Optimizing Your Website For Local - Top Ten On-Site Essentials
At Universal Business Listing we help businesses optimize their online presence through profile syndication to hundreds of search sites, but we often get asked about actions that should be taken to the company’s own website for “on-site” local optimization.
We gathered top ideas from several internet experts and present the following:
1. Use Microformats or Rich Snippets for every item possible: http://microformats.org/. Search engines hunt for this data and will quickly add it. This is especially true for contact details, categories, keywords and events (Google is even now looking for recipes in this format.)
2. Place your Local address and Local phone number on all your pages. This usually is in the footer, but must be as text, not an image, so search engines can read it.
3. Title Tags – since the dawn of HTML, these tags have been important places to include specific keywords for your site and location-specific pages. The Title tag is the place to start with a few key terms including location, such as “Pool Contractor / Fairfield CT”.
4. Meta Description Tag – make sure the description includes not just your keywords but your location and service area.
5. Geo sitemap or KML – Keyhole Markup Language tells the search engines specifically your location. See https://developers.google.com/kml/documentation/kml_tut for details, or create one at http://www.geositemapgenerator.com/. You can add this to your pages AND submit it to Google in your Site Configuration > Sitemaps.
6. Localized Branch Pages – If you have multiple branches or locations, each one should have its own page, with localized info, especially of course address data, but local specialties and even staff might help make it clear that it is not a cookie-cut copy from corporate.
7. Encourage Reviews – Especially via Google + and Facebook “Like” badges, it is important to give users an easy link to places where they can rate and review your products. Add this to any signup, purchase pages or messaging.
8. Events - If your business has events or is sponsoring or appearing at them, add the list to your site in the hCalendar microformat.
9. Links to Social pages – There are many ways today to integrate your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn profiles and pages in an interactive manner, but at very least make sure there are solid reference links to them.
10. Outbound Local links – Solid inbound links are valuable if they are from legitimate credible sources, and it often helps to have a location on your own site where you can link to the local sites where you may be listed or hope to be listed.
Naturally all other standard website rules apply, particularly those relating to regularly updating local content. Of course, all of this starts with using UBL for truly high value business listing syndication. www.UBL.org
Local citations, Local Search Optimization, location based search apps, Online presence