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Optimizing your website for local search

From: SEO Fundamentals

Video: Optimizing your website for local search

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.

Optimizing your website for local search

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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This video is part of

Image for SEO Fundamentals
SEO Fundamentals

64 video lessons · 44245 viewers

David Booth
Author

 
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  1. 1m 34s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the Facilitator's Guide
      15s
  2. 11m 46s
    1. What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
      4m 6s
    2. Reading a search engine results page
      2m 17s
    3. How SEO affects your business
      2m 38s
    4. Setting SEO expectations
      2m 45s
  3. 20m 49s
    1. Why you need a keyword research plan
      2m 47s
    2. How to research keywords
      3m 23s
    3. Tools to help you analyze keywords
      4m 43s
    4. Understanding keyword attributes
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding keyword distribution
      3m 50s
    6. Ongoing keyword evaluation
      2m 20s
  4. 26m 8s
    1. Understanding content optimization
      2m 14s
    2. Optimizing for site structure
      3m 41s
    3. Recognizing different types of content
      2m 23s
    4. Optimizing textual page elements
      8m 30s
    5. Optimizing non-text components of a web page
      4m 0s
    6. Analyzing content quality
      2m 39s
    7. Exploring the benefits of user-generated content
      2m 41s
  5. 22m 12s
    1. Interpreting the code behind web pages
      3m 9s
    2. Understanding how search engines index content
      2m 37s
    3. Working with canonical URLs and redirects
      2m 59s
    4. Leveraging microformats
      2m 39s
    5. Working with server-side factors
      3m 18s
    6. Using Google Webmaster Tools
      3m 58s
    7. Using Bing Webmaster Tools
      3m 32s
  6. 30m 53s
    1. Overview of long-term content strategizing
      2m 44s
    2. Planning a successful content strategy and avoiding common mistakes
      3m 46s
    3. Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
      4m 17s
    4. Understanding different types of content
      4m 25s
    5. Getting ideas for content
      4m 0s
    6. Working with an editorial calendar
      3m 33s
    7. Promoting your content with social media
      3m 52s
    8. Measuring content performance
      4m 16s
  7. 18m 28s
    1. Understanding the importance of links
      4m 49s
    2. Building internal links
      2m 5s
    3. Building external links
      4m 19s
    4. Finding link-building opportunities
      4m 36s
    5. Executing a link-building strategy
      2m 39s
  8. 16m 32s
    1. Measuring SEO performance
      4m 10s
    2. Analyzing keywords
      5m 13s
    3. Analyzing links
      4m 9s
    4. Analyzing the impact of social media
      3m 0s
  9. 18m 45s
    1. Understanding SEO and ecommerce
      2m 36s
    2. Working with semantic HTML
      2m 22s
    3. The technical components of ecommerce
      3m 9s
    4. Exploring ecommerce information architecture
      2m 38s
    5. Producing ecommerce content
      2m 33s
    6. Leveraging link building and social media for ecommerce
      3m 12s
    7. Adapting ecommerce websites for international audiences
      2m 15s
  10. 25m 38s
    1. Understanding local search
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding Google+ Local
      3m 0s
    3. Setting up and optimizing Google+ Local
      4m 46s
    4. Getting more citations
      3m 52s
    5. Getting more reviews for your business
      3m 43s
    6. Optimizing your website for local search
      4m 13s
    7. The future of local search
      2m 50s
  11. 15m 48s
    1. Understanding cultural aspects of international SEO
      2m 30s
    2. Optimizing technical content for international audiences
      2m 57s
    3. Optimizing translated and localized content
      2m 9s
    4. Building links for an international audience
      2m 47s
    5. Analyzing and measuring an international SEO campaign
      2m 17s
    6. Avoiding pitfalls with international SEO
      3m 8s
  12. 1m 10s
    1. Determining your next steps
      1m 10s

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