6 Super Simple Tips for Google Local SEO

General Dec 06, 2012 No Comments

The Google local search results are essentially the new YellowPages. Google users are immediately drawn to the Google local listings for many reasons.

    • The Google local listings are accompanied by a Google Map, offering a visual representation for search engine users.
    • Users can read reviews for each listing to learn more about what others had to say about a business.
    • The Google local search results are perceived with greater trust and credibility for quality information.

For any business that feeds of local customers in its market space, Google local SEO is one of the best channels to earn lead-generating advertising exposure. Just do a Google search for any keyword that has local relevance (e.g. restaurants, fitness centers, law firms, CPAs, etc.) Google delivers localized search results based on either your IP address, or if you’re logged into you’re logged-in your personal Google account, such as Gmail.

Before we get into the goods, it’s important to bring your awareness to the Reviews found under each listing. Although the main headline link for each listing directs users to the business’s actual website, the Reviews link will take users to a Google Plus page.

Similar to Google Places pages, which were replaced by Google Plus pages in May of 2012, there’s much more contributing to the rankings of these Google local listings than a strong website.

Google Local SEO Tips (That Your Marketing Manager Can Handle)

Google local SEO is not a mysterious formula or technical science. In fact, these local SEO tips are simple tasks that almost anyone can handle. Just be sure that you have the ability to edit the content of your website, and that you’ve successfully created a Google Plus page for your local business.

  • Be sure to have a link on your business’s website that points to its Google Plus page. The HTML code for this link can be found on your business’s Google Plus page while in edit mode. It will include the suggested anchor text “Follow us on Google+” along with “rel=publisher” snippet in the link’s code.
  • Include the full address of your business on all pages of its website. Two ideal places for this is a site-wide header or the footer (or put your addy on both!) Make sure that the address is entirely accurate and exactly matches what’s on your business’s Google Plus page. From a local SEO perspective, this called a citation and verifies the legitimacy of your business’s tangible location.
  • Verify your business’s address on its Google Plus page. This will require a manual submission in which Google sends a postcard to the address with a verification PIN. When you receive the postcard, you can submit the 4-digit PIN on the Google Plus page.
  • Create more business listings (citations!) on various other directory websites, such as Manta, Yelp, Bing, Yahoo! Local, Yellowpages, LinkedIn, and Kudzu. Google will align the address information from these listings with that of your business’s Google Plus page to further ensure its local legitimacy. You can research quality directory sites by using great resources like this insightful article, or try a paid tool like Yext.com
  • Keyword optimize (not keyword stuff) the page titles, meta description, and page copy of your homepage and key inside pages with your target keywords, respectfully. Try to include the city name of your business in each of these elements to help establish local relevancy for SEO.
  • Populate the Google Plus page with sufficient information about your business, and when appropriate, use your keywords and geographic targets. Also, put together a system that motivates happy customers to make reviews on your business’s Google Plus page. In most cases, Google Plus pages with a higher number of reviews will have more authority in the Google local search rankings.