Optimizing your business website and web presence for local search results is the strategy that can really increase your company’s customer based and revenue. This is why many entrepreneurs are trying everything they can to make sure they gain a prime spot on Google local results or any other top search engine like Yahoo and Bing.
But, because of the amount of market share, everyone knows that your main focus should always be Google. The only problem is that SEO is getting harder and harder every time the big “G” releases a new algorithm change, and now with the rise of
Semantic Search, your strategies need to also evolve in order to keep a marketing edge over your competitors. Now with the new Carousel Feature, which give a business a great visual spot on search if your site have proper SEO, social and content marketing strategy behind it.
What About Back Links And Citations?
The game has change, and it will continue to change… results will be semantic based, which means that is not just about a lot of links or citations, is about the quality of those mentions, and even more important is if your site is optimize well for the context behind an specific search query.
I recommend you to follow these 20 Matt Cutts’ link building tips to help you craft a great back-link strategy, one that is not going to get you in trouble and will keep improving your search ranking and exposure.
What Are The Steps To Great Local SEO?
Some of the steps to ensure good placement on Maps, Local results, and the Carousel are:
- A minimum of 6 high quality photos (Google use this for the Carousel).
- Image optimization for local.
- Add Google Maps and links to direction engine on each page of the local site.
- Current or up to date NAP information.
- Amount of citations, and quality of citations (relevancy and geo-targeted)
- Off citations from niche and geo targeted sites.
- Videos with proper local optimization.
- Amount of reviews, and quality of reviews on Google and other directories.
- High quality Backlinks: Geo and niche targeted.
- Maps requests from local and regional users.
- Foursquare check-ins.
- Foursquare reviews, mentions, and recommendations.
- Diversity of backlinks: Unique IPs, Sites, GEO targeted, non-optimized anchor text for inbound links.
- Up to date content on site or blog. Local sites need a minimum of 1 to 2 blog posts or articles per month. But, more is better, way better.
- Up to date social profiles or pages in Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and niche based networks if any.
- Increase the G+ Local Page authority.
- Get more +1 votes for your G+ Page and website.
- Setup your Authorship and Publisher.
- Make sure your Structure Data is set correctly.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices.
- Add Google +1 button to your website.
And much more…. but those are some of the top factors. Here is an infographic with some great visual information:
So, What About The Google Local Carousel?
All the steps above also apply to the carousel, but there are a few elements you need to have in order to get your business added to list:
- +1 on Google+ Business Page and Main website.
- Google Plus Reviews count.
- Targeted keywords in the title.
- Amount of targeted citations.
- Google Plus rating score and review context.
- Add location to the title.
- Add location to your URL.
- Setup Authorship for all your content.
- Setup Publisher tag by connecting G+ Page with your site.
- Optimize structure data.
- Add NAP (Company Name, Address, and Phone Number) in text format.
If you don’t have this setup, you should get to work right away, it will help you increase exposure on local search.
The Carousel Correlation Chart
In this graph by the SearchEngineJournal.com you can see an analysis of the importance of each of this elements for the carousel.
As you can see, and is not a surprise that Google+ votes are still top ranking factors. Just remember this is a correlation analysis not an actual analysis.
Categories Available So Far.
Here is a list of categories available for carousel listing.
If your category isn’t in the list yet, don’t worry, just make sure your site and web presence is well optimize for it when time comes.
What About The Google Knowledge Graph?
Here is a good video that explain what Google Knowledge Graph is and how it works:
More about Knowledge Graph directly from Google.
More Useful Videos.
Video one:Google Carousel Tips.
Video two:Finds About How The Carousel Images Are Picked.
Local Optimization and Carousel Resources.
Let’s take you knowledge to the next level with this great local SEO resources which are filled with a lot more tips, studies, and stats:
- 4 Google Carousel Optimization Tips.
- Google Carousel: Local Search Optimization.
- Study: Google Reviews Determine Local Carousel Rankings.
- The Google Carousel: Another Reason to Claim Your Google Places Listing.
This is very simple, don’t wait anymore and claim your local presence on Google+ and all other top local directories, than optimize them to ensure more search exposure, which will turn into more leads, more website traffic, more customers, more revenue!…