How to rank high in Google local listings
Google maps, google local business centre, google places have been abused by webmasters and SEO’s from day one.
To combat this google have strict guidelines about using exact business information with local listings as the business uses offline.
i.e. Business names should appear how they do offline (no adding extra keywords), physical addresses should be used, same telephone numbers should be used, main URL’s should be used.
Ultimately Google are trying to ensure only genuine businesses with local physical addresses are listed on google maps.
Where as local listings were cmpletely seperate from the main SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) the new system is combining the 2
What the combination means is it is now more important to gain citations to rank high in google local listings, effectively it encourages webmasters to display the same information wherever they appear online.
Not only is this a good thing, as it builds up trust, it could also actively discourage anchor text manipulation, as it could now be seen as more important to use either the business name or the URL as the anchor text.
So what are our tips to rank high in google local listings
Ensure you display your contact details on your websites, use the same business name and telephone number, ask other people to use your business name or URL as anchor text when linking back to you, add your correct details to business directories, basically, ensure tou build up strong footprints using the same details so as to help google recognise you.
This is just one reason why the UK Small Business Directory is now using microformat code in an attempt to help improve the google local listings for all who take out upgraded listings. Not only does it help with visitor traffic it can also help with your own google local listings.