Last week we took a look at some tips for universal search optimization for video, in this post we’ll be looking at tips for optimizing for local search.
Universal search for maps is activated when you search for a product or service, for a specific geographic region by state, city, or zip code. You can see an example below for the term [Dentists Los Angeles].
As an Internet marketer the advantage is getting in one of the ten listings next to the map, as they often place the universal result above the standard links. Here are some tips that can help you get included and improve your position.
Place your full address on your pages – Make sure the address is complete with business name, street address, city, state and zip code. Make sure it’s either all on one line or shown like an address on an envelope. Make sure it’s in text format and not a graphic.
Register Your Business – Make sure you register your business with the Google Local Business Center. They offer voice and postcard verification, postcard verification takes longer but I’ve always had better results using it.
Don’t Use Multiple Addresses or Phone Numbers – Try to keep only one phone number on each page, if you have multiple locations create individual pages for one. You may need to adjust the footer so it doesn’t cause multiple addresses to display on those pages.
Maximize Your Internal Anchor Text – Try to use the keywords that you want to rank for as the internal anchor text for your page (ie Carpet Cleaner San Francisco). If you use something like “our location”, “contact us” or “visit us” in your common navigation, you may want to use a nofollow tag and put keyword rich anchor text in a different part of the page.
Use Geographic Keywords in Your Title Tag – On the page that has your location, make sure the page title has your geographic information. Instead of “Our Location – Joe’s Limousine Service” try “Joe’s Limousine Service Serving San Francisco California 94103”.
Get Local Relevant Links – Try to obtain a few locally relevant links from Chamber’s of Commerce, and local business groups like Kiwanis or Lions Club. Local organizations like Knights of Columbus or Veterans of Foreign Wars, are other sources, as are religious institutions like churches or synagogues. Don’t forget your local library or school. A charitable contribution or sponsorship goes a long way when you try and get the attention of those types of organizations.
Use Reviews – Once you have a verified profile, ask some of your better customers or business partners if they wouldn’t mind filling out a review for you. Don’t ask them to lie or be overly complimentary. An honest lukewarm review is much more valuable than, reviews which are too positive and look fake.