ca/local-citation-finder/
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