Excellent work by Miriam and Liam.
I agree with the concept of looking at the bigger ‘philosophical’ picture rather than getting bogged down in the minutiae of how things work this week (compared to last week!!) when trying to optimise for local searches. I spend considerable amounts of time dealing with clients who are always asking detailed questions about how they can skate around this rule or that rule. Not the approach to take at all as they should be considering the wider aspects. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to get them to see this bigger picture.
Miriam and Liam have written a 3,200 word post here that MUST be read if you are at all serious about your local listings. Don’t skim it. Read it. Take time out. It’ll be worth it.
My summary of this document is:
- Read Guidelines. They change regularly, so don’t get caught out!
- Do you qualify for a listing? You need a unique physical address and phone number.
- NAP must be consistent everywhere on the net. Name, Address, Phone. Inconsistencies lead to big problems.
- Your website is the biggest/best source of information for your business – so use that fact.
- Citations are important, listings and mentions of your business on the net. And this is where NAP (see above) really kicks in!
- Location. You will never get found for geographic locations away from your business address.
- Do not attempt to abuse review listings.
- If you are using an external SEO consultant to help with this, ensure he understands the issues.
- Google makes mistakes, so be prepared for setbacks. (My view is that this point should be much further up this list!!)
- Competition. If you are in a competitive business in a large city, then you will have to work hard to get your listing above those of your competitors. And so, finally ……….
- Be realistic!
But, please go and read the whole post.
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