So, you want to start kicking tail and taking names in the local search world? However, you just realized that you don’t have a resource for the needed management of local social review properties, you don’t have a dedicated local PPC pro and you don’t know a link-building professional to help you acquire the right kind of locally relevant links. Time to give up, right? No, while you build your local search strategy and find your resources, you need to ensure that you button down the first step of Local Search that most don’t pay attention to, establishing local search relevancy.
Over the past year Google has given us a new look in the search engine results. Where we once saw organic listings and clusters of 1, 3 or 7 packs of local listings, we now see that local listings can be paired with your organic search result. However, if you want to enjoy this beefed up first page appearance you have to take the guesswork out of organic-local listing pairing for Google. If you do not clearly show Google that you have a locally relevant site page and a local listing you will continue to see these listings separated.
Your To-Do List:
- Verify your business listing! If cleanliness is next Godliness then credibility is next to relevancy. This is the first thing Google wants to see in a local listing.
- Ensure that the link from your Google Local listing links back to the appropriate location page, and if not this page, at least to your domain name. Not including a URL is the best way to not show a correlation to Google. Additionally, don’t link to an address that temporarily (302) or permanently (301) redirects to the relevant page of domain of your site. If you were doing this for tracking purposes, rely on custom URLs through Google’s URL builder to achieve this.
- The linked page needs to have the same address, phone number and business name as you have in the local listing. Make sure that the company info listed above is written in text on site and not within an image. Google can’t read it if it is an image and many sites make this mistake with have location information embedded within imagery.
- Give your local listing some guts! Add relevant categories respective to your company’s services offerings. Add a description that is not exact to text found on the linking site but that which is of the same content theme. Provide images and videos that can be found at the linking site. What are the hours of operation and the accepted methods of payment?
- Take a good look at the linked page. Think about what is on the linked site page that is not in the local listing. We have the name, phone, address, images, video, and a good description, what else? If you have additional bits of info that doesn’t have a section in the local listing you can add it to the Additional Information section of the local listing. Here you can mention brands you sell or service, where a visitor might want to park to access your company.
Well, there you have it. You took ten minutes and started your local search endeavor. You are far from over but at least you have established relevancy between the local side of Google and your site. Oh, and it was free!