There are many things that must be taken into consideration when performing local search engine optimization. Google actually takes different factors into consideration with local SEL, than they do with traditional search engine optimization. A few of the things taken into account you would not usually have to worry about when attempting to rank for general keywords include:
• Whether the website has a number of local business listings that point to it as further proof that it is a local company.
• The address and phone number listed on the website.
• Whether it is close to the central location keywords that they are attempting to rank for.
• Whether or not the company has any reviews listed for it.
Local Business Listings
One of the most important aspects of local search engine optimization is the presence of local business listings. In the eyes of Google, the fact that you are listed on a local business directory proves you are a local business – it is all part of the process of proving you deserve to be ranked for local keywords. Local business listings will allow you to not only promote your company, but also give potential customers multiple different paths that can be taken to find your business. Many local business listing services will also rank well in Google for terms that are related to your business, and can actually be an excellent way to drive traffic to your website in the long-term.
Address and Phone Number
Traditional search engine optimization professionals may not be aware local SEO also takes the address and phone number of the business into account. The address is checked against the “city center” location of the city-related keywords you are attempting to rank for in an effort to determine if your business is a viable option for individuals that live in that city. This is done to ensure you are not attempting to rank for keywords in cities that you cannot actually provide services to. Make sure the cities you are ranking for are close enough to your business locations to ensure the users get the best overall experience.
You also need to attempt to put together reviews from previous clients across multiple websites. This is an indicator to Google your business has helped individuals in the past, and has a track record to prove it. You will find that positive reviews will also drive traffic to your website and allow you to put together a list of unsolicited testimonials for your website as well.
Article by Rosa Dawson. When conducting Local SEO, the use of a Local Business Listing Service will allow you to prove to Google that you are indeed a local business.