Localizing On-Page SEO Elements

Written by: Jason Bayless | February 09, 2016

On-page location is important because Google, like all major search engines, factor in location data when displaying search query results. Search engines are updating their algorithms because online users typically add city or regional information when typing their search queries. There are also consumer movements that are pushing to buy local, support local economies and avoid major companies with poor social and environmental responsibility records. Here are four ways to optimize your website’s on-page location.

Algorithm vs. Analytics
Because Google pays close attention to website analytics, so do other search engines. Important analytics includes mobile, social media, click-through and call to action click rates. Website owners should adjust their website format and content to accommodate their target audience’s trends and preferences. Google’s web-crawlers intensively scrutinizes websites to ensure that online users will receive only the most relevant, highest quality results. On the other hand, websites also need to be localized for global audiences. According to Google, website owners must remain culturally sensitive to content translations, language variations and cultural faux pas. Google offers their customized Website Translator plugin for websites.

Consumer Reviews
Google is famous for continually rolling out updates to prevent website developers and business owners from manipulating standardized rules. For example, certain websites will continually add backlinks to their website in order to create the appearance of a popular website. In order to combat this, Google judges the relevancy of websites based on search algorithms and also consumer reviews that are ranked according to things like quality and velocity. If a few disgruntled publishes some damaging complaints, this may create potential problems. It is beneficial to request that satisfied customers create their own reviews. Regular positive consumer reviews will increase local SEO rankings and online traffic. Be sure to offer customers some kind of incentive for adding a review, such as exclusive online discounts.

On-Page Search Signals
There are certain on-page signals that cause high rankings with local searches. First, specific city or state pages are a must because individualized URLS and pages that are conveniently included in the sitemap will enable Google and other search engines to easily index and categorize the content. To illustrate, a health care organization that is spread across the country should group their providers by individual states and avoid going by name or specialty. By creating separate webpages for every locations, website owners can better customized and optimize local on-page elements, such as page titles and geo-specific content that is 100 percent unique. Avoid simply copying content from existing pages because this trigger a duplicate content from Google that will harm the overall search ranking. Finally, be sure to set up a Google+ Local because this will automatically increase search ranking results.

Business Signals
Business signals include things like geographic location and whether or not there are keywords in business titles. It is very important for businesses to streamline and standardize their NAPs, or names, addresses and phone number. NAP consistency across the whole website is extremely important. This means that the same format and details must be shared every time. Google offers their free My Business service that will automatically put the target business in search results and maps, which will provide timely information that consumers need to make potential purchase decisions. Be sure to select the correct business category tag so that Google will display the proper SERP results for the right searches. Avoid using PO boxes so Google Maps can provide an exact location and use a local number, not a toll free number.

Following the advice above will increase on-page SEO optimization and help push local and organic traffic in the right direction.