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Local Search Update: Google to Website Key Indicators

I’m seeing trends back towards website SEO with a recent Google local search update and I can’t be happier.

For the last couple years we’ve been pushing a lot of information onto Google My Business (Google Business Profile) and putting less importance on the website.

Websites for local search haven’t been as important compared to a website for a national company.

clear skies screen shot google listing

Studies are showing that Google is putting more weight into your website SEO as a ranking factor for local SEO.

Specifically the website or landing page that is listed on your profile for “website”.

Here’s what you can do to take advantage of it.

Local Area Keywords – City/State

I talked about this vaguely in section 4 from this article: Denver Local SEO Landscape and Opportunities

Let’s go into detail about this topic.

Previously, we would add in the local keywords into your Google profile (we still do) and treat your home page as an introduction to your business. The indicators that we are seeing from Google’s weighting algorithm are showing that the more well established the landing page from Google is, the better it will rank.

For example:

Instead of having “DNA Physical Therapy” in your website Title, H1, and H2’s for the home page, you’ll want to include the area that you serve.

Physical Therapy In Carlsbad, California” should be listed on the website in important places to root yourself in your operating location.

Don’t stop reading now, there’s more than just location that you’ll need to add.

pin drop ocean

If you’re serving multiple towns, it’s a good idea to include a service area map that you’re willing travel out.

If you have a fixed location (restaurant, store, etc.), then you’ll want to include your address on that page as well to match up with your Google listing.

cool kid pointing at you

Backlinks, backlinks. You hear about them, but why?

The “popular” kid at school says your cool. What does that make you? Cool.

If a well established site links to your site and says your cool. Google thinks your cool.

Backlinks have gone up and down as a ranking factor due to link farm spamming.

What’s different now is Google is placing more weight on local established businesses linking to your “website” landing page from Google.

We’re talking things like:

  • Local Chamber of Commerce Link
  • Local Sports Organization Link (possibly from a donation)
  • Local Event Link
  • Local Newspaper Link

Getting the pattern? They’ve found that businesses that naturally acquire localized backlinks over-time are more well established in the community and therefore should deserve bonus points.

Go out and get some links by interacting with your community!

Service Specific Pages

My project 1 29 1

Most websites these days do have specific pages associated with their services.

10 years ago, I’d put a single page with a list of services called “services”.

5 years ago, I’d be sure to have each service page as it’s own.

2 years ago, I went back to single pages of services, or even including services into the home page because the Google Business profile was more important.

Now, Google says jump again and we’re back to single pages for each service.

As you can see at the top of this site, the services are clearly defined into 4 categories: “Digital Marketing”, “Web Design”, “Vehicle Branding”, and “Store Signs”.

At-a-glance, it’s easy to see what we offer and that’s the same idea for Google.

To Wrap it Up

Shift effort back into your website for localized results. The same things you’d put into your Google Business Profile, include them into your linked page.

Let me know if you need any help with this or want me to run an audit on your existing setup.

Eric Hagelin
Eric Hagelin

Post Author: Eric Hagelin

Founder of Clear Skies Marketing Group

“I believe that small businesses are the backbone of America and I have made it my mission to deliver helpful tips and results to small business owners to increase their web presence.”