Maximize Your Local Search Visibility

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At first glance, it would seem that regular, relevant link building services —the kind you follow for a national campaign—is sufficient to improve your domain authority. Hold that thought.

Starting Your Google My Business Listing

External links pass authority from the linking source to the destination source. If you link on a high-authority source irrelevant to your industry, you might get lots of authority, but only a modest increase in your recognition as an industry authority assuming your content is related to your industry in some way. Google looks at the strength of your reputation in a geographic area when it determines the top three results for a local query relevant to you; therefore, having more links pointing to your site from locally relevant authorities with locally relevant content can help you increase your local relevance.

Examples of locally relevant authorities might include local news sites, neighborhood associations, or organizations exclusive to your area. All this is to say that yes, local link building can be distinguished from traditional link building , if you only seek out local sources.

Maximizing Local SEO [Ebook]

Keep them as a subsection of your overall link building strategy. Getting external links from such sources will do wonders for your local optimization campaign—far more than just stuffing the name of your city into your meta tags. Essentially, they are informational posts designed to cover a specific topic of interest within your city. Of course, many entrepreneurs are reluctant to write such an article because they fear naming or acknowledging their competition. As a result, many articles are clearly written as sales pieces, briefly acknowledging their competitors, then explaining how clearly superior they are.

Instead, focus on the informative quality of your piece— showcase your own advantages, but be honest and give each entry equal weight. Your social updates are also going to play a heavy role in how your business is seen by search engines. Take advantage of your social platforms whenever you do something specific to your community —such as attending a fair or having your employees volunteer for a local charity.

Tag other local businesses in the body of your social posts, and of course make sure those posts are optimized with local-specific tags and keywords. Get involved on these forums as much as possible, making posts of your own and engaging with your fellow citizens. Just be sure your posts remain focused on bringing value to the community rather than solely increasing your rank.

Interviews are great pieces of content in general, but especially when performed in a local context. Find a local personality to interview—it could be a politician, a business owner, or anyone else in some kind of position of status—and make a video or audio recording with an accompanying written transcript. The interview should catch the attention of local publications and local citizens.

2018 Local Search Ranking Factors

Plus, your interviewee will likely link to and share the interview, thereby doubling your potential audience. There are now dozens of new ranking factors, stemming from third party sites and user reviews, which can affect your overall ranking for a local search term. Log into Google Analytics and check out the Acquisition tab, whose Overview will show you a breakdown of how many site visitors you had, and where those visitors came from.

Invest in Learning about You

Pay special attention to the Organic Traffic number —this is the number of people who came to your site from searching for a term. Your Organic Traffic figure should grow from month to month fairly consistently.

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If you notice the numbers growing stagnant, it could be an indication of something wrong with the campaign. While still in Analytics, head over to the Audience section, and take a look at the Overview. Analytics will break down your user visits as a total number of visitors , and as a percentage of your total traffic.

A high percentage of local visitors is generally an indication of a high-quality local optimization campaign. The go-to example is Yelp, an aggregator of local business information and customer reviews, but there are several other sites with a niche focus, such as UrbanSpoon or TripAdvisor. Checking your business information is only the first half of the local directory audit. These sites all share one core feature: the ability for customers to post public reviews. The more high-quality reviews you have the better—it looks good to the other customers and even sends an authoritative ranking signal to Google.

Instead, simply direct your customers to the review site itself and leave the decision to review up to them. Local reviews are more than just surface-level pieces of information that occasional users use as guides to make purchasing decisions. Not everybody writes online reviews—in fact, only a small percentage of consumers ever take the time to write a positive or negative review about their experience.

The survey broke down participants into three distinct age groups; one between 18 and 34, one between 35 and 54, and one 55 and up. Consumers under the age of 35 were far more likely to write reviews than the other two age groups. Perhaps for the same reasons, young consumers were also more likely to read online reviews before making a purchasing decision, and more likely to trust the reviews they read. Knowing that younger audiences are far more likely to write reviews gives you a critical opportunity to use this to your advantage.

Young consumers are easily identifiable, and have certain key traits that you can exploit to earn more total reviews:. Of course, none of this is to say that you should give better service to young adults, or if your business caters to older consumers that you should shift demographics. Instead, these small steps can help your business appear more favorable to the type of people who are most likely to write reviews.

If any of them look suspicious or unfamiliar, take a closer look.

But local optimization campaigns need to go a step further, with content that frequently mentions your city or region, and occasional pieces that are relevant to the local community. The goal here is to produce enough content to objectively tie your company to the city or region in question.

Basics of Google My Business

Take some time to outline a plan moving forward, including objective goals related to traffic changes and new initiatives. Use variations of your location, such as Seattle, Seattle Washington, and Seattle WA to avoid duplication and optimize for multiple potential queries. And of course, use lots of location-specific keywords. Ensure its consistency across all your pages, and on your offsite profiles as well. The first things to look at are your titles and meta descriptions. Are they narrowly local to your area?

If not, then you need to change them so that they are. Example: If you have a page for Kansas City Events in , you want that to be specifically portrayed.

Google my Business: 9 Actionable Tips for Better Rankings (in 2019)

The terms you use will show up as bold text in the title and as the description on the search results page if they match the words that someone was searching for. Include map integration, and multiple ways to contact your business. Optimizing your images is something you should be doing as well. That goes for every website, but it can work wonders for local businesses. Use them in your blog posts. Before you upload them to your site, make sure that the filename, description, and ALT tags mention your local area. Using Google Maps can be tremendously helpful for your local site.

Do you offer a service of some kind? Now that you know you should be taking photos on every job, you should have lots of photos of your work to show. This is where it gets good! Each one gets its own placement on the map. Each one will have a thumbnail of the photo for that job and a link to a post or page that goes into more depth about it.

Each map icon of each job also gets indexed as a page in Google! Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat can all help improve your local authority. Fill out your profile completely—Google is a stickler for details. Make sure your name, address, and phone number are all consistent, and post your business hours so your potential customers can easily see them when they search for you.

In fact, some directory pages on Yelp! First, make sure you do not pay for reviews or force your customers to write them up. But it is perfectly acceptable to encourage your customers to write up reviews about you on these sites. Similarly, you can ask that your patrons submit reviews for direct use on your site.

Moz - Local Search Ranking Factors Study - Local SEO | Moz

You can also share them on social media and use that as a platform to encourage more reviews. Writing high-quality press releases is a great strategy to build links quickly and get some extra public attention for your business. You can even submit directly to local news stations and other local websites for consideration. Just make sure your release is newsworthy. You can even post promotions and coupons to the group, as long as the community allows it. Ask them to consider writing up a review of your establishment, or to at least mention you in the body of their blog. Be friendly and cast a wide net—the worst they can do is turn you down.

You do have a couple of options; you could either redesign your website to be responsive so it automatically resizes based on the device accessing it or you could develop a specific mobile version of your webpage. One of the easiest ways to attract local attention, and thus valuable backlinks, is to make your presence known at popular local events. Do everything you can to get involved in the community. Find out what your neighborhood values, and cater to its residents.