In the last couple of months, Google has made some remarkable changes to how local search is being indexed and displayed in search engine result pages and unless you have kept yourself updated, a few of these may have slipped past your notice. Here are a few of the key points you should know and understand to successfully position yourself in local search engine results.
1. Start loving Google+ local
Google places has shifted itself into the social world of Google+ and taken on a new look. And with this change, several features have been added and some of the old ones have been taken out. However, the overall ideas and concepts of optimizing your places page stay the same. For those that have not implemented Google+ local, you should really think about turning it into a part of your marketing plan. You don't want to get left behind while everyone else has a strong Google+ presence.
2.Your keyword strategy needs to be well planned
In this post-penguin world, your keyword strategy should be tactically planned out. Generally, what you should adhere to is: 10% exact match keywords, 30% general keywords and 60% branded keywords.
3: Get Citations, Reviews and be Social
An important step you can take to help your business reach the top of local search engine results is to start building up social mentions, citations and reviews. It's suggested that you start with getting reviews on Google+ local. After you have 5 or more reviews, the rating will start to show up on your listing. Once you have enough reviews on Google+ local, start focusing on other networks like Yelp, Foursquare, Citysearch and so on. The more (ideally good) reviews you get the better.
4: Mobile for Local Search Engine Optimization
More than 50% of searches on cellular devices are local and in these searches most customers end up going to a local business. This means that you should have a mobile version of your web site so that your mobile visitors can easily get what they are searching for. Research indicates that when clients are not satisfied with the mobile version of your web site, 40% of them will consider taking their business to your competitors. Additionally it is also essential to keep your local search engine optimization technique consistent on your mobile website.
5. Anchor-text and authority matters, but much less than before
With respect to local search, website authority (such as age) and anchor-text still matter. However, you cannot depend solely on these aspects. Winning the battle of authority and anchor texts does not mean that you can neglect the other aspects of local search engine optimization.
6. Local groupings
One of the most important things you can do in local search optimization would be to find out which websites your competition has local link groupings in. A local link grouping will be a web page from where all or most of your rivals get inbound links. If you are combating a website that is well aged and well positioned, you can easily tie the ballgame by getting your website bundled into local link groupings. Furthermore, be sure that your website is present in the regional sections of well-known web directories like Business.com, BOTW, Yahoo and DMOZ.
7. Address citations
With regards to local search, you should build up the number of references you have over the web that contain some or all of the following details:
A - Company Name
B - Company Address
C - Company Telephone
D - Company Website
Some of the places you can get these citations include: Google’s Local Business Center, Yahoo Local, Yelp, SuperPages and infoUSA.
Local search is expanding but it already provides excellent possibilities for companies serving their surrounding areas. While general search engine optimization is ever changing, these aspects are tried and true when dealing with local search results. You do not need to be an expert to do any of this. These improvements will help you make a firm foundation for your local business on internet.