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Why You Should Optimize For Local Search

By admin February 1, 2014
Blog, Digital Marketing 0

As users have got increasing familiar with search engines, they have learned to use search engines in increasingly sophisticated ways. The expectations users have from search engines continue to rise. Search engines in turn have grown mature over the years and continue to modify and add features to their search algorithms. Search engines have grown smarter over the years at inferring users’ intent and serving them relevant results.

One of the ways in which users wish to use search engines is to find the addresses of local businesses such as restaurants or cafes, saunas or salons, auto parts, and even musical instrument shops and so on. Search engines are becoming smart at answering such local queries. Search engines look for address details such as street address, city name, postal code, and latitude/longitude. They  also want to be able to present telephone numbers of such business establishments that the users are looking for.

If a business wishes to appear in local search results, it should be properly categorized in business directories and it should have crawlable name, address, and phone number (NAP) on the website.The website should be appropriately optimized for featuring in local search results. The local business should have a Google+ page with the proper category associations also.

If you’re looking for hair salons in Seattle, your business must be categorized as a ‘hair salon’ or beauty parlor or other relevant categories. If you’re a dentist, your business must be categorized as a dentist and so on. Every business category may have additional related categories such as dental clinic or cosmetic dentist being related to the category of dentist.

A local business will appear in the local search results on Google when the search includes the name of the city or is conducted from a device located in the city. This will cause problems for businesses that are located just beyond a city location. These businesses will need to create additional city landing pages showcasing their professional association with these other cities.

You need to make sure that wherever and whenever you give the detailed address, name and phone number of the company, the details should be consistent. Any inconsistencies will confuse both humans as well as search engines like Google. Google will tend to give lower ranks to businesses with such inconsistencies in the addresses, names, or phone numbers. It’s important that the Google+ Local page and the website of the business both have the same address, name and phone numbers.

The Google+ Local page should link to a page on the website. The Title Tag of this page should contain both the city and the state name. Having high quality links from authoritative sources helps the business improve its ranking in the search results. For a local business, high quality, authoritative links may come from newspapers, business indexes and professional associations. Businesses should build links by having their domains linked to local business listings and additional links can be earned via content development and social sharing. The business name should include the name of a core product or service. This will give the business more weight in ranking compared to business names that do not have this.

In summary, local small businesses should have websites that are optimized for local search to attract the maximum
visitor traffic and business. If you need any advice or general help with your local search, please feel free to reach out to the team at Mind Digital.

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