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Local SEO Questions Answered

I get a lot of questions from clients about Local SEO, I seem to get asked and answer the same ones over and over again, I am creating this blog post so I don’t have to keep giving the same answers. The below image shows my maps ranking for SEO, locally this site ranks first page for many terms.

Maps Ranking

Why Should I Optimise for Local Search?

I sort of covered this one in my post, how to optimise for local search. This is what I said, “Optimising for local search can give any small business an advantage over national chains with established websites and big marketing budgets, whatever industry you are in you will benefit by optimising your website to rank locally. People don’t check the phone book or local newspaper anymore, in this day and age when they want to spend money or need something fixed the first place they look is online, usually via their smartphone or tablet so if you are not optimised for local search you are losing business.”

Will Adding Geotags and Schema Make Me Rank Locally?

Clients ask me this one all the time, as if adding a bit of code is going to instantly make you number one. The answer I give clients is that it depends, if your site is brand new and has lots of local competition Geotags and Schema markup will probably not be enough. If your site is more established, has some domain authority and low competition, with competitors who aren’t using Geotags and Schema on their sites it might be just enough to give you an edge and push you to the first spot. Either way it is a good idea to add the code and very few people currently use it so it will give you an edge over your competitors.

Should I Add Maps and Schema Markup to Every Page on My Site?

I like to, you should at the very least add them to your contact page. If you use a CMS like WordPress you will be able to add them in a widget and set it to appear in the footer or sidebar of every page. You need to add the Geotags to every page of your site, they go in the <head> section or header.php file.

What do Geotags and Schema Markup do?

I kind of covered that in my last post, “Web crawlers, and browsers can extract and process Microdata from a web page and use it to provide a richer browsing experience for users.” Geotags and Dublin Core help search engines index and catalog the web creating a “library card catalog”.

What Are Local Citations? says, “Citations are defined as mentions of your business name and address on other webpages—even if there is no link to your website. An example of a citation might be an online yellow pages directory where your business is listed, but not linked to. Citations can also be found on local chamber of commerce pages, or on a local business association page that includes your business information, even if they are not linking at all to your website.” Here is the Panda SEO Yelp listing. Press releases that include your business address can make good citations too.

Do I Need to Display My Home Address?

Many small businesses don’t have a business address and don’t want the expense of a virtual office so they ask if they have to use their home address, I advise such business to just use their street address without the house number. On your G+ page you can select the this business visits clients at their location option.

Can I Optimise For a Town Where I Have No Presence?

No, that’s cheating. I usually advise clients that they will rank within a 25 mile radius, it depends on competition, domain authority, etc. you can set the area you cover via your G+ listing.

Do I Need a Google+ Page?

I advise it and it’s free. If we look at the below local result we see my G+ page in first page of the organic results, my website is the second website result.

seo slough

That’s all the questions I can remember for now, I will be back with some more soon. Feel free to add anything in the comments. Final thought, keep your local citations consistent.

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