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Ranking Local Seo 2014 And Beyond

By Expert Author: Nilda Lebrecque

There's a significant difference when doing SEO locally when compared to regular SEO. Before we delve any further into the discussion of basic techniques, let us define what is local SEO is and how it differs from a business point of view. Simply put, Local SEO is the process of getting customers through search engines but targets the people in a specific location. Oftentimes, local SEO works in tandem with small businesses as the range of their services is limited to their service area only. For instance, a business with physical store in San Luis Obispo CA will profit with users searching for their services in their particular area rather than someone who lives 1000 miles away.

The development of Local SEO service has a lot to do with Google's continued improvement of their algorithm that shows results based on the location of the user. Previously, Google shows results indiscriminately resulting in irrelevant pages being served instead of local businesses webpages that the user is actually looking for. For instance, a user in San Luis Obispo county typing in ‘plumber services' would want to see results with plumbers near or within his area that actually can service him within minutes of the call. Showing websites with business location far from the area in question is as useless as a canned meat to a carnivorous without the can opener.

One of the things that Google looks for on your website is the local address found in the homepage. However, due to the different coding platforms, the potential to scan and pinpoint your address can be forgone by Google bots. Hence, an HTML schema or standardization has been introduced to let webmasters specify their business address and other pertinent information. Not surprisingly, a lot of webmasters leave out this information altogether and instead rely more on meta-tags to convey the geo property of the site.

The best way to get it done is through the footer, which can be visible on every other page. HTML schema also includes telephone numbers, your business type and other pertinent information that Google can use for future implementation of added features. As of 2012, Google has been increasingly showing signs of using HTML schema for snippets, particularly for localized keywords.

The importance of Local SEO cannot be undermined especially with Google's planned announcement of cloud computing. The algorithm will react favorably to websites incorporating a good amount of local signals, particularly to geo-specific usage which will determine its importance in local ranking. Getting your aunt who lives in Florida, for example, to open your website that has services in California will weigh less than someone who lives in the same area.

A lot of websites however, are forgetting to include an HTML schema on their homepage even though adding them won't take a few minutes at most. Schema.org has listed many templates that you can choose from; currently there are 65 templates listed there and it is only a matter of choosing one that best suits your business. You can go here to see some sample schemas.

Adding your phone number should be in the area code format as search engines look into it too. But more often than not, you want your contact numbers visible and in large format for easier sighting. Instead of just adding it in your contact page, you can have it coded within the logo in the heading which can be present even on subpages.

There are other things to do as well such as linking structure, keyword density, error checking and a whole lot more which I will write about in another article. Your site will also need external links, social signals, citations and reviews. But the focus of this article is to give you a glimpse of how local SEO will evolve as Google tries to update its algorithm to reflect better search results. Search results that are more sentient and less..ahem.."Bing"-ish. (Sorry Bing, we know you're trying)

Central Coast Digital Design helps local businesses with their local SEO. They also help those same businesses build a large national search engine presence, where it is applicable.

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