Local SEO Loophole: How to Get Ranked in Google within 30 Days

This guest post is by Pete Kennedy, co-founder of Main Street ROI. Want more SEO tips?  Register for Main Street ROI’s free Halloween SEO teleseminar: The Death of “Old-School” SEO.  You’ll learn about the 3 “old-school” SEO tactics to avoid, plus the 5 new SEO rules to follow. Sign up here.

One of the biggest myths about search engine optimization (SEO) is that you should expect to wait several months before you start ranking on the first page of Google for your target keywords.

While it’s true it can often take several months to crack the first page for super competitive keywords, there are also opportunities for fast rankings with SEO. And one of those opportunities is local SEO.

Local SEO is the process of getting your website ranking on the first page of Google+ Local, Google’s local search engine results (formerly known as Google Places).

The Case for Local SEO

Here are 3 reasons why local SEO represents a powerful marketing opportunity for local businesses.

1. Local search is on the rise

More and more consumers are using search engines to find local businesses on their computers and mobile phones. According to Google, 20% of search queries are for local businesses, 40% of mobile searches are for local businesses, and 97% of consumers search for local businesses online.

2. Prominent first-page listings

Google+ Local listings are typically displayed at the very top of the search results, even above more the traditional “organic” listings. By giving prominent search placement to the local business listings, Google is simply showing searchers what they want to find.

3. Weak local competition

And by showcasing local business listings so prominently, Google has really leveled the SEO playing field for local businesses. Instead of competing with MetLife.com, a local life insurance agent competes with the other agents in her neighborhood (most of whom are not following local SEO best practices). And that’s why it’s often possible to reach the first page in the local results in as little as 30 days.

4 Steps to Get Ranked in the Local Results

Here are the 4 basic steps to take advantage of the local SEO opportunity:

Step 1. Keyword Research The first step with local SEO, as with any other type of SEO campaign, is to identify the right keywords to target. Use Google’s free keyword tool to find keywords that are frequently-searched and relevant to your business.

Step 2. Optimize Your Listing If you aren’t already set up with a Google+ Local listing, you’ll need to create your profile and verify your ownership. Then, incorporate your keywords into the categories and description fields of your profile, so Google knows which keywords should trigger your business listing to appear in the local results.

Step 3. Get Citations “Citations” are one of the biggest factors determining your local search rankings. Citations are mentions of your company’s name, address, and phone number on other websites. And the best way to build citations is to submit your business information to directories.

Step 4. Get Reviews The fourth step to boost your local rankings is to get reviews. Make it a habit to ask satisfied customers to post reviews for business on your Google+ Local profile.

That’s it! Local SEO is simple and fast to set up, and the results tend to come quickly. But this opportunity won’t last forever, so I encourage you to get started today.

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  • http://www.searchengineoptimisationuk.biz Andy Hughes

    Thank Amanda for clarifying this – optimization Places can be a real headache especially when your obtaining No.1 organic listings and the Places account still doesn’t appear when it’s also optimized for the same keywords!

  • http://www.aranzamendezdesign.com Rupert

    This is actually true but because I already done this to my website and it actually rank number 4 in Google last month. But it suddenly drops from 4 to 11 after Google updated again the post Panda. I admit that we have some articles that has been only revised by our writer and I think, that’s the reason why our ranking goes down.

  • http://www.bizzy.mobi George Thomas

    The major search engines don’t seem to differentiate between website created for desktops and those for mobile devices. If you search for a hotel on your mobile phone you get a list of hotels but they may be mobile compatible or may not!
    We have just launched a FREE mobile website directory where only mobile compatible website are listed http://www.bizzy.mobi. This makes it easier when trying to find information about hotels, new cars, property and travel as you don’t have to zoom out or in as the website fits your device.
    Everyone (with a mobile compatible website) can add their website to the http://www.bizzy.mobi directory FREE.

  • http://www.buyfollowerstwitter.co.uk Steve

    I agree. Almost nobody can rank a new site in the first page of Google. In my case, I almost spent many months before I finally ranked my site. By the way, my advice is strictly follow the 4 steps which is highly essential in SEO.

  • http://thinktobecomethebest.posterous.com/ Angel Flores

    Hello Amanda,

    I was wondering if you have any idea how Google + local, filters your reviews.. Does it work the same way as yelp??



  • http://www.lux-entertainment.com Jorge Areche

    I talked recently to a google rep and he explain to me that filter reviews could still get posted if you can still provide information from customer, but it is not true, they are using same old fashion yelp filter, if they feel is fake they will remove it.

  • Carolina

    Local keyword phrases draw more traffic to your site. I used geoseo plugin, which gave my website more local keyword related pages.

  • Carolina

    I also found this interesting article where it explained a local keyword phrase. A local keyword phrase is generally one or two words combined with location that are used by advertisers in search engine optimization, or by visitors who are using search engines in a desire to find information based on that particular local phrase. For example, an advertiser that provides local plumbing services might use “Plumber Morristown, NJ” as a local keyword phrase to draw more visitors interested in the topic. On the other hand, visitors to a search engine looking to hire local plumber would also use the keyword phrase “Plumber Morristown, NJ” in the search engine, which would then match the local keyword phrase with websites like that of the advertiser that mention the same local keyword phrase. http://www.geoseo.net conducts market research and local keyword research to determine the best targets for your website visitors. While you may have a list of twenty local keywords that you want to target, you must consider each as a separate campaign. Why?
    It’s really simple; search engines like Google rank pages and you need to give them what they want to rank your page. To give them what they want you must provide the content that they’re looking for and send enough links to your pages to let the search engines know they are relevant and important.
    And, never forget the local customer. It does you no good for a local search term if your content doesn’t include location you serve. Please watch video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHVIZR4Ek1Q&feature=youtu.be.
    Note: search keyword phrases that are used in Meta Tags content are no longer frequently used by search engines to index pages. Major search engines such as Google no longer look for keyword phrases in the Meta Tags, and are more apt to use the information within the actual text of the web page. Listing the local keyword phrases in the in Meta Tags does not do any harm though, but is completely up to the website to whether they will use local keyword phrases in the in Meta Tags content.