It is no secret that Google gives ranking preference to the web properties it owns. This is most evidenced by the rise of YouTube videos and Google Local profiles in organic search.
Currently, in most competitive local searches, after the first three results you will see a list of sites with Google Local Listings. Now, you can fight this rising trend, battling it out over those top three positions, or you can embrace this situation and optimize accordingly.
What most people don’t know is how easy to rank your website in these Google Local categories. Currently, the results are primarily based on the optimization of the company name, URL, and company description. In this article we will cover exactly how you can rank your business (for free) for competitive Local Searches.
1. The Company Name
One of the main factors Google looks at when ranking Google Local searches is the name your company is listed under in your Google Local listing. So, by simply including the target keyword in your company name you can make your site highly relevant to the search.
So, for example if you are a lawyer and want to rank your law firm for the search 'Scottsdale Personal Injury Attorneys' your Google Local company name would look something like this: '[Law Firm Name Here] - Scottsdale Personal Injury Attorneys.'
2. The Company Description
Another major factor Google takes into account is the relevance of the company description. So, the ideal description would not only contain the main keyword, but should also contain at least 3-5 synonyms of the keyword. Examples of synonyms to include in the company description for a keyword like 'Attorney' could be 'Litigation', 'Law', 'Legal', 'Lawsuit', and 'Lawyer'.
3. Submitting Changes
If you already have a Google Local account created, you will need to confirm the submitted changes by receiving the verification postcard upon submission, and mailing it back in to Google.
4. Last Step - On-Site SEO
The last remaining step is to optimize the content on your site to be consistent with the submitted target keywords. This begins with entering the company description as the meta description for the home page, and entering the selected optimized company name as the meta title. Finally, the On-Page SEO needs to be perfected.
So, there it is; a completely free and white hat strategy for ranking your site for high competition local searches.