Google has updated its algorithms again, but this time the Google Venice update hits hard on local SEO.
Google is now putting confirmed local listings at the top of local search results. Combine this with Ads, social signals and personalized search and your website has a higher probability to be pushed down to the bottom of the first page, if not moved to the second page.
So here are some tips to make sure your website stays on top of local searches.
- You must (and I mean must) have a Google Places account for your website.
- Be sure you are generally targeting location specific keywords with your website and place page. If you work in Dallas, be sure you are focusing on Dallas Wedding Photographer rather than Wedding Photographer with all your SEO efforts
- Your website should have your target location on every page (e.g., your footer copyright could be © 2012 John Doe Photography, LLC – Dallas, Texas Wedding Photographer)
- The blog articles you write on your website and off your website should ideally mention your keyword (e.g., As a Dallas Wedding Photographer, I photograph in all sorts of weather conditions. – make sure the keyword is linked to your home page)
- Embed a Google Map on your About or Contact page can give Google another push of your location.
- If you have your location in the URL or page slug then that’s another push to Google of your location.
- Create a Google Plus page for the business with the profile completed with relevant information
- Google is now looking more at Schema markup. The problem (currently) with Schema is the lack of support and ease to implement. The WordPress SEO plugin does implement some important Schema, in the form of Open Graph – used by social networks like Facebook and Google Plus. However, we haven’t found a complete Schema WordPress plugin out there – but if you have please comment with the link.
It is very important that you do not over do it. What I mean is, don’t change your content just for the local SEO. Your content always needs to read natural because otherwise you will scare off your readers with content written for SEO purposes (which is typically unreadable).
Just following the Venice update, Google has added a new feature to Google Plus. The feature uses Google Places listings inside of the social network. Just another reason to make sure that your Places listing is updated and accurate.
What have you done to help your local SEO? Comment below and share your experiences.
Thanks for reading,
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