Google’s ‘Going Local’ attempt can be effective

February ended with 40 almost unique changes. We have already briefed you with the major changes affecting your SEO campaigns. However, this post is about Google Venice Update.

In simple words, this update will force you to work harder on your local rankings for your business.

Let’s first decode codename “Venice”. The explanation reads,

Improvements to ranking for local search results. This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.”

So, is Google finally updating its localized organic results for the good? Or can it still have an improvement.

Let us look at the screenshots below to see the current scenario of search results in Google.

The Results
Search “Home cleaning” with location set to United States.

 

Search “Home cleaning” with location set to Manhattan.

 

Search “Home cleaning” with location set to Chicago.

However, we need to know that Google still has the refurbishment task to do, for its localized search results.

Here is an example noted by seotraininguk. In there, a search was made for ‘post office’ with location set at Brighton, UK. Surprisingly, it had results from Brighton, USA.

Whatever may be the case, the following points can help you with better results for your local business.

1. Tab localized results for your business related search queries.
You can do this by having local landing pages and adding title tag and description.

Local Landing Pages: To be found online locally, you don’t really need a physical location, but you need a URL. You may not be contactable physically for a particular location, but if you think over it, your local listing will have a landing place. Consider the case of Findlaw.com.It doesn’t have a physical address in Las Vegas, but it has a URL to be found in Las Vegas.

http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/Divorce/Las-Vegas/Nevada

Talking about title tags and description, you need to have the equation of Location + Keyword. It is quite known, but at the same time very important for localized organic results.

2. Get the edge with a few common tactics.

– Have a unique localized page content: Many sites use the option of cookie clutter content for their localized pages. That is not the way to go. You can be penalized anytime by a Panda update. Google has been quite aggressive with its Panda updates and one can only assume that this might be noticed by Google, sooner or later, but whenever it does, it will KILL your rankings. So, better be safe than sorry. Have a unique content for every localized page.

– Get 1000′s of pages indexed: Well this was a fantasy till late, but its possible now. If you are a national player, you should get every page of your website indexed to compete with localized results. But like every rose will look incomplete without thorns, here even you might have to sacrifice your home page ranking to juice out the local business.

What more? Some genie tips, not used by many.

1. Have a GeoSitemap and KML File for your website: Basically, a KML file determines the latitude/longitude and the exact address of the company. So, it will tag your website for a particular location. Here is an example of how it looks:

You can create one with this tool Geo Sitemap Generator.

2. Local link building authoritatively: Forum link building, commenting and article marketing is easy to have for your local pages. But ever considered the use of authoritative local links?

You can use tactics like Microsites and Local Guest Posting here.

The focus of microsites is on penetrating the submarkets of a large city. How? Post useful details which can make the site unique, have a link building effort for the sites and use the following formula:

Brand + Location + Keyword targeted anchor text

As far as Local Guest Posting is concerned, you need to find hyperlocal blogs in your city. This shouldn’t be difficult, as bloggers are well-spread in every part of the world.

Here, we have attempted to brief you about the Google Venice Update and how you can tackle it or rather use. If you have a few more points to add on, shoot them in the comments box below.