Local SEO 101An Introductory Guide to Local Search EngineOptimization
Who is this guy?Kaled Fattah | Online Marketing Specialist@kalfatt Local Search Expert Focused on Search Engine Optimization Participates in the development of client strategyand implementation for Search, SocialMedia, Conversion Optimization, and ContentMarketing Fathom Ping Pong Doubles Champion
Local Search Engine Optimization is the practiceof improving the quantity and quality of trafficfrom searches with geographic intent.How is Local SEO different from Normal SEO?Local SEO targets users on a local level rather thannationally, subsequently rankings in geographic areas, online localbusiness listings, and local focused content are essential.What types of businesses need Local SEO?Any business with local customers. If a business has a physicallocation, or local phone number, you should be doing local SEO.What is Local SEO?
Why Local SEO is So ImportantThere are well over 10 billion unique searches done eachmonth, and that’s just in the United States! Of those searches,• 20% of Desktop queries have local intent• 50% of Mobile queries have local intentThere are OVER TWO BILLION unique Local searches per month on Googlefrom Desktop computers in the U.S. Google and Yahoo, and Bing havemade dramatic shifts in how they return results, and all the trends point toLocal.Additionally, mobile search is exploding. Approximately one in five searchesis performed from a mobile device, and mobile searches primarily pull theirresults from Local Search Engines. All of this is to say, the potential to attractnew customers via Local Search is tremendous.
Anatomy of Search Engine ResultsFor local searches, Google tendsto return results that include ablend of both website and localinformation, mostly from Google+Local pages.Since the Spring of 2012, Googlehas significantly increased thepercentage of "Blended“ resultsfor local searches meaning itsImportant to claim & optimizeGoogle +Local profiles, and localbusiness listings.
Local Search ResultsIn addition tobasic businessinformation(business name,address, andphone number,local search resultsdisplay links toGoogle+ pages,reviews, directions,business images,and other Googleproducts such asstreet view.
Top Local Search Ranking Factors1. Physical Address in City of Search (Approximate to Centroid )2. Proper Business Category Associations in Business Listings3. Accurate & Complete Business Citations4. Domain Authority of Website5. Reviews – Velocity, Quantity, Keywords in Reviews.
Claim Your Local Business ListingsClaiming your listings gives you control over how the searchengines index you and prevents spammers from hijacking them.This can also improve your search engine rankings and bring youmore traffic.
How to Check Your Local ListingsSee how your business is listed on Google, Bing, and other major localsearch engines. Getlsited.org and Yext.com provide free,• Listing Snap Shots• Listing Completion Reports• Listing Accuracy Reports
Submitting Local Business Listings• Categories – select relevant categories accurateto your business.• Consistent Business Information – use the exact name, address,and phone number for all profiles. Include hours, paymentsaccepted, and other relevant details.• Local Phone Number – if possible use a local phone number, some localdirectories reject listings without local phone numbers.• Optimized Business Descriptions – optimize description for location andproduct/service keywords.• Products/Services – list all relevant products and or services• Service areas – if applicable specify service areas, this is feature isavailable in Google+ Local that can help make your listing more relevantto specific search areas.• Logo, Photos, Videos• Coupons & Special Offers
Google+ LocalClaiming Google+ Local is an imperative. As mentionedearlier this listing is what appears in local search results onGoogle. Google+ Local Listings ranking factors Include:• Proper Category Associations• Local Area Code on Place Page• Product / Service and Location Keywords in Business Title• Association of Photos with Page• Product / Service and Location Keyword in Place Page Description• Product / Service Keywords in Place Page Custom Attributes• Number of Actions Taken by Searchers on a Place Page• Association of Videos with Place Page• Inclusion of Offer on Place Page
Top Citation SourcesThe Best Local Citations by City and CategoryGetlisted.org providesrecommendations for where toget your business listed on localwebsites and directories, and onwebsites in your industry.
Universal Business ListingsUBL.org distributes your enhanced listing to the key underlyingdatabases that provide anchor data to major search platforms.Other services:Quick Local Listings Submission
Online Reviews52% of users said that positive online reviewsmake them more likely to use a local businessHow Do I Get More People to Review My Business? Advertise and link to your profiles on the major search engines onyour own website. Create a “How to Leave a Review” Page on your site with detailedinstructions for visitors Include a link to a site where recipients can leave a review in thesignature of all email communications. If your customer has an obvious email address, such as @Gmail.comor @Yahoo.com, simply ask them to review your business using thatparticular search engine. Do not manipulate reviews!
Onsite Local SEOJust as important as offsite efforts in Local SEO is anoptimized website. Titles, Meta Descriptions, and Headers –optimized for location and product/service keywords Local content – targeted for location and product/service keywords Schema code – markup code allows search engines to easily identify andcategorize content, schema code should be used for business informationincluding address, phone numbers and can be used for such things as reviewsand recipes. your full business contact information in rich snippet format on thesite. HTML Onsite NAP matching +Local page NAP. It’s more important than everthat Google be able to associate your +Local page with your website. KML File on Domain Name – KML files help validate accurate business contactinformation.
The Ultimate Local Landing Page“The Ultimate Local Landing Page”is a resource guide I created for optimizingonsite location page(s).Consider all the local relatedcontent you can include on alocation page to enhance yourvisitors experience and to optimize forsearch engines.
Local SEO Resources• David Mihm for SEO Moz:http://www.seomoz.org/users/profile/439609• Local Search Ranking Factors:http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml• Mike Blumenthal’s Blog: http://blumenthals.com/blog/• Search Engine Land’s Local SEO Column:http://searchengineland.com/library/local-search/• Andrew Shotlands Blog:http://www.localseoguide.com/• Nifty Marketing Local Search Blog:http://niftymarketing.com/