When trying to optimize a website for search engines, it’s important to consider whether or not you should be thinking about local ranking factors. Here’s a generally easy rule of thumb to follow: if the business is local has a physical location, you need to be focusing on local SEO. What follows are some ranking factors that the best optimizers in the business have put together. Hopefully it helps you when building out your optimization strategies.
On-Page and Place Page.
Some of the most important things you need to address when optimizing the page for local is both the on-page and the place page signals. On-page signals have to do with placing keywords in the titles, establishing high domain authority, and so forth. Place page signals include optimizing categories, including a keyword in the business title, proximity, and additional details. Both of these items are very important and will determine your site’s rank heavily.
External Location Signals and Link Signals.
Two more factors that are heavily weighted when determining local SEO, include external location signals like citation volume and the IYP aggregator and NAP consistency as well as link signals like the authority of the linking domain and inbound anchor text. Both of these areas have to do with optimization off-page but they are still highly important.
Review Signals and Social Signals.
Both of these areas take up about as much consideration for ranking combined as the on-page signals, however, they are still important. Review signals include the number of reviews you have, how diverse they are, and how quickly they accumulate. Obviously, on just a pure user experience level, reviews help potential customers become clients. On a similar note, social signals including the authority of your Google+profile, your Twitter followers, the number of Facebook likes you have, the number of pins you have on Pinterest, and so forth determines your popularity within your community. Engaging on social media doesn’t directly affect local SEO to a great extent, but it does expand your brand’s visibility, which is important.
Behavioral Signals and Personalization.
Lastly, when trying to rank well for local SEO factors, you need to think about behavioral signals. This includes the number of times someone clicks to call you on their mobile device, how many times someone checks in on Yelp or Foursquare, and how effective your coupons and offers have been. It also includes your clickthrough rate. Personalization includes the things that you do that set your business apart from competitors in your area. What works here, is obviously going to be individual.
Hopefully you now have a better sense of what factors to consider when trying to rank well for a local site.
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