It was brilliant to see Local SEO expert David Mihm in the flesh at SearchLove 2012. On the web his information has always been open and extremely useful – just check out his local search ranking factors for proof – but his presentation at SearchLove was for me probably the clearest and most actionable presentation of all. It is worth opening up the slides from his deck as you read this post.
But before we go into the key take outs from his presentation, it is worth starting in the same way he did: by stating that 30% of all searches are local (with 20% of desktop being local and a whopping 50% of mobile searches local) – so if you have a local business, why aren’t you practising local SEO?
So here are the 10 best Local SEO tips you’ll see in 2012:
- Google must be able to associate your website with a Google + Local page. For more information on how to set up a Google + Local page, read more here:
- Always have your business title in the title tag (i.e. go for business name + location)
- Make sure your name, address and phone number is on your site and use schema.org to add structured data markup for your organization
- Make sure each location page is submitted to Google+, and not just your homepage.
- Make sure that you have at least one amazing link for local - it goes a long way for Local SEO
- Build (or earn) links that Google can determine are relevant to your local community
- Check out David’ unbelievable slide from his deck on the UK local search ecosystem – and make sure you are submitting your local information to the main major data providers (118 information; Thomson Local). Note, if you have two listings, you can ‘report a problem’ to clean up your data.
- Reviews are increasingly valuable – get reviews on multiple websites. And quantity is here very important – so 3 star reviews are actually much more powerful than no review at all. Yahoo Local doesn’t even require a login to leave a review!
- Use Google Suggest instead of the Google Keyword Tool to expand your local keyword list
- Build relationships with active reviewers (by searching with Topsy and using Followerwonk). The next big thing will be ‘power reviewers’ – getting reviews from the big players on the web – so think carefully about that.
And after you have implemented all these – let me know how well your site is doing in the SERPs!