“Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’—it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic.’”
Adam Audette, CKO of RKG
Google announced that they will focus on improving their searches through local content rankings. They provide insight in regard to local information on their support page. There is also a process known as localization at play. Both are slightly different. Whereas localization focuses on your language, local content rankings deal with your specific, limited physical address. This can be great for small businesses. The goal of this blog will be to help you improve your local content rankings with a few simple tools.
HOW TO BECOME RELEVANT
Relevance is based on a couple of key factors. Your location, reputation, competition, and product clarity will all play a part in your rankings. Local content ranking is dependent on internal and external content. You will need to implement a strategy that addresses both.
GOOGLE’S DIRECTION FOR IMPROVING LOCAL CONTENT RANKING
Google has not left us to wonder how they rank sites. They have a support page with helpful links for business owners. Here is a quick summary of what you can do now to begin improving your local ranking.
- Edit your business information on Google.
- Verify your business location on Google Maps
- Keep your business hours up to date.
- Interact with reviews
- Add photos to illustrate your business, products, and services to the public.
And our advice:
- Incorporate this information into your content.
THINK GLOBAL, GEAR LOCAL
We live in a globalized economy. Businesses use the web for quite a bit more than filling orders or searching for customers in a single city. At least many of them do. There are plenty of companies that rely on local rankings and relevance. Businesses like local eateries, gas stations, and retailers as well as contractors, and promotional companies often survive and thrive because of local customers. Our hope is that the following tips can be applied to any business website to assist in improving your ranking and increasing opportunities for conversion.
- Add your physical location to your website and include all of the information you used on your Google business listing on a particular page. Some businesses use an “About Us” or “Contact Us page to do this.
- Name the cities you deliver to in some of your content. If you have a specific service area, call out each location in a similar manner as you have in the first tip above.
- Note historic or well-known sites in your service areas. Locations like hospitals, parks, government offices, large business, or monuments may help someone who is searching for a business like yours at a well-traveled public place.
- Think of a Google search for a traveler in New York City for instance: “great coffee near central park ny”
- How about a search from someone whose car broke down on the way home from Wal-Mart in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota: “auto mechanic near Walmart Brooklyn park mn”
- Add this local information into URLs, meta descriptions, content keywords, image alt text and captions, and blog posts where it makes sense. Add it to your home page if possible and as close to the beginning of your articles as possible. Don’t forget to add it to video content descriptions.
- Consider incorporating stories about the local areas you serve. You can establish your presence in the content a bit more naturally. It makes sense to incorporate the local information in the url and descriptions.
- Develop a schedule for searching and responding to online comments on external sites. Be intentional about interacting with your public. Remember that your reviewers’ words carry weight with the public opinion and ultimately affect who decides to try your service or product over another company’s. Interact with care.