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In order to get the best possible rankings in the search engines, by now you know that you have to constantly create good, relevant content, and then promote and market it around the web. When analyzing the pages of your site, Google and other search engines use a number of different signals to decide which pages show, and in what order, when a user types in a search query. And when we're optimizing for local search, there are some specific items that you want to focus on. The first is on-page optimization and content. Every page of your website should be optimized for a specific, well-researched keyword, and you'll need to make sure that you're leveraging the important elements from a technical standpoint.
You can have a look at previous videos for more details on technical SEO, but at a bare minimum, make sure you spend time optimizing your page title, your meta description, your heading tags, body text, and ALT text on each of your images. So far, this should be nothing new, but now let's talk about some things specific to local search that can help you out. First, your contact information is going to be especially important, and there are some specific things you need to put on your Contact Us page, in some specific ways.
You can head over to schema.org/LocalBusiness and browse around to find specific schema elements that make sense for your type of business, but let's take a basic example to show how microdata works. Let's say you've got a contact page that shows your name, a description of your business, your address, and your phone number. You'll probably have some code that looks something like this. By adding some tags and explicitly defining these items through the markup defined at schema.org, you'll be telling search engines exactly what type of information each piece of text represents. And remember, this is just the basics.
There are microformats for everything, from your hours of operation, to the payment types you accept, to industry- specific items like menus for restaurants. At a minimum, you'll want to make sure to include your business name, address, and phone number, and you should also include things like your business email address, driving directions or a map, and a photo or two with appropriate ALT text. And don't forget the human visitors. You'll want to make it easy for them to contact and connect with you through forums and social media functionality. One more tip.
Your business information should always be in the bottom right-hand corner of your footer on every page. This is a very common place that users are conditioned to look for contact information, and it will ensure that they can find your information quickly from any page of your site if they want to contact you. These days, you also have to consider that people aren't just searching for you on their desktop PCs anymore, they're also searching with mobile devices when they're not at home or in the office. And much of this on-the-go searching is with local intent. Having a site that looks good and functions on mobile devices is something that will not only serve you well with the search engines responding to search queries on mobile devices, but will also ensure that your users have a positive experience with you and your site, regardless what device they're using.
Google's GoMo program allows you to get a look at how your website looks on a mobile device, and it can scan your site and make recommendations on how you can improve your page's mobile performance. If you have resources or programming expertise, you might choose to address some of these issues by creating a separate site exclusively for your mobile users on a separate domain or sub-domain. Or better yet, you might choose to use a responsive design that adapts to whatever size of screen your website is being rendered on from a single code base.
If you're looking for a quick solution and you have a static website, you can take advantage of a partnership that Google has with Duda Mobile to create a quick and dirty mobile version of your pages right from the GoMo site. The bottom line is that many of your local customers are using mobile devices, and if your site doesn't provide the information your mobile visitor needs, or if it crashes their browser, you've probably lost a potential customer. Focusing on you're on page- optimization, your contact page, proper schema markup, and mobile performance will ensure that you're taking the right steps towards local search visibility with the things that you can control on the pages of your site.
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