This week, 10 years ago, I published my first post. My blogging has directly led to 3 new careers1 and a bevy of new and wonderful friends. During that time I have written over 2100 posts here, at LocalU and now at GetFivestars. Early and trusted friendships with Matt McGee, Bill Slawski and David Mihm helped me learn a lot and “earned” me my first link. 🙂
Despite all that I have learned from the many people that I have come to love and respect over the years, it strikes me how my third post2, dated September 27th, 2006 and named3 The Basics of Listing for Success, demonstrates how the more things change the more they stay the same.
Google may cancel business programs faster than I can change underwear but at least in terms of the Google Local algo they NEVER throw anything away,
Here is a simple list of what is I have discovered is necessary to start improving your ranking at Google Maps and Yahoo Local.
As I have worked with local listings over the past year I created this small check list for achieving some measure of success. These points may be self evident or they may require additional clarification which I will be attempting to provide over the next several days. They all need testing and examination.
1)Be sure to edit the local listing and include the relevant business categories
2)Enhance the title of the Business to include the key phrase(s)
2a)Craft the categories and the description to reinforce the key phrase(s)
3)Get lots of web references (these are like links but not as rigidly defined) that reference the main key phrase and location of the business
4)Be sure that your own site has lots of references to your local address and key phrase
5)Join the Better Business Bureau/Mobile Travel Guide/Talking Phone Book etc. etc. that Google uses to provide details
6)Be sure to get some good reviews from the reviewing services that Google & Yahoo uses
Unlike optimization for organic search, optimization for local search at the major engines is in a much less developed state. It seems to have many fewer people poking, prodding and testing the hypothesis of local search and coming up with a definitive set of best practices. This is list is an attempt to create that model that we can all test. Have a go and let me know.
Please let me know what you think.
1 Interestingly I didn’t really get my first “real” local seo job until 2011 and it wasn’t until 2012 that it became a full time endeavor.
2 Clearly I was briefer and more succinct then
3 No reason I can’t change the title and make it a little more search engine friendly. 🙂10 Years Ago Today -The 7 Steps for Local Listing Success at Google (& Yahoo) by Mike Blumenthal