I imagine that most of us have been here before, fervently searching through a site to make sure it is in fact the same local company you are looking for. You are not sure though because none of the site content speaks to your locale. So, you have to go as far us finding the contact us page in hope that you will find an address or phone number with a familiar area code.
If it took you this long to hopefully find the true location of the local company just think what a search engine has to do to understand the locality of the site, the same thing. In the business of search engine marketing we do one thing well, never make a search engine have to hunt for anything. If you have the ability to show a search engine the relevancy of your location then they will reciprocate and show your locality to searchers.
Here is your 6 steps to ensure search engines know where you are located (and it helps for people too!):
- Include your location info, name/phone/address in the footer of every site page.
- Include a contact us/location link in the site footer linking to a page with a Google API map as well as your name/address/phone and directions.
- Perform local keyword research. These localized keyword terms will need to be integrated across several areas of your site.
- Intertwine Geo-keywords in your Title elements, body copy, heading and sub-headings across the site.
- Under your brand logo initialize a text tag line to include your geo-location ex. Your #1 Chicago Bicycle Repair Shop.
- Utilize Rich Snippets for Local Search. This allows for very specific information in code in Google’s preferred markup language.
Extra: It is off-site but make sure you create a Google Local Business Listing.
So, what have we done? We have tailored our previous (hopefully) keyword-rich content to have a local focus. From every page search engines as well as visitors know where we are located. Our copy, headings, tag-lines and other SEO related site elements reflect our GEO focus.
But beware, don’t go overboard. The last thing you want to do is make a user tired of reading their city name. Likewise, you don’t want a search engine thinking “Gee, you think they are located in “x” city with 17 instances of the city name?” A good tip here is to visit your Google Webmaster Tools Keywords section. If your city/region name is in the top two-three highest occurring keywords then you are abusing it. Shoot for the 5-7th most frequent term.
Now get out there and start ranking locally!