Friday, July 13, 2012

Ten Top Ranking Factors for Google+ Local - Number Five

Google+ Local Top Ten Ranking Factors - Number Five Is the Associated Website

If you haven't been following along, you can easily check out the first four basics for Optimizing your Google+ Local rankings by merely scrolling down on the page of  The first four are:

1.  The Everything Page is still the most important search on Google - Not Google Places
2.  Excellent quality, unique, and relevant content is still king - Forget black hat back links
3.  Citations always have been and continue to be a major factor in ranking
4.  Reviews are important for ranking and for conversion

Which brings us to number five.  Every bit of content that you have created online that contains your business name, address, or phone number is potentially going to tie back to your Google+ Local listing.  The bot will find you out.  However, you will specifically determine the most important online content for Google to review in determining how to rank you when you list your "website" on the listing form.

That "website" can be many things, and the most obvious would be your home page.  Most of this post will assume that your home page is what you list on Google+ Local, as that is the case for the vast majority of companies. 

However, I use this blog as my "website," and at least one of my clients uses their blogger blog as their "website."  Our blogs get more traffic than our websites, and they are updated very frequently.  My blog is older than my website, and I actually don't do much work on my website. 

Some folks also use their listing on another search engine or Yellow Pages or Directory as their "website."  It has been argued that this might actually result in better rankings than the website, as the power of the channel is so huge.  I would only recommend this approach if your website and blog are either non existent or really not very good at all.

You might also use an internal page or landing page within your website.  This might take the form of  The most useful reason for this approach is if you have multiple locations and have set up geo specific landing pages that are heavily key worded for the specific geographic city, zip, region, or county.

Go to to see full example
After that rather lengthy introduction, the original question for this post:  what elemenets of your website matter to the Goog bot used by Google+ Local to determine your rank?

    1.    URL - would be excellent.  Any variation such as BestChicagoBakery or BakeryChicago or Chicago-Bakery or JoesChicagoBakery will work best.
    2.    Title Tag - Show the category keywords and geo keywords in the Title.  Don't use more than 64 characters or you will be truncated, and some believe that you will also lose juice.
    3.    H1 Headline - Repeat your critical keywords in the H1 and or H2 headlines.  Make these large and bold
    4.    Page content.  This is not the place for SEO 101, but use the keywords and geo keywords appropriately often in your text on the page.  Links to internal pages on these.
    5.    Footer.  Create a footer of 50 words that includes variations of your keywords and geo info.
    6.    Google Map on the page
    7.    NAP on the page
    8.    The entire website should be registered with Google Webmaster Tools and a site map downloaded there
    9.    Great, unique, relevant content throughout the website, but especially on the page your designate as your "website" in Google+ Local listing
    10.    Google+, +1, and other Google widgets, gadgets and tools on the page can't hurt.

DId I leave out anything?  Leave a comment if I missed something here.  This is a complicated and changing area.

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