Google’s local listings are the blocks of business listings that link to Google business pages and Google map addresses. This is slightly different to regular organic listings in that Google shows the local block for geocentric search terms where the user is looking for a product or service in their area.
To optimize your business for local SEO, follow these steps:
- Create and complete your Google My Business page.
- Build links from other local businesses and relevant media sites or blogs.
- Add your local address, phone number and business name to the footer of all website pages.
- Ensure your business listings on third-party sites (e.g., Yellowpages.com.au andtruelocal.com.au) are consistent and match your Google business listing.
Many website designers produce more and more eye-catching designs with animations and clever features hoping to entice the people onto their sites. This is the first big mistake; using designs like these may actually decrease your chances of a high Google rating. Yes, that’s right; all that money you have paid for the website design could be wasted because no one will ever find your site.
The reason for this is that before worrying about bringing people to your site, you need to get the spiderbots to like your site. Spiderbots are pieces of software used by the search engine companies to crawl the Internet looking at all the websites, and then having reviewed the sites, they use complex algorithms to rank the sites. Some of the complex techniques used by Web designers cannot be trawled by spiderbots. They come to your site, look at the HTML code and exit stage right, without even bothering to rank your site — meaning you will not be found on any meaningful search.
I am amazed how many times I look at websites and I immediately know they are a waste of money. The trouble is that both the Web designers and the company that paid the money really do not want to know this. In fact, I have stopped playing the messenger of bad news (too many shootings!); I now work round the problem.
Optimizing a website to be Google-friendly is often a compromise between a visually attractive site and an easy-to-find site.