Local SEO tutorial
Local SEO Step 1: Have a Website Optimized for Local SEO
Although it’s not required to be listed in the local search engine page listings, search engines seem to present local listings with business website references. Furthermore, a business’ website should also take advantage of onsite local SEO best practices. This includes Schema.org Microdata Markup, geotagged photos, geo sitemap, and more. When done correctly, Google will embed certain peaces of information called rich snippets within their results. (i.e. physical address, hours of operation, phone #, etc). We’ve included a screenshot example that shows this in action of a local retirement Google listing near us called New Port Inn.
For the WordPress users out there, there are premium plugins on the market that make this fairly easy to accomplish. We will also mention that Take it Digital automatically implements these local onsite optimization tactics for ALL websites that we build. It’s also best practice to have a website with a good user interface/usability, SEO copywriting and plenty of lead generating best practices to be effective at Internet Marketing.
Local SEO Step 2: Claim your business on Google+ Local
Since Google is the #1 place that customers go to to find information, we recommend that search engine marketing strategist get listed on Google first. Web strategist should head over to Google+ Local, find their business and then claim it. To avoid creating a duplicated business listing, be sure to search for the business first before creating a new one from scratch. If the business is already listed, then there should be a link to claim it right on the actual “Google+ Local” business listing page. Also to note, you must have a personal Google+ profile in order to claim or create a business listings.
If the business is not listed, then create a Google+ Business Page. Also note, that there is a mandatory verification process that involves receiving a snail-mail postcard from Google HQ. This postcard will have a special code to verify the authorization. We’ve done this many times in the past and it normally takes about 5-10 days to receive the postcard.
MUST BUILD CITATIONS! More quality Citations = Better local SEO Rankings
Developing citations is where all the magic happens. Citations are listings (mentions) from other popular local web directories about local businesses. These directories include information about business street addresses, phone #’s, hours of operation, customer reviews, and more. It is a very specific collection of information that search engine crawlers check on other popular directories to validate the accuracy of their own search result data. 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