• http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    BTW, the original title was “Why Should SMBs Invest in SEO When Their Websites Suck?” Apparently the “10 Simple Things” thing has more viral potential than “Suck”… #editors

  • http://twitter.com/jennyhalasz Jenny Halasz

    Sage words from a search marketing sage. Thanks, Andrew!

  • http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    My buddy @jonahstein reminded me to also include maps & directions

  • http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/ Linda Buquet

    Great points Andrew!

    Wanted to bring up a problem I often see on SMB sites and it pertains to #1. Yes. put number at top of page and you should also have name, address, phone in footer of every page.

    HOWEVER, in addition to customer calls the reason this is important for SEO, is to help Google match up the site and G+ Local page so you can rank in local.

    So the phone # must be in a format Google can read and understand. She often does not interpret 555-222-1234 or 555.222.1234 correctly in maps. And she certainly does not interpret 555-for-DEALS as a phone #. Plug #s in those formats into Google maps and she chokes. She either says “do not understand that location” or shows you weird results from Israel. So always list your number on your site in standard phone format. (555) 222-1234.

    Phone is one of the most important parts of NAP, so you do not want to risk having her not be able to read your NAP correctly.

    I always say the local algo is like a kindergartener playing a match game. ;-) She often gets confused, so you need to feed her really clean data – to help ensure she matches things up right.

  • Sharon Oakley

    I think I like the original title better! And #9, doesn’t seem like rocket science, but apparently is. So many 2010 copyrights running around out there.

  • http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    one of these days it will be a law that all websites will come with automatic copyright updating

  • http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    Great points Linda. I tried to stay away from SEO recommendations in this post, but might as well bake it in right.

  • http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    I always say the local algo is like an advanced pre-K kid – it does some amazing things that seem genius, but it’s also prone to dropping its diapers and ruining your carpet, puking up the strained peas on your new clothes, etc.

  • http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/ Linda Buquet

    ROFL good one Andrew! I added your original post to the Local Search Forum but going there now to add your analogy. All my regulars that read my kindergartener comments all the time will really appreciate it!

  • http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/ Linda Buquet

    Ya I know. But it’s a pet peeve of mine so I had to throw it in there.

    I’m troubleshooting trying to help folks with local all day. Copy phone off the site to try to find their listing and Google replies back with “Bleep stupid, can’t find that phone #” so then I have to strip out the dashes or periods and reformat.

  • http://www.radicalmustache.com/ Mikel Zaremba

    I’d like to add to the phone number thing. Most local biz websites are viewed from a mobile device and many times these numbers are not encoded to compensate for the “click to call” function, so the user is left with either copy and pasting, trying to memorize, or writing it down.

  • http://www.radicalmustache.com/ Mikel Zaremba

    If you built on WordPress (I’m a WP junkie) than just make sure this is in your footer:

    Copyright © 20013 –

    It’s the closet we can get until Kurt Russ… err, I mean Wyatt Earp establishes LAW!

  • http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/ Linda Buquet

    Another great point Mikel.

  • http://www.radicalmustache.com/ Mikel Zaremba

    ah dang i didn’t do it right and the code didn’t show. sorry guys.

  • http://www.erbeckercompany.com/ Ellie Becker

    This is a fabulous tip. And I love that you characterized Google as ‘she’! I’d love to subscribe to your blog.

  • http://twitter.com/i_praveensharma Praveen Sharma

    “chick sitting on the floor with a laptop raising both arms in triumph” … most annoying thing you could see on any website. It simply convey one message to the visitor – ‘The website is fake, so the owner’.

  • http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/ Linda Buquet

    I only call the Google LOCAL algo a she. That’s because she’s unpredictable, fickle and oh so hard to please! LOL.

    FYI I don’t publish much on my blog any more. My forum RSS feed is the one to grab because it has best content from the local search community.

  • http://www.touchpointdigital.net/ David Deering

    I agree with all 10 things, especially numbers 3 and 4. Your site should focus on creating content for your readers, which means sharing and teaching, not selling. The sales will come after you’ve given your visitors solid reasons to trust you. And stock images on websites have to go. Of course, we all might have to use one from time to time, but 99% of our images should be original. Stock photos just send the message that you’re fake and you’re just attempting to look real and professional. Because everybody knows that the group of 4 very good-looking, well-dressed people at the office smiling at the camera in the perfectly-taken picture do not really work for you.

  • 4u2discuss

    Well this is so true, but most people are very forgetful about policies and policy guidelines, which in the case of search engines regarding phone numbers , is that phone numbers should always be typed in digits as as you would dial them.

    International numbers for sites out side the USA should always quote both local numbers and the international number with a + sign in front of their complete international number. examples is +27725055111 (international number) and 0725055111 (South African local number)

    As you say avoid dashes, dots and any separators in online phone numbers as this can cause confusion in phones as they try to interpret your number.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    All the SEO in the world can’t save a terrible website. What good is sending quality traffic to your site if your site isn’t ready for them? You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a decent website either.

  • Justin Sous

    Awesome list, Andrew.

    I’d also like to suggest that if it’s a storefront business, include a photo of the building/store/restaurant! I’m finding this makes it easier for Google’s outsourced team to match listings with the right authoritative document (aka the website). They’ll know for sure you have a legit business where customers can visit your office to do business with you. It can’t hurt!

  • http://twitter.com/CXthecloud CX

    Really great post, Andrew! It’s easy to forget the basics sometimes when you’re worried about other things–the points in here are great reminders of what to include!

  • http://www.baldydog.com/ Adam Donkus

    Great advice Andrew..I especially love number 10. I have too many SEO clients that don’t do squat to their sites, but continue to spend monthly.

  • http://twitter.com/Kenjisano Kenji 建治

    What is an SMB?

  • http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    Small/Medium-Sized Business

  • Lolita Sheriow

    Yeap I like the original title better as well : )