Although there are a lot of articles on the subject, local search marketing can be quite tricky. What I would like to share in this article are 4 things that while fairly simple, tend to be overlooked by many business owners or their search engine marketing team.
1. Local Data Aggregators
TripAdvisor, Google +, Yelp. Are you optimizing your business listings correctly?
No? You should!
Yes? You shouldn’t stop there!
With Google + having a strong influence in the search engines, I don’t think I even have to say why your listing there should be optimized (okay fine, I just did!). People use Yelp and TripAdvisor all the time, so search crawlers are hanging out there too to see what’s up with your business.
However, some businesses just stop here – and they shouldn’t! Google doesn’t take into account citations from just these 3 places! It crawls 1000s of websites to do so!
Why bother? Well, here is a good way to think of it: If your business is in it for the long-run and is “legit”, you will want it to be found in as many places as possible. This includes offline and online spots. A “dodgy” overnight “business” might run a few PPC or CPM ads, but a legitimate business will take the time to build increase its presence in other ways too. And if 100s of local aggregators mention you, chances are, your business is legit and valuable.
2. 10 Stores = 10 Pages, or Something Like That
This is advice straight from Matt Cutts. Literally, he has a post on his blog titled: “SEO Advice: Make a web page for each store location”.
It’s not a long article, but for those of you who just want the main takeaway, here it is:
Don’t hind your store location information behind a form or a POST. Create a unique, easily crawlable URL for each store. Also have an HTML sitemap of the stores’ web pages if you can. He also acknowledges that this might not be ideal for ALL businesses, so he proposes this solution as well:
“If you have a relatively small number of stores, you could have a single page that links to all your stores. If you have a lot of stores, you could have a web page for each (say) state that links to all stores in that state.”
Oh, and if you really want to maximize your chances of getting ranked higher, then by all means, optimize these pages for mobile too. It should not be a surprise that people are very likely to look for your store location on the go.