With the web getting bigger and bigger day by day it’s important to focus on a niche. Once you own the niche you can expand. Well this is the same principle as ranking locally versus nationally – excluding eCommerce sites.
If you have been following SEO you would have noticed Google is focusing more of their search results based on local factors. In fact, Google Places itself is starting to show up in the search results a lot more with local searches.
So now you are wondering “how do I rank high locally?”
It’s not simple. In fact, its more tricker than ranking nationally. Local searches seem to place a lot of emphasis on company mentions, consistency, and reviews. While national seems to focus more on link popularity and anchor text.
Now that you understand what factors in to local searches we now need to go over the ‘how’ part.
The first step: Submitting to Google places and other directories. Try getlisted.org to help guide you. This site lets you know if you are found in popular local sites like Google Places, Yahoo Local, Hotfrog, and Best of the Web.
Second step: Submit to other company directories/databases to help build your company name and consistency. Google gets their information directly form 3 places – Localeze, Info USA, Acxiom. But make sure to keep adding to other places such as superpages.com and yellowbot.
Third step: Getting reviews and mentions. This is hardest step and takes some creativity. You are on the internet with consistency, now you need people to talk about your business and give some positive reviews. The easiest way is to ask fellow costumers and friends to write a review on Google Places or Yelp. Another way is to give out discounts if someone writes a review for you. The options are endless. So try different strategies to see what works best for you.
Those are some simple steps to help build your brand locally and raise higher in the rankings. But! don’t forget to keep building backlinks, producing good content, and marketing you company. There are over 200 factors in which determine your rankings, and each factor could change in importance. Keep diversifying and keep promoting.
RJD International is the #1 Dallas SEO Consultant. Be sure to check out my pricing and email me with any questions.
The past week there has been a lot of news about a company on purpose treating their customers poorly so that they would receive bad reviews. With these bad reviews came good results in the search engines. As a result Google changed their algorithm to demote websites with bad reviews. You can read more about it here.
However, what no one has talked about is how this is going to effect SEO and how are SEO consultants going to implement this. My guess is that this will probably not change much of anything in the SERP rankings. But I am also guessing consultants and companies will now be worried about getting good reviews. And as a result, a lot of spamming on review sites is about to start taking place.
“So what should I do?”
Anytime you to try to cheat the system, you will have a slight positive then a huge drop. Google is smart, their computers are smart. Cheating them is not the way to the top of the rankings.
But what you can do is ask customers to write a favorable review in Google and give them a discount the next time they come in or buy something.
SEO is about creativity, not spamming.
2010 has been a crazy, bumpy road for SEO. Let’s review some of the things that happened this year with Google and see what’s going to happen in 2011.
In 2010 Google made a lot of changes. Introducing Google Instant – making keyword research that more important. Putting a priority on local – especially Google Places. Making a dashboard – making analytics better.
With Google feeling the pressure from social, aka Facebook. Google has changed how they view search. No longer is it about the quantity and quality of backlinks but it is now about the number of reviews, mentions, reputation quantity and quality of backlinks.
Reviews, Mentions, Reputations? Welcome to 2011. Google will be placing an emphasis on mentions from Twitter and Facebook. They will also be looking at the reputation of each account to determine the authority of that mention.
Facebook and Twitter are not the only places Google will be looking. They will also be looking at other directories for consistence such as SuperPages. They will be looking at review sites such as Yulp and Judy’s Book to gather reviews and judge reputation.
Search Engine Optimization in 2011 is going to be about building a reputation and brand locally. It’s time to get serious now before you get left out in 2011 because if you think 2010 was difficult 2011 is going to be more complicated and more competitive.
If you would like more information please be sure to consult with me, your Dallas SEO Consultant.