Law Firm Web Marketing

    

Google's New Local Search Results & How to Optimize Accordingly

The search engine results page is constantly changing and expanding. For instance, have a a look at this screenshot of Google's brand new Local Search results.

Google Local Search

Those who frequently use the Google search engine will certainly find the new look of the local search results rather unique. So it raises a question for those with a business or planning to start one: How do I place my website in the horizontal listings at the very top of the page?

If you raised that question, then read on because I am about to share with you a few local SEO tips in order to help your business grow and get better ranked in Google Local Search.

Phase I: Claim, Verify, & Populate Your Google+ Page

The results shown when you search for a certain business on Google, or any search engine, depend on a specific number of variables, such as directory listings, business's web presence (such as social media pages) and last but not least, having a Google+ Page.

The last of these variables, The Google+ page, is an crucial step in getting your business properly listed. While it is true most of these businesses already have an Google+ page, usually one that's already generated by Google, more often than not the Google+ page is not properly claimed and verified the Google+ page in order for it to generate its maximum potential.

So the first step into getting your business optimized in Google Local Search is to find this Google+ page of yours and in the lower right side of the screen you will see an option to claim the Google+ page as your own. Once you click it, you'll have to go through a verification system, in which they'll send a postcard to your business address in order to verify that you truly own the business you try to claim.

In the meanwhile, you should go ahead and fill your businesses Google+ page with all the needed contact information, address, additional information, links perhaps? You want to include pretty much everything a prospect would want to read.

Phase II: Pinpoint & Build Citations

A citation basically consists of your company's Name, address and phone number, commonly referred to as NAP. Citations are commonly found social sites and directories that contain a listing of a specific business.

Citations are extremely important, for when Google is determining its Local Search rankings, it will sort them according to the volume, quality and accuracy of a certain business's citation.

So technically, the more citations you have, the higher your business's rank will be. Its rather obvious, but you should know the two most important elements of a citation:

  • Quality/Relevancy: Its extremely important not only HOW many citations are found but WHERE they are found. A business citation of a marketing business in a fashion directory is rather irrelevant.
  • Accuracy: Arguably the most important feature of a citation. If any of your citation information (NAP) is incorrect or inconsistent, it can potentially affect your ranking in Google Local Search.

So keep in mind what I said when you seek websites to built your citations. Below I have compiled a list of some of the most trusted and influential sources for citations:

Note that you should always keep on eye on the competitors. I recommend you thoroughly inspect the search engine result page and get an idea on which websites and directories your business should be on.

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