Blog items tagged with "google-local-search"
Tags: nap , citations , google+ , google plus , google local , google local search , google , on-page seo
Attaining top search engine ranking in the Google organic search listings is different from that of reaching a high placement in Google's local listings (which are accompanied by the map and red pins.)
In this article, we delve in the basic SEO best practices of optimizing a website for each of these search engine listings, helping you to double your business's search engine exposure at the top of Google.
In short order, organic search optimization takes deeper on-page SEO, while ensuring your website is properly optimize to rank in the Google Local Listings is a little easier. Below we go into detail about the general on-page SEO techniques to cover both.
Organic Search Optimization
Optimizing a website for high rankings in Google's organic search listings involves a number of different components. The nice thing about on-page SEO for organic search optimization is that the 80/20 rule applies. In essence, there are a few things you can do to make a big difference.
An important piece of the SEO puzzle is proper keyword inclusion. In other words, you need to mention your primary keyword target in the right places on the page. These include:
- Meta Title, or Page Title, which you will appear as your listings main headline link in the Google search results. It's SEO best practice to keep your Meta title under 70 characters
- Meta Description, which is the summary of that page that appears in Google's search results below the main headline link. Include your keyword target here but avoid a lengthy Meta description that exceeds 155 characters
- Headers are a great place to establish keyword relevancy on the page. Mention your keyword in a Header 1 and Header 2, but try to be creative about it
- Page Copy below your headers is also an important place to mention your keyword targets. Shoot to include the keyword at least 2-3 times and try to have at least 200-300 words of copy for each page
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to on-page organic SEO techniques. Other concepts and strategies worth researching are strategic internal links, HTML and XML sitemaps, Schema, optimized images, and website optimization or technical SEO. This often combines aspects of SEO, web design and development. You can explore some of these advanced components at Top of Mind's SEO Guide.
Google Local Optimization
Making sure that a website is well-optimized for the Google local listings (shown with the Google map) is a straightforward process.
- First and foremost, ensure that your business's name, address, and phone number (also called "NAP" or a "citation") is mentioned accurately on all pages of the website.
- Next, head on over to Google+, and claim and submit the verification process for your company's Google+ Local page. Also be sure to populate your the Google+ Local page as completely as possible
- Lastly, add a link to your business' Google+ Local page on your website to seal the deal
Similar to the processes involved in organic search optimization above, there are other on-page SEO techniques that can help boost your Google local listing's ranking. Some of these techniques include, but are not limited to, creating and uploading a KML file, integrating LocalBusiness Schema markup, citation auditing, etc.)
For the first step of the Google local optimization process, it's critical that the NAP information is completely accurate and consistent across all other web properties that your business owns (i.e. Facebook page, Yellowpages profile, LinkedIn profile, Yelp page, etc.)
For advanced local SEO consulting and techniques on how to further optimize your company's web presence, contact OIC Group today.
Tags: diy , links , google local search , meta description , page title , citations , local seo , seo
Local SEO is not rocket science, folks. Sure, there's the complex technical side of things, but for the most part, local SEO is a straightforward process that almost anyone can do with the right direction.
In this blog post, I am going to steer you in the right direction to lay the foundation for a well-optimized website that's geared for local SEO success.
These tips might sound elementary or unrelated to local SEO, but without implementing each step in the process, your website won't reach its fullest SEO potential.
Take Care of the On-site SEO Basics
The first step to optimizing your website is to ensure it's keyword relevant in all the right places. In our example, lets say we are optimizing a business' website that sells custom tank tops in Atlanta.
We'll want to include these keywords in the homepage's page title, meta description, and page copy. We keep the page title under 70 characters and the meta description under 155 (as a general rule of thumb for white hat SEO) so they don't get cut-off in the search results.
In addition to ensuring these elements are keyword relevant, we also tailor this content in such a way that entices search engine users to click the listing.
As for page copy, we don't need to keyword stuff the text. Simply mentioning the keywords a couple times on the page is all you need (too much is actually a risk for over-optimization.) We'll attempt to get the keyword in a header and couple times in a paragraph, if it makes senses.
We can apply these simple techniques to all pages on the site with SEO value. Although the homepage is paramount, we may also have a page on "neon tank tops" in which we'll want to keyword optimization. As a last tip for on-site SEO, we'll want to ensure all page titles, meta descriptions, and page copy is entirely unique per page.
Ensure Your NAP is Complete
A complete NAP in a local SEO context is full, entirely accurate citation (or mentioning) of a business' name, address, and phone number on its website. To further ensure its completeness and purpose for local SEO, including the NAP on every page of the website is critical. The header and/or footer is a perfect place to put it.
Evaluate Your NAPs
Now that we've ensure the NAP is accurate and properly placed on the website, we will then want to evaluate our NAPs on other websites, particularly directories. Any inaccuracies and inconsistencies with the business' NAP on these directories will cause confusion with Google and discredit the legitimacy of our business.
An easy and free way to do this is to hop on over to Yext and perform a scan. The scan will tell you which (of the top 50 or so) directories have any inaccuracies that need to be fixed. You can do this manually, invest in Yext to help you do more efficiently, or hit us up to fix them (or consult you on how to do it in the most SEO-friendly manner possible.)
In essence, this step in the local SEO process is called a citation audit ("citation" meaning a mention of a business' NAP.) Auditing and fixing any inaccurate citations is crucial to thrive in Google's local search results (the listings associated with the Google map and red push pins.)
Create a Content Strategy
In addition to keyword optimizing the content of the website (the on-site SEO stuff mentioned above,) we'll also put together a more long-term content strategy that focuses on consistently publications. The most popular means of executing a content strategy is via blogging. But we can take this one-step further by creating rich media content like graphics and video.
A content strategy fuels local SEO in couple different ways. By publishing content that relates to our core services in custom tank top services, we can further increase the keyword relevancy and authority of the site (e.g. creating an inspiring article about ideas around creative custom tank top designs.)
The other way in which a content strategy can help with SEO is via social media. Producing content internally gives us something meaningful to share on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterst, and any other social media platform we want to include.
Make Time to Be More Social
Whether for enterprise-level ecommerce SEO or simply local SEO, having an active social media presence is a big deal for any SEO strategy. The keyword here is active. Too many businesses create a social media account but just leave it hanging assuming it serves its purpose as it stands.
We'll dedicate a portion of our time and energy being socially active in sharing content, engaging with people, and building relationships. Not only does this layer of social credibility influence our search engine ranking potential, but we can establish meaningful connections that result in future customers as well as link opportunities.
Generate Links to Your Website
The last component to doing local SEO on your own is finding ways to generate links to your website. Performing the Yext scan above and help you pinpoint some good local directories worth getting your business listed. Most directories will provide a link back to your website (in addition to a citation.)
Other good resources for local SEO links are chamber of commerce websites (which typically require a membership, but offer an authoritative and locally-relevant link,) local newspaper sites, press release sites, and blogs. Doing some guest blogging is often effective, but under some scrutiny in the SEO profession as this practice is being relentlessly exploited by spammers.
Generating links to your site takes some time and efforts. In our example situation, we'll want to scout for sites related our local area of Atlanta, as well as topics around clothing, custom designing, screen printing, and various relevant topics. The trick is to find creative ways to reach out to site owners and webmasters in such a way that gives them a reason to link to your site. Whether you can offer some content or perhaps a link exchange, link generation is an ongoing effort that will significantly fuel your local SEO efforts.
Want to go deeper with your local SEO practice? We're happy to further educate you on applying the best practices of SEO on your website. Just contact the OIC Group's SEO department to learn more.
Tags: google plus , google local search , google+ , local seo , seo
Local businesses can gain some serious marketing momentum by properly setting-up a Google Plus Local page.
The process is rather simple with the right guidance. By establishing a local business page on Google Plus, you can help increase your company's ranking in the Google local search results (example shown in the image to your right.)
In this article, I will guide you through the simple steps of setting-up (and slightly optimizing) a Google Plus Local page for your business. Let's get started.
1. Claim Your Google Plus Page
Before you immediately create a new page for your business, check to see if there's an existing, un-claimed page. To do this, perform a search on Google Plus for the name and geographic location of your business.
Once you've submitted your search, use the drop-down option to select "People and Pages." From the search results, you should be able to spot your business's page, if it exists. If you do see your business page, click into the page and look toward the bottom for the option to "Manage this page."
If you do not see a page for your business, you'll need to create a new one. This option is near the bottom left of the Google Plus menu bar, under "More."
From the "Pages" menu, you can select to create a new page. When creating a new page, it's important that you choose "Local Business" as the type of page.
2. Edit Your Business's Information
Whether you have an existing Google Plus Local page or are creating a new one, you'll definitely want to tune-up the business's information.
The "Business Name" field should be a given; however if your business has multiple locations under one name, you'll want to distinguish its specific location in this field. For our example with "Nerds on Call," a residential computer repair company in central Illinois, there are five locations. As a result, we add a 'clean pipe' after the business name, followed by the location for that specific page.
In this case, we use "Nerds on Call | Peru, IL" as the business name to differentiate this page from the others. The business address is one of the most important elements on the page. And if you're claiming an already existing Google Plus Local page for your business, then chances are the address info might be slightly off.
Make sure that address is spot-on verbatim with that of your business's website. This alignment is critical to ensure your business is legitimate through the eyes of Google (and can influence your Google Local search ranking as a result.)
In our scenario of claiming an already existing page, Google had the street name slightly incorrect. We changed it from "Illinois 251" to the correct street of "State Route 251."
The rest of the fields are pretty straight-forward. Just be sure that everything is accurate and aligned with you company's website.
In the description field, you'll want to write concise summary of what your business offers and/or specializes in. You may also want to add a call-to-action link to help facilitate leads from the page's description.
3. Submit PIN Verification Request
Next you'll want to submit a postcard verification request to your business. This option is near the bottom right of the Google Plus Local page.
When you submit verification request, Google will send a postcard to your business's address with a PIN.
Once received (typically within a week,) you'll want to return back to your company's Google Plus Local page and submit the PIN to complete the verification process.
4. Link to Your Google Plus Page from Your Website
This last step is the icing on the cake. Near the bottom right of the Google Plus Local page, you'll see the option to "Link Your Website - Help people discover your page."
By including this link on your business's website (to its Google Plus page,) it further validates this page and helps its overall search engine authority for SEO.
The "rel=publisher" snippet in the link's URL tells Google that your company's website is the publisher for any content stemming from the site. If you publish blog posts from your website, you'll want to attribute the author of each blog post with a link to his or her personal Google Plus profile page.
In the author's link, include the "rel=author" snippet in the URL (see my Google Plus author link at the bottom for an example.) This establishes the ever-powerful Google Authorship for the blog post and will further accelerate its search engine value.
Using the "publisher" and "author" snippets in these links can help get your content crawled and indexed much faster. Additionally, you can generate the "rich snippet" author image in Google's search results (shown below.) This will make your blog post stand-out from the clutter and help increase your content's click-through rate in the search listings.
5. BONUS! Build Some Citations to Increase Your Ranking!
Building citations is an ongoing effort of creating business profiles and directory listings on various other websites. Check out this blog post for quality sources to build citations.
Having citations on other credible website is a sign of legitimacy to Google. When Google crawls these other listings, it will compare the name, address, and phone number of you business with that of its website and Google Plus Local page. When all things jive, your ranking can increase. In essence, this is the practice of “link building” for Google Local SEO, or in a more progressive sense, Goolge Plus Local optimization.
About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky has over five years of experience in the organic SEO profession. Starting his career as a copywriting for an international SEO firm and now the Internet marketing manager here at OIC, Tyler offers a wealth of expertise in the search marketing industry. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)oicgroup.net or Follow him on Google Plus.
Tags: seo tips , google plus , google local search , citations , local seo
The Google local listings are basically the new YellowPages of the Web. Now more than ever, Google users are shown local business listings in the organic search results.
These prominent local listings take up a significant amount of real estate in the SERPs and are accompanied by the Google Map. They also offer Google+ reviews and location information of each business.
To help increase a business's ranking in the Google local listings, a unique approach to SEO is required. This is because these local rankings are not only determined by a strong website, but also by an strong Google+ presence.
Take note to how the primary headline link for each business listing takes users to the company's actual website, whereas the Google+ reviews link below directs users to the business's Google+ page.
SEO in this particular context is not a mysterious, scientific formula that's unbeknownst to most marketers. In fact, this form of local SEO comprises of simple tasks that almost anyone can tackle.
Before you get started on these SEO tips, be sure that you have the capabilities to edit the content of your business's website, and that you've created a local business Google+ page.
- Add a link from the business's website to its Google+ page. The recommended code snippet for this link is found on the business's Google+ page while in edit mode, and will have the suggested anchor text "Follow us on Google+."
- On the Google+ page, verify the address of the business by requesting your Google+ postcard with a verification PIN. Once you receive the postcard at the business's address, you can submit the 4-digit PIN on the Google+ page.
- Include the exact address of the business on at least the homepage, but if possible, on all pages of the website. Two good areas for this are a site-wide header or the footer. This simple address inclusion is called a citation and it enables Google to verifies the legitimacy of the business's tangible location.
- Create additional citations, or business listings, on directory websites like Yelp, Bing, Yahoo! Local, Manta, Yellowpages, etc. Google will match-up the address information from these listings with that of the business's website and Google+ page to further ensure its local legitimacy. This is one of the best ways to help grow your Google local listing.
- Populate the company's Google+ page with adequate information and details. When appropriate, mention your keyword and geographic targets. Don't overdue do it, just a couple times is plenty enough. 6. Keyword optimize (not keyword stuff!) your webpage's titles, meta description, and page copy. Also try to include the city name of your business in each of these elements to help establish local relevancy for SEO.
Local SEO is slowly becoming more of a social endeavor with respect to Google+. It's critical that you local business gets involved on Google+ to grow and maintain its ranking in the Google local listings.