- There are many factors that go in to Google’s algorithm and how they determine what company listings/websites/profiles are relevant for what searches, locations and other demographic and psycho-graphic data that they have on you based on search history, domain registry information and much, much more that you would never think of, but whose job it is over there. Ever since the peer reviewed, industry contributed data mine on what makes up the Local Search ranking factors, the lid has sort of been blown off the hinges of secrecy and revealed to anyone who wants to spend the time looking for them, and chances are if you found this as the source, great, but plenty of other content driven sites out there have pointed these factors out since the cork popped about a year ago. So to sum it up there are exactly 41 mentioned positive factors and 8 negative factors cited. Here are the first 41 positive factors in order of their importance according to the study. This will be done in 3 parts due to time crunch issues, but probably some today, tomorrow and finish it up next week, FYI.Local Business Listing in the City of Search: Basically, when you create your local profiles, use the proper address, but remember, having multiple offices, even inexpensive satellite offices would work here.
- Citations from Major Data Providers: This means endorsements that you are indeed, for instance a member of local chamber groups, networking groups and generally a company in good standing with the geographic location you are targeting. Many people believe this to be the most important factor still today.
- Association of Proper Local Business Listing Categories: Keywords help here. Use Keywords in the Category title if possible, or otherwise just go with what category you think prospects would look for you and write good descriptions.
- General Importance of Claiming Local Business Listing (LBL): This is important so for one, no one else can claim it (disgruntled employee, etc. – can turn in to a huge mess), not to mention that the sooner you claim it, the better off you probably are. The sooner you can adopt and take advantage of the services that are offered, usually the better. This is especially important if there are multiple businesses at the same address, which is sometimes common in certain areas where the only difference is a letter, a, b, c, not to mention how generally unreliable listings can sometimes be…just sayin’, it’s important to have the time to fix anything funky than rush to get a LBL at the last minute your competitor decides to claim his.
- Keywords and Phrases in Local Biz Listing (LBL) Title: The consensus seems to be to take advantage of this while you can, but only to a certain degree. Don’t keyword stuff your title so people actually looking for your business name can’t even find it. My philosophy is that you must be able to find it as the first result regardless of what you add/delete/omit from the actual business name listing. For instance, if my company is called Simon Search Marketing, I wouldn’t have a problem using Simon Local Search Marketing in a local business result category as the title. I have done this and it works fine. But when you start doing a lot more than that, you might get called out.
I am going to take the first part of this series out with a video on Local Search Signals and the importance of certain page elements and off page factors.