Research has shown that the majority of searches are done for local, especially for business and other commercial entities. To benefit from this online market, you need to optimize your business website for local search. To effectively optimize your website, you need to first establish the various factors used in ranking for local search. Don’t worry; here are some of the most crucial that will rank you in Google search.
The first is the place and services/product name in the landing page title. For local search, the city or region of target is crucial, however, it is NOT mandatory. However, it will help if you are targeting an outside market e.g. tourists and travelers among others. The product you are offering should also be included in the title. This means, you can have long tail but meaningful keywords.
The second element Google will consider in local search rankling is optimized Google maps and Google places. These are two of the major tools that Google has provided for local business to become more visible in the web. These two are used by Google to establish authenticity of the business enhance higher ranking.
Third are local listings. There are several SEO utilities that are at the disposal of webmasters for local search. In the US, these include local directories e.g. yelp, super pages, yellow pages, etc. Businesses listed in these directories will rank well in not only local search, but in organic search. However, in order to be effective, you need to ensure consistency in each listing. The main things to consider include the right physical address, contact information, and proximity to the centroid. Centroid is defined by Google to be the central point associated with the name. Normally, a search for a geographical identifiable region will show the that region in Google maps. This region is considered to be the centroid and businesses within that region are considered to be local to that area hence will rank better.
Lastly, one of the most crucial aspects of local search is reviews. Google relies on two types of reviews for local search ranking, Google places reviews and the third party traditional reviews. On your Google maps, customers can sign in and leave reviews. Google will consider these when ranking your business for local search. Additionally, third party reviews that are made not necessarily on your website or Google search will also influence you ranking. Negative reviews will hurt your ranking while positive reviews will promote your ranking.
Other ranking factors include but are not limited to:
- Piniterest place pins
- HTML Nap matching place page NAP
- Domain authority of website
- Owner verified Google plus page
- Authority and quality of inbound links to domain
- Local area code on local plus page
- Page authority of places landing page URL