For the last 5 hours I have been researching and updating my knowledge of local seo. This is actually one of the types of SEO I really don’t like and don’t understand all that well which is why I spent so much time on it. I know the usual rules apply and citations play a huge role but how can me and you, who are advanced SEOs, get pages on our website that are targeted to a specific area ranking quickly for that local area? That is the question I will try to answer in this post.
For this example I am going to use a page on my SEO company site that is geared towards ranking for a local keyword. I have 3 inner pages on my site that are something like hqseo.co.uk/seoserviceslocalarea. 3 are all ranking along the same lines but none are on page 1 and in this post I am going to find out why and how to get them there.
I will start by assuming that everyone knows the basics of local onpage optimization, which includes title, url, name, address and location with google maps integration if you can get that done. Usually that is enough to get you on page 2/3 for most local niches, but why only there? Hopefully I can answer that here.
Every year Moz does a survey for local ranking factors and comes up with some good results, the full results can be found at: http://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors but im going to tell you what it means for you now. For all the research and good work Moz did, they don’t actually tell you how to rank for your local keywords.
So to some tips to actually help people. The first tip I would say is to try and create your local campaigns on a per site basis. For example if you are an SEO company looking to target a specific region. Buy a new or expired domain and promote for that region individually, rather than what I did which is trying to promote to multiple local regions as it makes is a lot more difficult.
Secondly, citations and NAPs are everything. This is essentially the information Moz came up with in their report, the problem is these are in my opinion difficult to find and get but the easiest ways are directories!
Third, Google plus and Google maps, actually everything to do with Google, anayltics and webmasters too, but ensure you have a Google plus page with integration to Google Maps.
Fourth, Facebook profile, this is actually more key than you probably think, in my long research today about SEO this came up a number of times and it also helps if you can get a few likes (20+) to get the ball rolling for your online presence. So get your social citations. (Facebook and Twitter.)
Fifth, something I made up on the spot but think is relevant and would have great results and that is having a listing on local business review websites, also get a few people to review your site a week after the listing just to bump you up near the top of your category, might get you some traffic as well as SEO gains. I would recommend Yelp, Yahoo and BBB Oh and linkedin
Alright Im sorry to say I think that is everything. Boring I know. I will probably be running an SEO split test with a selection of 2 methods soon. One will probably be only citations and NAPs whilst the other will be everything above include social signals but minus the major directories which get your citations. I will report back on those, but until then, stay optimized.
Wow, did I really just say that “Stay Optimized” – Sure that can catch on.