How to do effective search engine optimization of a web site which needs only local visitors (e.g. from 100 mile radius of a particular city) but not global visitors?
- Get listed in Google Places
- Make sure you use the correct keywords in your places listing
- Make sure you choose every possible relevant category for your business in your listing - most business should have at least 3, but larger stores may have dozens.
- Put the city, state of your location into your page titles
- Put your address and phone number at the bottom of every page on your site. Use the HTML
- Make sure you have an "about us" and a "contact us" page
- Make sure your site contains business hours and directions
- If you have a restaurant, put your menu on your site
- If your business is a delivery or home service type of business, list all the towns and zip codes to which you will travel.
- Get good reviews on Google, Yelp, and other sites that allow your customers to rate you
- Create a Facebook page and make announcements on it regularly
- Get links in local directories. Many towns have websites that list local businesses.
- Link to other local businesses that complement yours
- Get links from other local business that complement yours
- Get listed in national directory sites like Yelp, TrueLocal, CitySearch, and Superpages
- Make sure every site that lists your business includes your vital info: Business Name, address, phone number, and website
Citations is ultimately the only word you need to know when it comes to local search rankings, the more businesses and websites that mention your site with things like telephone number and address the more credibility your business has in your local area.
Accuracy of Data
Your worst enemy is the accuracy of your data, you want as many sites having the same details about your business as possible, this does not include company description and should be unqine. What I'm referring to is your address should be the same on every citation site.
It's absolutely essential that you get your business onto Google places and Google maps, ensure again this data is the same as on your website and those directories mentioning your business. Also a little tip is help the Google team by placing the marker in the correct spot - Google tends to choose the road and not your actual building. Setting it later can make then reevaluate your business and send out a new confirmation code.
Another essential thing I consider important to local rankings is Google plus, not only does it give you an additional citation because you can add your address it also adds Google reviews to your serps (Search Engine Results Positions) which many swear down these reviews are the best for local rankings.
Using things like Facebook and Linkedin are great for increasing your citation credibility with Google since these networks allow you to add your address as well as giving Google your social signals which is excellent for local and national rankings.
Having local businesses mention your business is golden, they don't even need to back link to your site though of course this would help your rankings if they are within the same niche its still beneficial to have your number and address on other businesses.
The really good sites are those within your own niche however you should also consider things like your local newspaper which some have online databases and even some local councils/government authorities have these type of databases... Again these are golden because these come from very credible sources.
It's uncertain which reviews other from Google Plus is taken into account however what do know is that Google loves things that are natural. So it would be unnatural to have 100% of your reviews on all Google and none on any other site. It is unlikely that Google takes every review site into account so usual it is best to stick to the credible ones such as Tripadvisor, Checkatrade, or maybe something in your niche or a site that is very well known.
It's important to note that citations are not back likes but more so just mentions of your business with your details, Back links can still help in your local rankings and should try to get back links from other local businesses but do try to get Locally-Relevant ones.
On Page Optimisation
It is important that you still take into account on page optimisation, things you should do is include:
Area your Targeting into Title - I.E "Business Name | Business Type in Location"
NAP - Use your business name, address and number on all pages that you want ranking, ideally you should use the header or footer and really try schema location business as your mark up.
Content, try to mention the area your in at least once some people even add it in the headers but personally rankings should not effect your users experience and I believe such things do ruin the experience by using such tactics.
If your going to embed your NAP in the header or footer why not add the Google maps next to it? this can give a little bit more weight while offering your visitors directions to your business which is only a plus.
About Us, Contact Us pages can help by having additional details about your business such as opening hours and so forth.
For Quick Results I recommend:
You back track your citations of your local competitors, find out exactly where they are getting their citations from and use those as well as these are surely being taken into granted. There are many online businesses that are offering these services but here's 2 I've had first hand experience with:
Few examples of citation sites
- City Search
- Urban Spoon and OpenTable (for restaurants)
- Yellow Pages
- Angie’s List
- Express Update USA (formally infoUSA)
- Yahoo Local
- Trip Advisor
- Merchant Circle
- Dex Knows
- Insider Pages
- Shop City
- Judy’s Book
- Yellow Bot
Get a ccTLD for your target country and use that for your website. For example if you are targeting visitors from the UK you would use a .co.uk domain for your website. If you already have a website at another domain name create a unique country specific site using the ccTLD.