What Is Local SEO and How Can I Improve My Local Rankings?

Comments: 19

  • Attila Kovács (TheSolopreneurM) says:

    Hi Travis,

    Great advises.

    How about using business address marked up with microdata on the site?

    How do you see, having a business listed in Google Places effects it’s search ranking?
    Regards

    Attila

    Regards
    Attila

  • Adding a markup to the address can help Google better understand the text on your site so it is always a good move.

    Having a listing in Google Places (now G+ locals) can be beneficial to your results in the Carousel by providing images for use. It can also be used as a hub for client reviews and can gain page rank as well, giving you a solid local citation to your website.

    I would not have a local business without adding a G+ local page.

    Hope that answers your questions Attila. Thanks for the feedback.

  • howard says:

    I don’t think google is all that smart in detecting virtual office. I have a competitor, “1stop CD duplication” that has virtual offices all over the US and Canada and google still lists it at the top of most locales. In Miami one of their addresses was in the middle of a road intersection and google still couldn’t sort that out.

  • Attila Kovács (TheSolopreneurM) says:

    Thank you!

  • In some cases you may be able to get away with a virtual address as your competitor has, but in many cases it will come back to haunt you.

    Thanks for the feedback Howard!

  • Angie says:

    Great post; but how do you know which keywords you should be using? I am pretty new to all this SEO stuff so any advice would be appreciated.

  • Travis says:

    Angie,
    Selecting keywords is a very important step and many people do not spend enough time finding the right keywords. Brian Dean recently created a guide that covers in detail how to find keywords. I believe it will get you started and answers all your questions. You can find that guide at http://backlinko.com/the-definitive-guide-to-keyword-research

    If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

  • Phil says:

    I didn’t realize that using an 800 number would have an impact on how I rank locally, how can I incorporate 800 numbers in for tracking without harming my rankings?

  • David S Freid says:

    You may want to provide the number in a pic. This will allow you to also include a local number in your image attributes. If need be you can lease a local tracking number from one like KALL8.COM and even forward it to your 800 number if that would make sense.

  • Travis says:

    Phil, as David mentioned, adding your 800 number in an image is a good way to get people to call that number. You should make sure that you have your local number in plain text somewhere on each page as well though.

    David, thanks for jumping in and helping out!

  • Chatmeter says:

    Very helpful tips! Having positive reviews about your business can definitely help boost your rankings, but you also have to make sure you’re monitoring these reviews. Sometimes they may be negative and you have to respond to them (http://www.chatmeter.com/so-you-got-a-negative-review-dont-panic-chatmeter-has-the-answer/)

  • Travis says:

    Yes, that is very true. You can use free tools likes Google Alerts to notify you of new mentions of your brand name. You should stay on top of reviews and work with the client to resolve any issues promptly.

    Thanks for chiming in Chatmeter.

  • Scott Witte says:

    Travis, This article has been a huge help in understand local search, especially how important it is becoming. You obviously have great experience with this so what can you offer about the influence/importance of Google Business Photos? For those who don’t know, this is a paid service from Google resulting in photos and virtual tours that appear in the knowledge graph, G+ pages, maps etc.

  • Travis says:

    Scott

    Great question. I think that Google Business Photos are a great way to may your listing stand out. They are added to your local listing and Google maps. It is a one time fee and in my opinion, it is well worth it.

    In general, people love visual content and being able to tour your business remotely is likely to build their confidence in the quality and authenticity of your brand.

  • Scott Witte says:

    Travis,

    Thanks. Any insight to whether they help local ranking vs “just” improve results from your listing?

    For instance, do a local search for “restaurants in Milwaukee” and you will find that three of the top four results have GBP while none of the others do. Strong correlation. Try Chicago and none of the top 6 use GBP but three of the following 14 do, including #20. No correlation to ranking. Of course similar can be said of star rating, number of reviews, etc.

    So the question remains, is there any way to know if they have any affect on ranking?

  • Travis says:

    Scott,

    As you mentioned in your comment, I am finding a strong mixture of results that use GBP and that do not use GBP.

    I think that is may play a small role in helping your listing, but only if all other ranking factors are the same. Assuming that every single factor was identical for two listings, I would say that the GBP listing would show up higher as it offers rich media, a favorite of Google.

    There are likely some other factors that would have equal weight to GBP in the local algorithm, but I cannot definitively say what they are.

    Moz has a very detailed post on GBP that may answer your question in greater detail, you can find that here: http://moz.com/ugc/google-business-photos-may-correlate-with-higher-local-search-ranking-although-not-a-magic-bullet

    My thought is that if you have a business that can take advantage of GBP, you should because it certainly will not hurt.

  • Scott Witte says:

    Travis,

    Much thanks for your learned insight. 8-)

  • Travis says:

    No problem Scott. I hope you got the answers you were after and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

  • abdul kader says:

    Thanks for such an article which is praiseworthy.

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