0% of desktop searches are local, while 50% of mobile searches are local. Combined, 30% of all searches are currently local.
With mobile searches expected to overtake desktop searches in 2014, local searches should within two years outnumber non-local searches.
This means that the local search ranking of your website will soon become more important than your site’s organic ranking.
What is the difference?
Optimization for organic position focuses on content, title tags, site architecture, rich snippets, and inbound links.
Optimization for local search focuses on verification, citations, categories, and reviews.
What to do
Here are 9 tips for improving your website’s ranking for local searches:
1. Google must be able to connect your website with your location. That means your website should at minimum have a local page that includes your contact details in html.
2. If you also mark up your address in rich snippets, you have essentially handed Google your business card.
3. Because of insufficient results, keyword research on the local level is usually impossible for attorneys. Instead, generate national keywords and add a local qualifier (e.g., Sacramento injury attorney).
4. The most important factor in local search is citations – mentions of your business name, address, phone number, or combination of these. The more of these footprints you have around the internet, the higher your site’s local rank.
5. These citations must be consistent. If you have relocated your office, do a search of your company name along with your old address and update any mentions of your old address.
6. The next most important local ranking factor after citations is reviews. And the number of Google+ Local reviews counts more than what the reviews say. In other words, a mediocre review is better than no review.
7. Google also pulls sentiment from Trip Advisor, Zagat, and blog reviews.
8. A few inbound links are sufficient to compete locally, especially if they come from sites which are local in nature.
9. One phenomenal link can be a huge help – for example, a link from a local .org. Volunteer work for a local non-profit can be the route to this golden link.
We can help
If you want our help improving your local ranking, we can do the work for $100/month. We create and maintain your Google+ profile and Google Places page. We find erroneous citations and correct them. And we create four additional citations each month on sites like Yelp and Foursquare.
For more information or to sign up, contact Mike Margol at 714-434-5927.