No matter what you do it’s never a guarantee that you can dominate the search results for a keyword either globally or just locally. But there are four main local search ranking factors that you need to pay attention to if you want to at least have a chance with local search.
The starting point with any local search campaign is to claim your listings. Not just on Google Places, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local either. But also on every local directory you can find as well. It’s paramount that you own and control your listings. The simple reason for this is that about 25% of listings include incorrect information. Things like addresses and phone numbers are commonly wrong and can confuse the search engines which hurt your place in the search rankings.
Once you’ve begun claiming your listing then make sure to focus on these 4 local search ranking factors.
1. Location:Make sure that the name address and phone number is the same for each listing. And make sure each area is complete as well. Include suite numbers, zip codes and area codes for each listing. The more complete the better.=
2. Business Descriptions:This is a huge area for your listing. It’s a chance to not only describe your business in your words but to include those keywords that also best describe your business. Use keyword variations in your listings and if you sell products include brand names. On some sites you might be given the opportunity to add photos, videos or even coupons. If you can do it. It won’t help with your search results but people actually search those sites as well and a well placed coupon might attract a new visitor to your business.
3. Get Listed Everywhere:The more directories you get listed with the better off you are. It’s a big factor in local search. That’s because each one helps the search engines determine what your business is all about. And there is a trust issue here as well. The more listings you have the more the search engines believe they can “trust” you. So even though it can take a lot of time every listing helps.
4. Reviews:The search engines like reviews and as many as possible. The funny thing here is that they don’t really care whether the review is positive or negative they just want as many as possible. It’s possible that the search engines such as Google don’t differentiate between a positive review and a negative one because they feel that the person doing the search will use the reviews and make their own judgment about whether to use the service or product being offered. The search engine doesn’t need to do it for them.
Of course there are more local search ranking factors besides these. The 4 listed are just the 4 biggest local search ranking factors and they are the ones to pay the most attention to when you first start your local search campaign. Keep them in mind and remember stay consistent!