Your Local SEO Checklist For 2012!

Whether 2012 is the year you start marketing a local business from scratch or the year you get serious about learning how to use Local SEO to best advantage for a company that’s been drifting in Local limbo for years, here is my must-do checklist for your success in Local!

Some of these tips may sound like no-brainers to you, but fora across the web are filled with business owners who have skipped steps in the Local learning process and are failing to get the results they want because of it. My advice: don’t skip a single tip on this list!

1. Invest Real Money In Your Website

Don’t pick your web designer out of a hat with your eyes closed. If you run a local-focused business, hire a design firm that designs local-focused websites. This is a world apart from designing national or global-focused sites. Your website is way more than 1/2 the picture in terms of your ability to compete, rank and serve. Be prepared to make a serious investment in an excellent, usable, optimized website if you want to see serious results.

2. Read The Google Places Quality Guidelines

From my work with my own clients and my work at SEOmoz and Cre8site Forums, I would estimate that 1/2 of all Local-related questions being asked could be answered by a few minutes spent reviewing theGoogle Places Quality Guidelines. Determining your business’ eligibility for inclusion, the number of Place Pages you are allowed to have and how to avoid committing what appear to be the most common violations are all explained in this simple page of guidelines. Read ’em! A couple of times a year – because Google does update the guidelines periodically and the changes can be very important to your business.

3. Read The Google Places Review Guidelines

Spam with a capital ‘S’ is everywhere in the review portion of Places/Maps, much of it quite deliberate…but you are an honest business person and don’t want to accidentally spam this area of Google just because you’ve never read the Review Guidelines. Who can leave reviews of your business, can you incentivize reviews, can you have reviews removed? All of these issues are covered in the guidelines.

4. Follow The Guidelines To The Letter

Once you’ve read the guidelines, you are ready to create a violation-free listing for your business or to attempt to clean up past violations you have committed. I wish I could then promise that all will be peachy keen, but Google Places remains bug ridden. Despite your best efforts, you may run into bugs and errors. Google has repeatedly admitted its own mistakes in regards to Places and a single bug in this arena has the potential to affect thousands of business owners. But hang on…don’t give up hope. Read tip 5!

5. The Google Places Help Forum – It’s Alive! It’s Alive!

For a number of years, the Google Places Help Forum has been the best evidence of the damage and confusion being wrought by the Frankenstein-like monster Google had created. Thousands of agitated questions in ALL CAPS flooded the forum, demanding help but almost never receiving any answers. It was a pretty sorry situation.

Things Have Changed! Very, very recently, remarkable alterations have occurred in Google’s staffing and in their handling of the forum. Googler, Vanessa Schneider, is doing a commendable job at the helm in the forum, and of perhaps equal importance, the folks Google has deemed to be ‘Top Contributors’ have been given some very important powers in offering assistance in the forum. These TCs include friends and colleagues Mike BlumenthalLinda Buquet and Nyagoslav Zhekov.

If you run into a mind-bending problem in Places, having any of these 3 TCs respond is likely to be a real lifesaver, and each of them has the ability to communicate directly with Google if they can’t resolve the problem themselves. Google Places remains a buggy juggernaut, but the new energy being poured into offering help and guidance to local business owners is a landmark improvement of the first order! You are operating in a very different environment in Local in 2012 than you were just a year ago – an environment in which problems are much more likely to be resolved.

6 Don’t Forget All Those Non-Google Opportunities

Yahoo! Local has telephone support! Best of the Web has a slick interface. MapQuest has such an easy process for listing your business, you almost feel like getting listed is over too soon, too simply. And then there’s HotFrog, Merchant Circle, Yelp, Bing Local…the list goes on.

Get your business listed in as many local business indexes as you can. Some will act as citations for your Google Place Page and others are just smart places to be included. Myles Anderson’s Top 50 Citation Sources For UK and US Local Businesses post at Search Engine Land is a truly fine place for you to start figuring out where to list your business.

7. Read Mike Blumenthal’s Blog

This simple tip, if followed, will be your surest route for keeping current on the most important changes in Local – and Local changes constantly. Mike’s Blog wins my vote as the industry standard in Local reporting. Nobody does it better!

8. Be Sociable

From Facebook, to Twitter, to Google Plus, to check-in sites, coupon sites, video and photo sharing sites and review communities, there are so many directions you can go in once you’ve got the basics of your powerhouse website and clean listings covered. You may not be able to do everything all at once. Pick the platforms that make the most sense to you and see how far you can get with them.

9. Realize You’ve Gone Into The Publishing Business

Every business taken onto the web has just gone into the publishing business. So many business owners fail to realize this very critical fact. From the tiniest text description on a business listing to the most in-depth article on a website, words are the chief content of the Internet. You’ve got to be prepared with an arsenal of nouns, verbs and adjectives if you want to be recognized. Don’t know what to write? Hire a copywriter who writes for local-focused businesses and who knows how to produce persuasive, clean, optimized copy. As long as your business exists, you will need to keep the words flowing on your website, your listings, your profiles, your reviews. Get writing!

10. Do Something Not On This List

The tips in this article are standard, best-practice advice. Creativity and a spirit of innovation can take you a step beyond. Do something no one has ever thought of before, online or off, to put your business on the map of the public mind. Ideas sell and persistence is rewarded.

 

May Your Local 2012 Be Your Most Profitable, Exciting Year Yet!

Source: http://www.searchengineguide.com/miriam-ellis/your-local-seo-checklist-for-2012.php

Advertisements

About SEO Updates
I'm an SEO :)

73 Responses to Your Local SEO Checklist For 2012!

  1. Luigi Fulk says:

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  2. Tried using your RSS feed and I get a 404 error?

  3. Hi Newport Travel you certainly have plenty to offer. Did you know that you can login to the Travel Agent end of RoomsHere.com where you can see product that has been tagged as “commissionable”?

  4. i have warts says:

    Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  5. This is a comment to the webmaster. Does your website get enough visitors or not rank for search terms with Google? Well we can help! We can provide you with a safe tiered link building system! This will help your rankings on Google and make your website more visible to your target audience. Take a look as I am sure you will be interested. http://www.linklegends.com

  6. Amazing blog , I really am trying how to make my weblog this interesting !

  7. I got what you intend, thankyou for putting up.Woh I am glad to find this website through google. “Remember that what you believe will depend very much on what you are.” by Noah Porter.

  8. What are the right driving schools around or in Parsippany, New Jersey?

  9. Wonderful article! Is it possible to purchase a copy of the Hansard Chapel UMC?

  10. Some good pointers, very helpful indeed !! Keep them coming !!

  11. @nungaming Activision? is the Publisher of CoD, without them the CoD games couldnt be released

  12. Where can you guys visit get your short term loans?

  13. I conceive you have noted some very interesting details , thankyou for the post.

  14. Hi are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  15. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this excellent blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  16. Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was searching for!

  17. 網路行銷 says:

    You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  18. My critique group were all snapping pictures, so I have a second by second documentation of all this.

  19. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  20. Debbie Lepre says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Thanks

  21. Normally I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great article.

  22. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back down the road. I want to encourage one to continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

  23. Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  24. Woh I love your articles , bookmarked ! .

  25. Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  26. I was very appreciative of the way you communicated truth from scripture concerning the article in today’s paper. God truly has His hand on you and I’m honored to know that not everyone is given to compromise. Keep up the good work and know that the Lord has reserved a HUGE # that has not bowed down! Great devotional and I’d love to get them daily if possible.

  27. But wanna state that this is handy , Thanks for taking your time to write this. “We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” by Will Rogers.

  28. I’ve added this blog to my Blogroll, it will definitely be very helpful for my Blog, keep up the good and informative article

  29. Perfectly written subject matter, Really enjoyed reading through .

  30. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your website is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What a great website.

  31. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share. Thanks!

  32. Thanks , I’ve just been looking for info approximately this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve came upon till now. However, what about the bottom line? Are you positive about the source?

  33. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

  34. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions? With thanks

  35. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Many thanks!

  36. As soon as I discovered this internet site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  37. Thank you Anne! I just checked out your website and your floral design is amazing. We hope to work with you in the future sometime (We travel, and would absolutely love to photograph a Tennessee wedding!

  38. Great write-up, I am normal visitor of one’s blog, maintain up the excellent operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  39. Appreciating the hard work you put into your website and detailed information you offer. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  40. It is really a nice and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  41. thanks, that helped a lot. However, its still not clear how we can change the label of the textarea section. Its not in the filter as you posted it, and havent been able to find it somewhere else so far.

  42. In the texas event that uncertainty is your companion when you are arranging a getaway- ask captain cook pertaining to aid. Waikiki vacation rentals give you the best deals pertaining to condo rentals with all conveniences and easy accessibility to the best beaches Also check out the Deals available for extended stays.

  43. I do accept as true with all of the concepts you have presented to your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very quick for starters. May you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  44. Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Kudos

  45. Clique Clock says:

    Thanks for your post, but check out this clique clock

  46. PAUL TAMAKI says:

    Yes, I think its Austin April 19th. Plan on taking the little lady to see ya’ll. It would be great to meet you, of course I know you guys are real busy and all. Anyway we look forward to hearing ya’ll.

  47. Annora says:

    This is exactly what information I was looking for, may I say awesome!

  48. Josselyn says:

    Thanks for all you do.

  49. Good site! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  50. iso software says:

    Thanks for the post, I wasnt 100 percent sure until I read your blog which gave me the understanding i needed cheers from australia

  51. Thanks for your write-up. One other thing is that often individual states have their unique laws in which affect people, which makes it extremely tough for the our lawmakers to come up with a fresh set of guidelines concerning foreclosure on property owners. The problem is that each state possesses own guidelines which may have impact in a damaging manner on the subject of foreclosure insurance plans.

  52. iPhone 5 says:

    Whats up! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the good information you will have here on this post. I will be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

  53. I think other website owners should take this website as an model, very clean and wonderful user friendly pattern.

  54. Jorge Somrak says:

    Hello. I found your web site by way of Search engines even though hunting for a connected topic, your website came upward. It appears to be great. I’ve bookmarked that during my google book marks to return later.

  55. Sastry says:

    Thanks for all you do.

  56. Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any help is very much appreciated.

  57. Cool info! Keep it flowing… 🙂

  58. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  59. cubefield says:

    Thanks for the post, I wasnt 100 percent sure until I read your blog which gave me the understanding i needed cheers from australia

  60. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  61. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  62. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  63. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is simply nice and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  64. iso software says:

    You put it in a perspective where I understand, Would you ever be interested in a guest blog post?

  65. Super-Duper website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also

  66. really inspiring and creative thinking inside the way you use your words. I wish someday my writing abilities will be on exactly the same level as yours.

  67. Pingback: google rank

  68. Seo toolbar says:

    The article talks about regarding many of the important options that come with search engine optimisation friendly web page design providers. There are lots of aspects which are the cause of the actual site’s visibility throughout …skyscraper seo

  69. Jameselle says:

    To create much more cash on-line 1 should have the ability to use typical feeling and handle a number of elements which are extremely essential in generating cash.

  70. You were spot on with this write up. E-mailed it to a friend and looking forward to some more.

  71. watch out for seo link monster..it will be the ultimate link building machine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: