The Google 7 pack which use to be the 10 pack seems like it is shrinking every month. The 7 pack are the top local listings that show up when you query a local search. For a restaurant search you will actually only get the see the top 3 results.
This makes it extremely important to have your listings as optimized as possible. One major ranking factor for the 7 pack is local relevancy. Being relevant locally can give your business an extra boost over the competition because the search engines are looking for as much trust factor as possible. So, how do you build trust in your local area?
Building trust means being as relevant as possible. The easiest way to have your business screaming your locality is by making sure you are listed in local directories. These can be local business listings online for your city, county, or neighborhood. These directories do not pack as much authority as the big ones but they will establish your business in the community.
Connecting with the locals in your area through social media channels can benefit your business immensely. A local business page with Facebook will not only provide your business a solid citation, but it will give you the opportunity to build a local following. You can do this by targeting potential customers in your area through friend requests or utilizing the cheap FB ads.
Getting people to like your page will allow you the ability to interact or market your business later which is an added benefit. You can also use your Facebook wall to post upcoming event, sales or coupons. Most importantly, it will allow your followers the ability to share your posts with friends which can increase your reach.
Forums have always been a way for likeminded people to interact, this can also be used for businesses to reach customers as well. Creating a profile with a local based forum will provide your business a niche relevant link while giving you access to the people in your area that may need your services.
The internet has expanded the way news is delivered. You can take advantage of this by writing helpful articles that you can submit to your local newspaper or blog posts on other relevant business blogs. For instance, if you are a plumber, submitting an article for a home improvement blog in your city will give you some much needed exposure.
This last tip while a little technical is a very important step for getting your business noticed with the search engines. Schema format is a website text structure that makes it easy for search engines robots to read the important content on your site; most notably your address. Besides geo-targeting your entire website, adding the schema format will give you an advantage over the competition.
You can search online for how to properly format your site using schema or allow your webmaster to handle that for you. Either way, this is an important step that should not be left out when you are trying to let the search know your business is a local establishment. Following these steps will enhance your business chances of ranking in the top .
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