Over the last few years, Google (and other search engines) has been placing a huge, when I say huge I mean organic search might be heading this way entirely, emphasis on delivering local results for particular types of services or products. Optimizing your site for local search is an absolute must if you provide services or products at a physical location.
When starting a new business or planning to hire an SEO firm, ranking for location-based terms in organic search ( i.e. Los Angeles lawyer, Ventura county plumber) can be aided by optimizing your website and external web properties that cite your business's physical location.
On Page Factors
At Riviera 4 Media, we tend to start by doing an overview of your current on page factors. “On page” refers to the actual code or content on your site. Search engines look for trust and authority, usually, the first place they start is by crawling your website. We look for a few key things:
- Is the main physical address present somewhere on your site?
- Do you have keywords you would like to rank for in your site content?
- Are your title tags and description tags optimized?
- Is there any incorrect information on the site for phone numbers or addresses?
- Are you providing external links to authority sites (like Yelp or BBB) profiles that are preexisting?
- Do you have locally based resources (blogs and social media) for your clients or customers on landing pages?
- Are there any broken links, unclosed tags or incorrectly structured HTML markup?
- Do you have a testimonials or reviews section on your website?
- Are you using structured markup or rich snippets? If so, are they being used correctly?
- Are you providing a stellar user experience?
The above is really only a few examples of what we might look for as professional SEO’s to provide a well rounded and optimized website.
External Links and Citations
While optimizing your website is the first step to starting to rank your website for local search terms, the sites that cite your address and website are just as important. We usually start this phase by taking a current overview of all of your citations that list your business. Some common ones are included below:
- Angie’s List
- Best Of The Web Local
- Google+ Pages
- Yahoo Local
Although, there are dozens of more common citations the above is a good place to start looking. What we have noticed in the past with ranking our clients, is that the more high quality local specific citations you can achieve the better. There are probably dozens of sites on the web that have categories and specialty sites related to your niche or business. Often times, forming direct relationships with stakeholders or webmasters of those sites will be of benefit to your business in the long run. Hyperlocal niche advertising still works, doing the legwork to form relationships with sites that provide niche related traffic can make your lead generation strategy jump through the roof.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We love ranking websites for local search and providing positive ROI on all services rendered.