For businesses with a local focus, rankings in Local Search are critical.
These are the listings that show up in Google, Yahoo and Bing with an icon relating to a location on an accompanying map. Search engines have been showing local search results higher and higher on their results pages and it’s not unusual for a well-optimized site to appear twice on the first page of results: once in the organic results and once in the local results. And if you show up twice in the results, it more than doubles the likelihood of a customer clicking on your listing.
So how do you show up in the local results?
In our blog category for local search we have lots of information about how to find, claim and optimize your local listings in Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local. But which optimization factors are moist important? Here’s our list of what we believe to be the most important of them all. You don’t have to hit every single one of them, and some may even be inappropriate for you. But if you pay attention to this list and address as many as you can, your chances of showing up high in the local results will improve. The list is not in any particular order, but the ones we think you should focus on the most are in bold. (By the way, when I mention the “Local Page” I’m referring to your business listings in Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local.)
- Physical address in the city of search
- Proper business categories chosen in Local Page
- Domain Authority
- City and State in the page title of your home page
- Local area code on Local Page
- Owner-Verified (claimed) Local Page
- Quality of inbound links to your website
- Number of inbound links to your website
- Diversity of inbound links to your website
- Number of reviews at places like Yelp, CitySearch, and InsiderPages
- Product or Service keywords in anchor text of inbound links to your website
- Location keywords in anchor text of inbound links to your website
- Photos and/or logos on your Local Page
- Age of your Local Page
- Percent of the information on your Local Page that’s completed
- Number of +1s on your website (affects only Google)
- Number of followers of your Google+ page (affects only Google)
- Number of likes on Facebook
- Number of followers on Twitter