Like all aspects of SEO, localized SEO is rapidly changing and evolving. One of the biggest changes is that Google has begun integrating is Places directory with Google+, essentially forcing businesses to get active on the company’s social network. This is but one example of the direction local SEO is going. In this week’s SEO Web Talk Radio Show, Dwight and I give you our tips and suggestions for proper localization.
Claim and verify your company’s Google+ Local listing
One of the very first things you should do is create a Google+ business page for your company. Once you create your profile and properly fill out all the necessary information, you’ll want to verify your listing with Google. This will give you a greater chance at showing up on local search result pages when potential customers are searching for your services or products. Having a Google+ business page will also give you another forum to interact with your customers in the form of online reviews and Facebook/Twitter-style sharing.
Ask for reviews!
While Google has stated that soliciting reviews from your customers is against the company’s rules, it also said that simply asking for a review from your customer is more than OK. We recommend doing just that. To make it easier for your customers, you should provide them with a list of all the different places they can review you online. This gives them the chance to use the platform in which they are most comfortable.
Be consistent and accurate
There’s nothing more frustrating as customers than when we can’t figure out where a business is located. That’s why you have to be extremely vigilant about making sure all of your online listings have the same address, phone number, etc. When Google sees multiple citations for the same place, it doesn’t quite know whether or not it’s one business or two and your company’s visibility in local search results may suffer because of it. MozLocal is a great service that helps you stay on top of your citations all across the web.
Move beyond Google+ Local
Google+ Local is a great place to start local optimization, but it’s by no means the end all be all of local SEO. It’s also crucial that you get listed in other directories outside of Google+ such as MozLocal, ReferLocal, Facebook Business Pages and more. Ideally, the more quality directories your business is listed in, the higher you will rank locally. That doesn’t mean you should go out and sign up for every directory possible, but you should seek out directories that your customers will be looking for.
Build those local links
As always, building links is key to success in SEO and local search is no different. When you’re trying to build links locally, think about places your customers might look for your company, services or products.Places like the Chamber of Commerce and your local newspaper are old standbys, but you might want to consider any local charities your company donates to. Just ask for a link! Sometimes, just like getting reviews from your customers, you just have to ask.
Listen for more!
For more information about proper local SEO optimization, listen to our podcast below. And remember, the SEO waters can be a bit murky sometimes, but we’re here to the clear it up for you! Thanks for listening!