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Local SEO Power Pack: Set the Stage for Local SEO for 2015

Posted By- Media Search Group | Dec-16-2014 |  Comments: 28 | Views:  1765

Local search results are seeing a dramatic change with each passing year as search engines introduce new updates every year in their bid to make search more relevant and effective for the users. The very first MozLocal Search Rankings Factor 2014 survey brought sharp focus on the then newly released New Google Maps as well as the incorporation of local carousels to SERPs. The release of the Pigeon Algorithm update this year as well as the much touted GoogleMyBusiness are no doubt the biggest drivers of local SEO for this year, a fact also borne out by the Moz 2014 survey.

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Read Moz Blog: The 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors Results

The survey this year seeks to expand on the format of last year by not only asking respondents to rate factors contributing to search engine ranking in both local organic search as well as carousel but also asking them to elaborate on which factors have gone upward or downward in influencing search engine results since the introduction of Google Pigeon update.

The survey results clearly bring to light that the best Local SEO involves building organic search for "location+keyword" and employing the right techniques to gain visibility for these. Location infact is coming out as a major factor in local search ranking. What it means is that instead of looking at short term measures focused only on improving search ranking with Google, it might be more rewarding to focus on improving organic search ranking through improving your overall website by adding a location criteria as well as improving the external links.

Important Highlights of the MozLocal Search Ranking Factors2014 Survey

As per the Moz 2014 survey the top 10 localized organic factors affecting search engine ranking are:

  • City, State in Landing Page Title
  • Domain Authority of Website
  • Page Authority of Landing Page URL
  • Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  • Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  • Physical Address in City of Search
  • Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  • Product / Service Keyword in Website URL
  • Click-Through Rate from Search Results
  • City, State in Landing Page H1/H2 Tags

5 Factors That Have Increased in Importance since Pigeon

  • Domain Authority of Website
  • Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
  • Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  • Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  • Physical Address in City of Search

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5 Factors That Have Decreased in Importance since the Pigeon Update:

  • Proximity of Address to Centroid
  • Physical Address in City of Search
  • Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
  • Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
  • Proximity of Address to Centroid of Other Businesses in Industry

decreased_pigeon

The Way forward for Local Search for 2015

What this means for local search for 2015 is that there are no short cuts to building organic search rankings. The best way to increase your search ranking is to go the traditional way by having content on your website and by linking yourself with other similar sites with good relevant content. Any SEO done for the purpose of simply improving rankings is ultimately not going to achieve the desired results unless backed by good content. For businesses to succeed in local search rankings in 2015 two factors stand out among all others:

local_seo

  • Having a great website with great content
  • Linking your website to sites with relevant content

Creating a great website is all about how you distinguish yourself from your competitors and build a distinctive brand image in the minds of your online audience through the website. Having a great website means ensuring an unforgettable user experience for your site visitors through easy navigation and engaging content. Many websites tend to overlook optimizing for local search with the result that the site does not rank high in local search rankings leading to potential loss of local business. The basics of local search optimization have gained even more importance with the Pigeon updates so ensure your site is optimized for local search by considering the following tips:

  • Title Tag should include City/State for local relevance and optimization
  • H1 heading or Page heading should also include City/State for local search optimization
  • Alt text on images should include City/State reference as Google search engine algorithm factors in the alt text on the images and not the images themselves
  • Content should also include city/state reference for greater local relevance and optimization.
  • Incorporate city/state reference in the site url if possible for greater local search optimization. A 301 redirect will help set the old site url permanently directed towards the new url.

Also read: How Local SEO Enhance your Website Visibility

Having a great website also means avoiding some common errors that often cause a site to lose local search rankings even while having great content. These include

  • Having very little content on the home page:- Many websites do the mistake of including just a banner and couple of sentence on the home page in their bid to entice the visitor to delve deeper into the site. However search engines algorithms scroll home pages for relevance and not having enough relevant content on the home page can cause your site to rank lower.
  • Keyword spamming on the site does not serve any real purpose and can infact cause the site to lose authority. Ensuring good content optimized for local search is enough to get your site a good ranking, there is no need to overcrowd content with keywords.
  • Including very little content on your website pages can be detrimental for both search results rankings as well as customer experience. Ensure that the website pages contain all relevant information that a visitor might find useful to deliver a better user experience which will automatically make a site rank higher.
  • Displaying Inappropriate irrelevant Title Tags can also serve to be counterproductive as too much keyword stuffing can lead search algorithms to reduce your site rankings. A title tag should basically be a short summary of what the webpage is about as well as contain the right keywords which will help it get located for relevant searches.

Local Search in 2015 is all about including your business location at strategic points in your site and elsewhere to ensure that all local search algorithms are able to locate you for the relevant searches. Keep the basics in mind and add the location parameter and you should be all set to enjoy great local search rankings in 2015.

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