Local Search Optimization: How to Improve Your Local Google Search Rankings

By Pam Aungst

local search optimization

When it comes to ranking in local search, there’s a lot a site owner can do to send signals to Google about where their site should be ranked most prominently.

Google’s machine learning algorithms work hard to determine where a business is located in order to rank its website appropriately in local search results. As powerful as they are, Google’s algorithms can only do so much. The rest is up to you.

In this article we will teach you about the signals Google relies on to determine where a site should be ranked in local search. In the end, you can use that knowledge to optimize your site for success.

Let’s get right into it and start putting your business on the map – literally!

International Search Signals

The Two Most Essential International Geotargeting Signals

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, recently went on record revealing the two most essential signals Google relies on for understanding what country your website should be associated with. When determining in which area of the world a site should be ranked, Google looks toward ccTLD’s and Search Console settings.

What the Heck is a ccTLD?!
What ccTLD stands for is “country code top-level domain.” It’s SEO jargon for saying country-specific domain extension. For example, .ca denotes a Canadian domain, .uk denotes a UK-based domain, .eu denotes a European domain – and so on.

If you want your site to rank in a particular region or country, then having a matching domain extension is sure to help you get there. This may go without saying, but if you’re targeting a US-based audience then ‘.com’ is the most appropriate extension.

Search Console Settings
Your Search Console settings can and should be configured to indicate where you are located. According to Google, this is as important as having the right domain extension. With that said, make sure your domain extension and Search Console settings are in sync. To do so, go to Search Traffic -> International Targeting in Search console.

Other Important Local Search Tactics

Search Console and ccTLDs are key to helping you rank in a particular region of the world – but that only gets you part of the way to where you want to go. Ideally, you’ll want to narrow it down much further by ranking within a specific state, or microtargeting the specific city where you’re located.

There are a number of other local search tactics that can help get you there, and that’s what we’re going to cover in the next section.

On-Page Signals

As a site owner, you have the power to send on-page signals to Googlebot to help it learn what your site is about, which keywords it should rank for, and where your business is located. Here is an overview of several of the most important on-page signals.

Keywords On Page
One of the most effective ways to send on-page ranking signals is through the tactful use of keywords. I say “tactful” because the overuse of keywords could result in a Google penalty. When writing copy for your web pages, reference the name of your location Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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