SEO is NOT Dead…But The Rules Have Changed
The 3 C’s of Local Online Optimization
When Google moved over 80 million business listings from their Google Places platform to the new Google+ Local platform the changed the rules of local SEO and added in a much stronger social media component to local map rankings. Google Places was much more cut and dry with some general optimization required to move ahead of your competitors and gain prominent position.
Look at a businesses Google+ Local page and you’ll much more going on. Updates, pictures, videos, prominent reviews and conversations between the business and their customers and prospects are all part of this new social experience. The businesses who are improving their ranking and getting the best results out of their local SEO investments use what is has been referred to as the 3 C’s of local marketing:
A citation in this context is just a fancy word for where your business name, address, and phone number are mentioned around the web on other websites. Citations have always been important for local online marketing because Google and other search engines use them to confirm the accuracy of your business information. Generally speaking, the more citations you can get for your business, then higher you’ll rank in Google because Google will have more confidence in the accuracy of your business information.
As I mentioned above, Google Places was migrated over to be part of Google’s social media platform, Google+. Google is still ironing out all the kinks of this overhaul, but we can see that local SEO is clearly merging with social media. Community is now a factor in how your business is going to rank in the local results.
By community, I mean your Google+ Local followers, shares, +1′s, and to an ever growing extent… the number of reviews you have. The stronger and more active your business page is, the better.
This piece of the puzzle is actually great news to anyone already using content marketing for non-local search engine optimization. For traditional, non-local SEO, content has always been king. Now it’s even a factor in your local SEO rankings. Great content will get you more high quality links from other websites, it’ll help you build community on your Google+ Local page, and it’ll improve your Author Rank. All of this will in turn help you rank higher in the local results.