Three Methods Local Citation Optimization Should Follow
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), also called SEM (Search Engine Marketing), is the process of optimizing a site’s web page content so that it appears higher during results pages of major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN. SEM typically includes On-page SEO or content writing. In the context of On-page SEO, this includes building links, or in some cases, article writing, which creates the backbone for off-page SEO efforts. Off-page SEO includes elements such as keyword research and link building. The goal of on-page SEO is to attract traffic through search engine results pages (SERPs), which are highly competitive.
Why is SEO so important? Many businesses realize the importance of SEO and begin to look at local SEO trends. To understand why local SEO is so important, you need to understand the way in which SERPs work. When a user searches for a product or service, the SERP will show the top 10 results based on relevance. However, the SERP is not determined solely by rankings.
In order for your website to appear in the top 10 search engine results, it must have strong on-page SEO. That means using on-page SEO to optimize content. One of the best local SEO tips for increasing SERPs involves using proper meta tags and title tags. Keyword density should also be considered when planning local SEO strategies.
The challenge is that many websites do not understand the importance of on-page SEO. They attempt to optimize with off-page techniques, such as link building, without realizing how important it really is. Link building has long been recognized as an effective method to improve local seo rankings. In fact, many companies hire professionals just to perform link building. Unfortunately, this method does not work. Companies only benefit through link building and not necessarily from high SERPs.
Another reason that local SEO helps businesses succeed is that local customers tend to use the keywords that are most relevant to their needs. This means that businesses need to target specific keywords in order to attract local customers. Some of the best local SEO tips include targeting specific geographic areas and using specific words in content.
The last, and certainly not least important, component of a great SEO content strategy is the amount of local citations that the site receives. In order to gain high rankings with the major search engines, it is absolutely crucial that businesses take advantage of the local citations. Google specifically requires that each page has at least one to two citations from local citations. Google’s latest guideline states that sites with fewer than twenty local citations receive an automatic pass with no further review.
Directory submission service pros agree that there are currently three major sources from which businesses can obtain citations: via Google Places, via individual web directories, and via the major article directories. Google Places is the first of these, as it is designed for local search. Web directories and independent blogs are the second two sources. Article submission service pros recommend using all three methods in order to maximize results.
When optimizing for Google Places, it is vitally important that content is tightly focused and that Google not send too much text to a single landing page. Many websites mistakenly think that if they submit a relevant headline, title, and URL (all on the same page) then they will receive a relevant backlink. In reality, though, the backlinks from Google will generally be spread thin, and there is a good chance that one or even two of them may be artificially created. In this case, Google will not give the website any points or may even drop it from its index entirely. If an article is submitted with a good headline, the chances of getting a relevant backlink is higher.
The final method that many SEO pros suggest in order to optimize Google Places is through the use of the phone number locator. Basically, this function is the same as the one used by yellow pages locators. Instead of submitting the name, phone number, and address of the business to Google, the user enters a business’s name into the search engine’s phone number locator. After a certain number of submissions, Google will generate a set of numbers that are commonly called the “Google footprint”. By using this service, business owners can pinpoint which SEO-friendly venues are generating their most backlinks.
As you can see, although there are other techniques that businesses can use to improve Google Places rankings, these three methods should be enough to improve your small business’s local citations. For more information on how SEO can help your business get ranked for keywords in your area, contact a local SEO expert today. You’ll be amazed at what they can do.