But how the hell do you TRICK Google to do it?
You don’t…you give them EXACTLY what they want…it’s just that so few people really know what big G actually wants.
What that path is, we discuss here.
How to Create Local SEO Domination
In order to be found for the search terms your potential customers are querying in the search engines for organic search results and Google Places results, your website must contain content and information on your pages which contains those keyword phrases you want to rank for.
It also needs to be in just the right places and in just the right amounts.
It also must contain certain “on-page” elements in the precise amount that are critical to your website being found within the search engines. These on-page elements include title tags, meta descriptions, rel canonicals, H1 and H2 tags.
But mostly it comes back to citations…lots of them – all done EXACTLY the same way.
What do I mean?
Google Places Wants to Know That You Are….Who You SAY You Are
According to Google, over one billion consumers search for local businesses online each day.
Its simple, there are nearly 6 billion searches per day and 20% of them are for local business….one billion searches!
Say it like Dr. Evil….
Of those queries that search for local business, over 62% result in an action like a purchase or a visit to a local business. More importantly, nearly half of these searches and actions begin with a click on a Google Places listing.
So there’s a ton of business for your business on local search.
How to Dominate Local Search
The more directories you submit to that are relevant and useful, the better. But unlike other Google Places services, to be truly effective doing this, you should manually submit your site to over 150 online directories and local search listings in addition to Google Places.
Unfortunately, no automation here…but that’s why it works so well. But nobody really wants to do that level of work.
This manual submission is performed to ensure the quickest and most accurate results in Google Places. This labor intensive, but highly effective submission methodology should be done prior to setting up the actual Google Places listing not afterwards.
Sounds all well and good…but why is manual submission so important?
I’m glad you asked…well, actually you didn’t, I did hypothetically just ask myself…
On the surface, Google Places seems simple. The reality is that the ecosystem of Google Places is complex with many moving parts and challenging to maintain. Maintenance and addition requires hours of manual labor and analysis to understand your business and where it should be best found in the increasingly complex world of local search.
This graphic shows why:
This graphic only shows only 30 directory listings with Google Places in the center of the local directory ecosystem….trust me there’s a ton more – but these are the biggies.
Each of the local directories shown in this graphic, each listing we create by hand on initial setup for every local SEO client we bring on board.
When we do this, we then add an additional 120 listings not after, but on initial setup. This takes a TON of time and many late nights juiced with caffeine.
The benefit is the more directories which list the exact name address and phone number of your location, the better the exposure on Google Places. These additional directories include:
- Geo Directories: Location based directories related to the city or town in which you do business.
- Vertical Directories: Business directory listings related to your services. If you’re a lawyer, then these are law relate directories.
In using this submission methodology, it means strong Google Places rankings quickly (typically within 3-4 months, depending on circumstances), resulting in traffic, leads and customers in a shorter period of time.
If You Want Town Searches in Your SEO, You Need This
It’s not JUST about directories, you need content on your site that tells people what you do.
- Town Page Creation: To capitalize on the traffic generated from other towns surrounding your business area create five additional “town pages” written and geo-search optimized for both local search as well as regional search traffic. For example, like we would do with real estate SEO, you want to create pages on your site with geographic localities PLUS the services you offer, like: criminal law attorney West Palm Beach, DUI lawyer Tampa, etc.
- Services Page Creation: Additional “services” pages should include the keyword phrases that are targeted for your business. For example, lets say you are a criminal attorney, then you’ll need pages on your site that include the keyword phrases criminal lawyer, DUI lawyer, DUI attorney, criminal law attorney, criminal defense lawyer, criminal defense attorney, etc. With lawyer SEO, there are a TON of these, so ideally you want as many towns and localities as possible to cover it all.
- Interlink Them: The last part is interlinking all these pages and posts from your site in as logical a site hierarchy as possible just like this:
In this case the subsections should be blog posts related the main sections which are pages.
The blog posts link back to the main pages and help power it in the eyes of Google. This little trick is something we stumbled on when we were doing a recent website for a client and noticed amazing initial results like these:
Last Thing, Don’t Forget to Take a NAP
No, you dont want to go to sleep…
You do want all your NAPs in place though. Confused?
When you submit to all these directories, you want to make sure that you have your Name, Address and Phone all EXACTLY correct and the SAME on each directory. This way Google can validate your NAP listing that you are who you say you are.
Hence, the importance of the NAP.
If you are off by a “suite 322” versus a “Ste. 322” versus a “ste 322″, you don’t have a NAP match. Google looks at all three as not matching.
Or in your directory listing,”Tom Werner, M.D.”, “Thomas Werner, M.D.” and “Thomas Werner” are three different names according to Google.
Sorry, Google wants it PERFECT, so you need to make it so.
If you don’t make all 150 directories exact match NAPS, your rankings will not be where they need to be.
If you made it this far, leave a comment below. What do you think? What tips do you have for local SEO?
Please leave a comment below and let us know!