Foundation Optimization – A Local SEO Index

Local SEO Index Image

If you want to rank a local listing in Google for competitive terms it’s important to have a good understanding of how search works. This index covers everything you need to know about optimizing a local listing.

Once you complete all these local SEO recommendations you will have a great advantage on your competitors and you will also capitalize on other marketing opportunities.

We used Moz’s Local SEO survey and included great content to guide you throughout the SEO learning process:

  • Learn
  • Apply
  • Experiment
  • Rank
  • Evaluate 

The following are the Overall Ranking Factors from Moz’s Local Survey:

  • Place Page Signals Scored 19.6% Categories, Keyword in Business Title, Proximity
  • On-page Signals Scored 18.8% Presence of NAP, Keywords in Titles, Domain authority
  • External Loc. Signals Scored 16% IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, Citation Volume
  • Link Signals Scored 14.4% Inbound anchor text, Linking domain authority, Linking domain quantity
  • Review Signals Scored 10.3% Review quantity, Review velocity, Review diversity
  • Personalization Scored 8.3%
  • Social Signals Scored  6.3% Google+ authority, Facebook likes, Twitter followers
  • Behavioral/Mob. Signals Scored 6.1% Clickthrough rate, Mobile clicks to call, Check-ins, Offers

Below we’ve listed each of these factors and made recommendations to great articles and guides. These links are in order from most important, to least, they can teach you a good amount about Local SEO, how to properly layout your foundation and optimize your listing.

Place Page

On-page

External Loc.

Link

Reviews

Personalization

Social

Behavioral/Mob.

Conclusion

Staying on top of all the ranking factors is not a one man job, don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none. Use tools, find help and create quality. I’ve seen listings rank in 2 month with little work and some take over a year. Keep your head up and stay focused or hire someone good. If we missed any content that belong on this list please email us and well be happy to add it.

Local SEO Tools FTW – Google Maps Marketing Tools

This article is not about which tool is best for optimizing a local business listing, this article is about combining all of them to tower over your competition. In traditional SEO when researching good link building opportunities, it’s recommended to use all research tools available:

  • Open Site Explorer
  • AHREF
  • Majestic SEO
  • Raven Tools
  • Google Search

Well the same goes for a Google Maps listing, with a combination of tools a business can discover more directory opportunities and gain beneficial knowledge from several sources. In the local search world many people compare local SEO tools, in my opinion these tools are best when combined. An expert should use all their tools, I use:

  • BrightLocal
  • WhiteSpark
  • MozLocal
  • Google Search

How To Use All These Tools

First set up MozLocal, MozLocal handles all the aggregating directories that are extremely irritating to set up, it shows which of the most common directories are completed accurately and It shows duplicate listings. MozLocal is extremely economical when considering the cost of submitting to all the directories they provide in their annual plan.

MOZlogo

After MozLocal is set up, it’s time to set up BrightLocal. BrightLocal provides businesses with data and it generates excellent competitor analysis reports that show a business where it stands, it helps the business determine how much work it should take before results appear.

BrightLocal is one of the most amazing Google Maps marketing tools, it helps find competitor citations and it has accurate ranking reports. BrightLocal also lets you white label all your reports and they offer a review widget that you can add to your clients site, when creating the widget you can customize it and select the best review sites for whichever particular area the business is located.

Bright Local Logo

Although BrightLocal offers great tools it does not necessary help find many niche related citations and citations outside of competitors results, this is where WhiteSpark comes into the equation.

Unlike MozLocal & BrightLocal, WhiteSpark finds an incredible amount of citation building opportunities, not only for localized opportunity but for niche related as well. If you are in a very niche related business or you have a ton of competitors, WhiteSpark will help you discover lots of great directories, a real edge over your competitors.

WhiteSpark Logo

Lastly, searching for your “Niche + Location + Directories” in Google will help you discover citation opportunities, but that’s not all… you can also learn which review sites Google is watching, understanding the information Google is returning can be very beneficial for a local business. In some cases you will see review site like YellowPages ranking above all local listings on a SERP, in this case it would be wise to get some reviews on YellowPages. Reviews are important and understanding which review sites are right for your business is easy to discover with Google.

Google Logo

Conclusion

With our powers combined…

captain planet kids

We are Captain Citation!

Captain Citations

I’d love to learn more about how others use their local SEO tools, please add your comments below.

Schema Markup for Google Maps Marketing

schema logoSchema Markup is a great way to help Google determine what a business is about, every Google Maps Marketing expert should know how and where to apply the code on their client’s websites. In this article we will explain how to generate a schema markup code for your business and how to apply it to your website.

What is Schema Markup?

Schema is a Markup language that is intended for search engines to display websites information better on Google’s search engine result page (SERP). For example if you have a webpage that has reviews on it and you want the search engine to display rich snippet reviews, you would use schema markup for those reviews to appear on the SERP (which is know to increase CTR).Example of schema markup

How Does Schema Markup Influence a Local Business?

In the case of a local business that has a physical address, it’s very important to let Google’s search engine know exactly what the business is about, where it is located and how is can be contacted. Google ranks local businesses on what they determine the business is about and with schema markup, we can define our business to Google avoiding any confusion. Google needs to be sure that the Name Address and Phone number (NAP) of a business is listed correctly/consistently on the site, as well as other sites that mention the business.

How to properly Add Schema Markup for your Local Business?

Schema markup language can be a bit complicated for a beginner level programmer. We found an easy to use schema markup generator that will simplify the process for you, here is the site: http://www.microdatagenerator.com/local-business-schema/. We recommend adding the generated Schema code to the footer of your site. If you have more then one location, be sure to add all of them to the footer of your site. Schema markup can be added directly to a sites HTML code.