A Guide to Local Search

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Mastering Local Search

Mastering Local Search

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  • 1. A Guide to Local Search (2nd Edition)About The Author: ........................................................................................................ 4About This Whitepaper: ................................................................................................. 4On Page Local SEO ....................................................................................................... 5 Title Tags .............................................................................................................. 5 Meta Data .............................................................................................................. 5 Address Details ...................................................................................................... 5 Local Phone Number ............................................................................................... 5 On Page Content .................................................................................................... 5Official Listings ............................................................................................................. 6 Google+ Local ....................................................................................................... 6 Bing Local .............................................................................................................. 6 Yahoo Local ........................................................................................................... 6Google+ Local .............................................................................................................. 7Reviews ....................................................................................................................... 8 Company Reviews .................................................................................................. 9 Microformats, Mark Ups and Rich Snippets ..............................................................10Directories ...................................................................................................................11 Local Portals .........................................................................................................12Social ..........................................................................................................................13 Other Links ...........................................................................................................14Citations......................................................................................................................15Summary ....................................................................................................................16
  • 2. A Little Bit About Koozai:Koozai are a multi-award winning Digital Marketing Agency.We’re one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies having been ranked 23rd in theDeloitte Technology Fast50.We help businesses connect with their customers online – providing a range of industryleading services from Organic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC)Management, Social Media and Brand Management.We thrive on building long lasting client relationships and delivering true value for money.We’re passionate about what we do - and that shows in our work.At Koozai, there are no lengthy contracts, just world class Digital Marketing. Koozai will helpyou build your brand online and achieve a ROI that can be clearly measured against yourbottom line.How To Get In Touch:If you would like to get in touch with us, please visit the website (www.koozai.com) or useone of the methods below:
  • 3. About The Author:Andy Williams has vast experience in Digital Marketing having worked in the industry formore than 8 years, including 2 years as the in-house SEO consultant with a leading webdesign company.An IMA Award Winner and DADI Award Winner for Best Use of Organic Search, Andy hasalso written for leading industry blogs on the topic of local search.Working with a wide range of Koozai clients, Andy has improved their online presence andsustained first page rankings across a number of sectors.Andy specialises in SEO, local search, link building and social media, helping customersmaximise their online visibility.About This Whitepaper:Using SEO strategies for local search can help your website to appear for location-specifickeywords.For example: Pizza LondonThis whitepaper explores local SEO in greater detail. As a result, you can increase yourwebsite’s chances of appearing for local terms, helping you to reach customers in yourtarget area.
  • 4. On-Page Local SEOWhen it comes to local SEO, you must consider the following on-page factors:Title TagsInclude the location within the Title Tag of the page you are looking to target. For example:Meta DataLook to include the location within the description of the page you are working with.It’s also good practice to include the location on all description tags within the site ifpossible. This may lead to a listing for an individual product page.Address DetailsIncluding the address within the footer of each page will help the search engines understandthe location of your business.Having this on all pages will help target a localised version of the search terms you areworking with.Local Phone NumberInclude the phone number of your business on each page. This can either be within thefooter alongside the address, or it may already be part of the page design.Be sure to use your local number and not an 0845 style one. Your number should also bedisplayed as readable text, and not an image.On Page ContentWhere possible, include your location within the content of the page.
  • 5. Official ListingsObtaining an official listing with Google, Yahoo and Bing is essential and will also help youachieve local rankings very quickly.Google+ LocalYou can add your business to Google+ Local via: http://www.google.com/places/Bing LocalUK Bing Local listings can be made here: http://www.marketlocation.com/changereqFor US Bing Local listings visit: http://www.bing.com/businessportalYahoo LocalUK Yahoo Local listings can be made here: http://search.infoserve.com/index.aspFor US Yahoo Local listings visit: http://listings.local.yahoo.com/
  • 6. Google+ LocalGoogle+ Local has taken over from Google Places.If you had an existing profile with Google Places, don’t worry, it would have migrated acrossonto the new Google+ Local platform automatically.You can still manage the account from your existing Google Places dashboard.If you don’t have a Google+ Local profile, start by logging onto Google+.Down the left hand side of your main screen click on the last option “more” to reveal thePages icon:Create your “Local Business” profile by filling in all the fields presented to you:Once completed, create the page and you’re done.
  • 7. ReviewsWith the introduction of Google+ Local it is now more important than ever for you to gainreviews.Google have changed the way their reviews are scored. This used to be a ‘five star’ scoringsystem, and has now changed to an ’out of 30’ system with the inclusion of the Zagatscoring system (http://kooz.ai/NtW0mg).For those who wish to leave a review, they need to do so via your Google+ Local page.Reviewers need to be logged into their Google account.As you can see, the review page is different to the old Google Places reviews.You can now score for Appeal, Facilities and Service to create the new ‘out of 30’ score:Encourage your customers and clients to leave reviews. This will strengthen your localprofile.
  • 8. Company ReviewsWhilst obtaining reviews through Google+ should be your main priority, it is still worthreceiving customer reviews from 3rd party sites. These reviews (or snippets) are still shownwithin the likes of Google+ Local listings (see below). Whilst 3rd party review sites hold lessvalue in terms of Google+ Local listings, they are still worth pursuing.An example of some 3rd party review sites include: www.yelp.co.uk www.reviewcentre.com www.brownbook.net www.qype.co.uk www.tipped.co.uk www.bview.co.uk www.freeindex.co.ukReviews from these sites can gain their own rankings for the company name, so receiving agood review here can also add an extra listing for the company.
  • 9. Microformats, Mark Ups and Rich SnippetsMicroformats provide search engines with important information regarding the location ofthe business.Microformats are bodies of code that wrap around information on a site, such as an address.This code is then turned into a snippet of information which then has a chance of appearingwithin Google’s SERPs.Microformats can promote locations, personal information and reviews.Google currently encourages users to utilise Schema for this coding.A good starting point for marking up your address is here: http://schema.org/PlaceOnce your information is marked up you can test it here:http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippetsFor more information regarding Schema, please visit:http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/introducing-schemaorg-search-engines.html
  • 10. DirectoriesInternet Yellow Page Sites:The importance of Internet Yellow page sites has been questioned recently; however it isstill beneficial to make sure you submit your site to these types of sites:Your site should have listings in the following important directories: www.yell.com www.city-visitor.com www.thomsonlocal.com www.192.com www.scoot.co.uk www.local.co.ukSearch Engines take a lot of information from influential business directories. Therefore, it ishighly important that you have listings within these directories.Whilst directories are important to your local SEO efforts, you should ensure that you obtainan entry within the local maps sections of the main search engines.
  • 11. Local PortalsLinking to and gaining links from local companies or sites that have some relevance to youwill also help confirm your location to the search engines.The following local portals are trusted by Google and use local categories: www.hotfroguk.co.uk www.freeindex.co.uk www.smilelocal.com www.applegate.co.uk www.citylocal.co.uk www.thebestof.co.uk
  • 12. SocialWith social media playing a vital role within Digital Marketing, you should ensure that youhave business profiles on all major social media platforms. From a local SEO perspective, itis essential that you include the location of your business within your descriptions (as well asthe URL of your business website).TwitterInclude your location in the description:FacebookYou can specify a specific location via Facebook:
  • 13. Google+ BusinessLocation again included within the introduction:Other LinksAs with any natural listing, link building is highly important.Including the location within any submission to these sites will help. Ideally this should be inthe Title of the link rather than just a description.So again, ‘Digital Marketing Agency Hampshire’.Internal links could also be optimised in this way where possible.
  • 14. CitationsCitations are reviews or mentions that don’t necessarily have links back to your site.An inclusion of your company, complete with address, can be classed as a vote for thequality and relevance of the site.Researching sites to gain these types of links can be done by reviewing competing siteswithin their Google+ Local pageIf you scroll down to the bottom of their Google+ Local page (below their Google reviews),you will see links to further reviews and mentions:Clicking these links will take you to their profile pages on these sites.
  • 15. SummaryThank you very much for reading this whitepaper. I do hope that you have taken some tipsfrom it that you can put into practice.You are now ready to get those all important rankings for location based terms.If you do need any further information or assistance, you can get in touch with us easilyusing any of the options below.