Local SEO, as defined by Google, is an important part of Internet marketing for small business. Local SEO is especially important because it helps local businesses market their services and products to local consumers and visitors. When a visitor enters a website or shop in search of a local item, the site or the store’s ranking in local results thus becomes more probable. Here are some of the Local SEO guidelines:
Include location-based citations in your content. Google, like other search engines, includes the location of your site in results. To optimize your local business for Google and other local search engines, you should incorporate these citations. For instance, if you’re selling handbags in Dublin, Google would provide a local citation in the search result. This is very helpful in increasing local business ranking and traffic. Citations provide a better and more detailed overview about your company and what you offer.
Do not submit inaccurate data. Google and other search engines use different algorithms to rank websites. One of these is the Google Local Ranking Factors, or GRF, which considers the quality of the links a website receives from within a specific geography. In case of inaccuracies, such as links that come from places that don’t have direct ties with the local business listings, Google would not give high rankings to these sites. For instance, if the links came from a site called corporate-bags-online and the business listings had shown that it sells handbags only, Google would not give high rankings to that site.
Follow the guidelines provided by Google for submission of the URL. Google also has set parameters for the submission of URLs, and if you don’t follow these guidelines, your website may be omitted from the local search rankings. The guidelines are mentioned at the Google Webmaster Tools account home page. Google also provides instructions at its Google Local page on how to submit a URL.
Avoid using incorrect data. Some online marketing companies and software applications use inaccurate data to derive their Local SEO rankings. Such companies can take your website’s or blog’s URL and submit the data to Google using incorrect parameters. This could lead to your website or blog being omitted from Google’s local business listings. To avoid such errors, ensure that the online marketing company your hiring has proof of the submission of all the data it claims it has submitted.
Use local citations. Google provides links to external sites that contain citations about your business. These citations are a part of Google’s Local Search Engine Rankings policy, which states that sites containing accurate citations should be eligible for inclusion. Therefore, submitting your website or blog to Google using incorrect data or inaccurate data results in the exclusion of your site from Google’s local search engine rankings.
Do not overuse keywords. Keywords play an important role in both Google’s rankings and Google’s supplemental Local SEO services. However, excessive use of keywords can cause your web pages or websites to be omitted from Google’s supplemental Local SEO service. Google recommends including a maximum of one percent keyword-area saturation for both your website and blog’s Local SEO rankings.
Make sure you have access to your website’s backups. Google runs a special version of its website search engine on its Google Data Platform. This is used by Google’s in-house Mobile Search feature for mobile devices. If you’re working with third party Local SEO vendors, make sure they have access to Google’s Data Platform. Google Data Platform provides your local business data platforms with the highest amount of local citations as well as Google’s supplemental Local SEO services.