As search engine result pages (SERPs) become more localized, dynamic and comprehensive, it is important to not only optimize your own website for search engines, but the various online properties that may include your business information. Furthermore, as mobile searches via GPS-enabled smartphones increase, search engines are beginning to deliver very locally relevant results based on a searcher’s location and proximity to businesses that match their search criteria. In fact, Google just adjusted it’s paid search product, Adwords, to allow advertisers to target mobile users when they are very close to their business location.
Search results from mobile phone and desktop computers can vary depending on a number of factors, but one variable remains consistent — map listings will continue to rank well for searches on all devices. Let’s review five different SEO ways that you can improve your SERPs local and mobile searches:
- Claim all local profile pages – All major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) offer up local search results in the form of map and directory listings. These listing have been populated from various data sources such as InfoUSA and the Yellow Pages. These pages can be claimed optimized by including keyword text and business categories. A great way to see what directories already have your info is to use the free service at GetListed.org which will show you which profiles have been completed and which have not.
- Strive for positive reviews – At it’s core, Google and other search engines are there to provide the best option for a search term. If they offered results that included poorly reviewed businesses, they would lose trust from searchers. One factor that comes into play here is the ratings your business has received from various places online like Yelp, YellowPages.com, and other aggregate websites. Not only does it improve your ability to rank, but a number of positive reviews also increases your click-through rate (CTR). Remind customers to review you online if they had a good experience during your interactions on a day-to-day basis.
- Focus on your real location, not the nearby cities or towns – One major factor is your physical location and the proximity of a search to your business. If you are located in a suburb of Boston and sell pizza, you shouldn’t aim (and probably won’t) rank for ‘boston pizza’. Instead, focus on ranking for a more accurate term like ‘cambridge pizza’. The volume of searches may be lower, but the actual business driven from them will more than likely be more significant.
- Make sure your business phone number and address is clearly located and consistent on other properties - Your business number should be consistent on your Google Places page and website as well as other trusted listings. If your phone number is incorrect on these websites and there is a listing discrepancy, your results can suffer because it can be inferred that other information may be incorrect.
- Keyword use in business categories on profile pages – Google has an ability to match data for your business to other sources, analyze links, and page content, but ultimately, it’s up to you to tell them what categories your business falls into. Perhaps you run a bakery which is also a cupcake shop or you are coffeeshop and a cafe. You can be listed under both categories and show up in the results for both, but you’ll need to add these categories to your local profile pages manually.
Have you had success with these methods or others we didn’t list here? Let us know in the comments.