With the implementation of Google place search, websites with a local focus are now reaping the rewards. Google place search means if you perform a search with a location keyword e.g. “accountant London” “organic food London” “gym Manchester” the search results appear with place holders. This has created some real waves within the SEO community and has been a bit of a shock for some SEO who haven’t been preparing for the dawn of local SEO. For instance, web directories that previously relied on simply listing locations are now faced with an uphill struggle when competing with sites that are locale specific. Having a local address is going to push you higher as Google will see this as evidence that your company is trading out of your area. Using location specific keywords in the domain is even better; Google will think you are specifically searching for that website.
Lets take a closer look at location based search phrases. For example “Plumber Brighton”:
We can see that sites which have been added to Google Local Business appear in the Search Results, but what are the secrets to achieving the highest results in Place searches?
- Have up to date addresses and phone numbers in directories across the web. Remove any old phone numbers and out of date information.
- Make sure your website has been correctly categorised with your top keywords in Google Local Business, for example: “bathroom fitter brighton, bathrooms brighton, bathroom installer hove, Bathroom Design and Installation, Bathroom installer brighton, bathroom fitter hove, Bathroom Remodeler, plumbers hove, plumbing brighton”.
- Make sure your website has been added to local directories e.g. www.touchbrighton.com and www.checkatrade.com
- Make sure you partner with local websites associated with the keyword you are trying to rank for and get a localised keyword rich link from these sites e.g. “Plumber Brighton”.
- Be sure to fill in all possible details on Google Local Business, add pictures, offers and persuade others to write positive reviews.
- Have the local destination within the domain name. This is a very powerful factor when ranking a site for local phrases.
- Use my maps in a Google account: http://maps.google.com/support/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=guide.cs&guide=21670&topic=21676
simply enough, search for the business you are trying to rank and save to my maps.
- And last and not least….. have a fully optimised site!