Local Search Ranking Factors 2012
Since 2010 David Mihm has been publishing his annual survey of the top Local Search Ranking Factors and yesterday David announced his ranking factors for 2012.
This year’s list contains 90 positive ranking factors and 30 negative ranking factors.
We use David’s survey to build a detailed checklist and then review each of these factors during our Local Search training workshops.
There were not any real surprises in David’s list and we have been implementing and teaching them for over 2 years.
In this week’s SEO Tip we will discuss several of the more notable positive and negative factors.
#1 – Physical Address in City of Search
Proximity of your business to the searcher is still the #1 ranking factor.
Basically if the searcher is in Long Beach California and is looking for a plumber the results closest to him would appear first.
So if your main business location is based in Anaheim and you want to show up with the results in Long Beach you best start looking for a Long Beach address as a satellite location.
#9 – Local Area Code on Places Page
Another proximity ranking factor that is very important!
As many service based businesses use cell phones it’s not uncommon for the business phone number to be assigned an area code outside the business service area.
This can hurt!
There are several companies such as Call Tracking Metrics where you can obtain a telephone number with your area code and then forward that number to your cell phone.
Another advantage is that you’re also able to track and record these incoming calls.
12 – Individually Owner Verified Places Pages
This is a new ranking factor that I’m personally I’m glad to see!
The reason I suspect that this was added to combat all those supposed local SEO companies who have been spamming your e-mail, making tons of unsolicited telephone calls all promising to be associated with Google in some form.
What in fact they have been doing is hijacking your listing and putting it into their account(s).
Then after you realize that your Google Local Listings are going no where but down and you realize that your paying for non-existent SEO services, these unscrupulous SEO firms make you pay again to release your local listing back to you.
If you’re using some firm or agency for your Local SEO services be SURE that you have access to the account with YOUR own Google account!
#1 Negative Ranking Factor – Mismatch Phone Number Across Data System
The local telephone book lists one telephone number for your business, the ad you just placed in the local newspaper lists another and then you have your home number assigned on your business license and a 800 number on your website.
Be consistent and use 1 telephone number across your entire data system for your main office.
#26 – Address/Suite number same as UPS Store
The same by using a PO Box for your business location; don’t do it!
Are you interested in learning more about local search?
Our 6 hour Local Search Marketing Training videos will provide you with your own SEO Roadmap that will launch your local business to the top of Google’s SERPS.
Also included is a 30 minute segment on how you can start your own local search consulting business.
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