Local Search Optimization (LSO) is the process of optimizing pages within the physically present web-space of an individual business. Local SEO helps businesses compete on a local scale, even when you have thousands of physical locations worldwide. The principles of Local SEO apply equally to Google Local and Bing Local search engines. As in traditional SEO, competitive analysis and keyword research are key to building a robust local SEO plan. Following are the four primary components of a well-optimized Local SEO plan:
On-page SEO includes links from internal and external websites. In Google’s ranking algorithms, the links from internal and external sites are more valuable than links from only internal sites. Thus, articles that contain internal links receive more priority than do those that only contain external links. Internal links from authoritative websites such as newspapers, magazines, business associations, and websites offering professional counseling are valuable. However, it’s important to remember that these authoritative websites often control their own citations.
On-page SEO includes content that is properly linked from relevant directories. Google and other major search operators have criteria for selecting the most relevant links in a page. Links from disreputable or spammy sites are often ignored or rated lower than relevant links. Google provides several tools to help search operators evaluate link building practices. Keyword Suggestion tool, Page Rank Checker, Meta Tag Editor, and More are some of the tools offered by Google to help monitor link building strategies.
On-page SEO includes building links from physical locations in the physical world. Many businesses choose to submit articles to regional newspapers, magazines, or business websites in their local areas to increase exposure in their regions. This strategy not only improves the chances of visitors finding the businesses in their areas, but often also helps with the competitive analysis.
When using CMS platforms to publish pages for websites, sometimes the title tag is composed using meta data from competitor pages. For example, if a competitor published an article about her local wedding photographer, the title might be “articles about local wedding photographer”. To improve upon the problem, a competitor could submit a local landing page using the same keywords for the content. The resulting landing page could contain a list of keywords about wedding photographers, without using the competitor’s title tag. This approach, while less common, can be slightly more effective.
In addition to using competitor’s keywords for link building and local SEO placements, companies should also be aware of the number of times a keyword appears on a page. In particular, companies should use Google’s Sideloader, which allows users to enter a URL and find all past web citations associated with that URL. After identifying all cite sources, a company can determine whether it is reasonable to use any of those citations in optimizing its own website.
Google Sideloader provides a tool that allows users to enter URLs, search phrases, and locations. After entering a URL, Google displays a list of past web citations, sorted by categories. Each entry has the anchor text associated to the source. In the case of a Sideloader report, a green check mark appears next to the anchor text, indicating that the source is an actual reference, while a red x indicates that it is a non-citation web citation. In the Plumber Sheffield area, there are many websites with this type of markup, so it is important for companies to be aware of existing citations and take steps to ensure that they are correctly cited.
Citations and Sideloader allow companies to make sure that they are not missing any prior citations that have been previously entered onto a website. As a result, they are able to identify SEO opportunities that would otherwise go unnoticed. For businesses in the UK, Google Sideloader provides an excellent way to track prior SEO activity and discover any potential pitfalls. By taking advantage of Google’s two unique services, companies can ensure that they are maximizing their visibility and competitive advantage.