The local seo formula seems to be over-simplifying in the last 6 months. It’s now possible to rank in Google Maps for almost any local keyword if you have the following:
- A Google Business page
- A website half optimised to a local keyword
- More citations that your competitors
Unfortunately its not actually that easy.
2 aspects that can be the difference in local rankings are Geo-tagging and media rich citations, used correctly you no longer need to worry about having “more” citations than your competitor, you need BETTER ones.
It’s odd that the “more is better” philosophy is still used when it comes to local seo and citation counts. The “more links” theory was laid to rest back in 2013, now every digital marketer in the world knows its about “quality over quantity.”
How Do You Make A BETTER Citation?
- Address Formatting – Use whatever appears in your Google Business page. If you have a ST. use this on your website and on all your citations. If its Street then use the word entirely on all sources.
- Business Name – Again use whatever is on your Google business page and the same format on your website.
- Phone Number – Guess what? Same format as Google business page and on your site.
- Images – 10 images on your Google business page and on the relevant pages of your website associated with the image AND the category your trying to rank for.
- Categories – Use all the relevant categories in your Google business page.
- On website – Include your address/phone/business name on your site (footer) in schema mark up.
The Don’t Be Lazy:
- Unique Descriptions – On both your Google Business page and on your citation sources. Use as much as your citation source allows you.
- Use all your Images on the citation sources – This is the “rich media” aspect to submitting citations.
- Don’t repeat – Don’t repeat your location or category information in your Google business listing (adds a negative point)
- Link out – Link out in your Google business page and on your site to your facebook / twitter profiles (2 links maximum)
- Embed – Embed your business location on your site (footer.)
- Upgrade your listings: Some business directories allow you to upgrade usually, if you’re looking to rank for an extremely competitive keyword or location – These can make the difference.
- Add Google Category keywords – Add your Google category keywords to your URL, title or H1 tags of a page. Ideally you would create a page for each service. So if you were trying to rank for “web design Cardiff” you’d have a page on yourdomain.com/web-design-cardiff/ this then works with your Google business page and they “talk” to each other to give you the benefit.
- Reviews – Generate 2-3 reviews a month and this adds a “freshness” benefit to your listing. And also improves CTR as well.
The Super Ninja:
- Ping & post live citations – Once a citation goes live head to your ping site of choice and enter the URL. Also share this on your companies social media accounts. “Now live on CITATION SOURCE” will result in your citation listing getting crawled and indexed quicker.
- Geo-tagging images – GEO-tag your images with your business name, address, phone AND the longitude and latitude figures. This is awesome for a few reasons:
- Now ALL YOUR IMAGES on your website, Google business page and CITATION SOURCES are geo-tagged to your business and location.
- Easy way to get your keywords into a listing without looking spammy.
- Trust explodes for your citations and everything adds up to Google.
- Find New Citation Sources – Find new sources you can create a citation that your competitors won’t even notice! Industry or locational ones work amazingly well.
How do you geotag an image?
- Start by having a unique graphic or image. (Business logo/team photos are perfect)
- Go into the “image properties” settings.
- Place your primary keyword in the file name
- Go to the “details” tab and place your primary keyword in the fields
- Rate the image 5 star, because why not!
- In the “comments” section place the; business name, address, phone and longitude and latitude information.
To some people this technique might seem like overkill. But if you really want to rank in the top 3 local results for super competitive locational/industry keywords then you need to do everything above.
Thanks for reading.