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Local Marketing Website Checklist
July 31, 2013
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Getting on the front page locally has become increasingly competitive in the local space.

I have compiled this information for you, so you can have the knowledge you need to make sure your website is well structured for Local Rank.

You don’t have to do all the techie work, but it is important to understand what work needs to be done so you can make sure your investment in optimization is being properly invested.

 

If you have any questions please feel free to comment below or ask them on my Facebook Page or Google + Page.

 

1. Content

Source:   http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/seo-articles/seo-for-local-businesses/

You can give search engines some extra clues about your location by optimizing your pages. This can be done in the same manner as optimizing a page for a certain keyword. Make sure that you use the location of your business in the URL, page title and content.

For example this mortgage site is ranking for the phrase Guelph Second Mortgage.
The words Guelph and Second Mortgage are listed in the URL, Page Title and Content of the page.

Mortgage website optimization
Mortgage website optimization

 

 

 

 

2. Structured Data and Rich Snippets

Source: http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/seo-articles/seo-for-local-businesses/

Structured data can be used to identify organizations, including the business address. By using microdata, microformats or RFDa to mark up your address on your website, search engines can rely on this information.

Let’s say we have the following address on a website:

Chris Johnstone – Marketing Consultant
123 Your Address
Toronto, ON

We can use structured data (in this case microdata) to identify the address:

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<div itemscop itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness”>
<span itemprop=”name”>Chris Johnstone - Marketing Consultant</span>
<div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>
<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>123 Your Address</span>
<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Toronto</span>, <span itemprop=”addressRegion”>ON</span>
</div>
</div>

 

 

Test your markup with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

3. KML File and Geo Sitemap

Source: http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/seo-articles/seo-for-local-businesses/

Another source where Google gets its location information from, is a KML file. KML stands for Keyhole Markup Language. These kind of files are used to determine the exact location of a business via its latitude and longitude. Since march of 2007 Google is indexing these files.

Arjan Snaterse wrote a tool, called the ‘Geo Sitemap and KML generator’ that can help you with the creation of a KML file. The creation of a separate Geo Sitemap has become redundant because Google has stopped supporting them since the beginning of last year. Simply add the URL of your KML file to your existing sitemap without specific tags.

Let’s take a look at the content of the KML file:

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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2">
  <Placemark>
   <name>Name of your business here</name>
   <description>A short description here.</description>
   <Point>
     <coordinates>51.105691,4.640157,0</coordinates>
   </Point>
 </Placemark>
</kml>

There are three things that need to be changed: the name of the business, a short description and the coordinates. The coordinates contain the longitude, latitude, and optionally the altitude. You can find these coordinates via Google Maps. Simply right click on a location and select ‘What’s Here?’. The longitude and latitude will pop up in the search bar.

For information on how to submit your new sitemap to google visit:  https://support.google.com/sites/answer/100283?hl=en

 

4. Claim You Google Authorship

Google Authorship is a form of rich data.  It is Google’s way of verifying your ownership of the content that you create.  When you post content on your website it is linked to your Google + profile and you are identified as the original author of the article.

Source: https://plus.google.com/authorship

  1. Sign up for Google+ and create a Google+ profile.
  2. Make sure you have a profile photo with a recognizable headshot.
  3. Make sure a byline containing your name appears on each page of your content (for example, “By Chris Johnstone”).
  4. Make sure your byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile.
  5. Verify you have an email address (such as cwjstone@cwjstone.com) on the same domain as your content. (Don’t have an email address on the same domain? Use this method to link your content to your Google+ profile)
  6. Return to this page (https://plus.google.com/authorship) and enter your email address.

5. Area Specific Domain Extensions

If you are optimizing your profile for multiple locations it is important to structure your site accordingly.

Each specific location should have it’s own url and unique content on the page that relates to the area you are looking to rank for.

For example.

www.yourwebsite.com/AreaNameMainKeyword becomes www.cwjstone.com/torontomarketingconsultant

6. Add Your Business Profile Information To All Pages

The easiest way to accomplish this is to insert your business information in the footer of your site.

Your Profile information should exactly match the information that is listed on your Google Places for Business page your Google + Business page and all your online citations.

The suggested information to include is:

Business Name

Business Address

Phone Number

Email Address

Website Address

Social Media Profile Links

7. Create Your Own Local Links Page

Local High Quality links to your site can help you network locally and optimize your site at the same time.

First you create a Local Page on your site.

Then you need to research and find the high quality links in your market.  To do this just go to Google and search “Area Name Business Directory” and just “Area Name”

List and link to each of the sites that are listed on the front page of Google.

You also want to check and make sure that the sites you are linking to have a good page rank with Google.

Check sites page rank for free using this tool:  http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php

8. Embed Your Google Map

A large driver of local information for your business is Google Maps.

 

Embedding your map on your site

Source: https://support.google.com/places/answer/2568365?hl=en

  • Go to your live Place Page and click on the map. This will take you to Google Maps, and show a map with the place marker for your business.
  • Click Maps Link Button at the top of the left panel.
  • In the box that pops up, copy the HTML under Paste HTML to embed in website, and paste it into the source code of your website or blog.

You can also check your Businesses information using the Google MapMaker Tool.

 

 

9. Link Your Website To Google +

(You should also add Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest)

Source: https://developers.google.com/+/web/+1button/

You can add and customize the +1 button to meet the needs of your website, such as modifying the button size and load technique. By adding the +1 button to your website, you allow your users to recommend your content to their circles and drive traffic to your site. The +1 button can also improve the time spent on your site by providing recommendations for further reading.

Here is the rough code to embed the +1 button on your site.

<!– Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render. –>
<div class=”g-plusone” data-annotation=”inline” data-width=”300″></div>

<!– Place this tag after the last +1 button tag. –>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
(function() {
var po = document.createElement(‘script’); po.type = ‘text/javascript’; po.async = true;
po.src = ‘https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s);
})();
</script>

 

10. Link Your Website To Your Google Places For Business Page

The Local Google Traffic program takes care of all of your off site optimization for you.
You want to make sure that when you get the link to your Google Places for Business Page from our team that you add the link to your website.

Make sure you ask your site visitors to help you out with an excellent rating and review.

If you have not had a look at the free Social Alchemy video I highly suggest it.

It helps you generate a flood of online ratings and reviews for your business.

 

Thanks for reading!  Please post a comment below if you found this helpful or if you need any help.

Don’t forget to share this information using your social media profiles.

By: Chris Johnstone

 

 

 

 


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