As should be the case with any SEO professionals, we’re constantly on the lookout for new information and ideas that can aid us in helping our clients improve their results. While at a recent event, we had the luxury of speaking with Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Pierre Far.
The conversation sparked us into looking further into Google itself as a source of knowledge for how best to “win” at the local SEO game.
From live conversations to published tips, blogs and videos, we’ve gleaned some useful insights from a variety of Google employees. While each person looked at local SEO from a different angle, there were two very consistent themes that emerged over and over again.
Following is a summary of these two themes with some specific ways to achieve them.
1. Be Findable
This might sound like a “duh” item, but it just cannot be stressed enough, in part because there may be so many different ways to ensure that a particular business is actually findable online. Some things that should be utilized to increase findability include:
Create Schema Markup
Pierre Far pointed out that schema markup itself is not a ranking factor but that it is critical for its ability to affect other ranking factors, namely the crawlability of a site.
Schema markup makes content easier for search engines to parse and index, therefore improving the chances that it will get noticed appropriately.
Leverage XML Sitemaps and Atom/RSS Feeds
Similar to schema markup, these sitemaps and feeds optimize sites for search crawling. Google Feeds Team member Alkis Evlogimenos recommends adding the URL of any new or significantly changed page to these, along with the time that a modification was made. To disseminate information broadly and efficiently, he recommends using the PubSubHubbub protocol to indicate that a feed has been updated.
Look Beyond Websites
In a <a class="colorbox" rel="nofollow" href="http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2014/10/bring-your-local-business-online-no.html" …read more