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Local SEO for Edmonton & Alberta based Small Businesses – 3 Great Tips!

As I mentioned in an earlier post about a year ago (which you probably didn’t read :P), Local SEO is about optimizing your website, and Google+ page for local search results. Over the last year the landscape has changed. Google has gone through several algo updates, and they even changed their local platform from Google Places to Google+ Local. One thing that hasn’t changed however, is Google’s ability to provide relevant search results based on your location in order to show you results it thinks you want to see. Are you located in Red Deer looking for a dentist? Google will likely display local listing results closer to the top with addresses and phone numbers attached to each listing.

Having success with Local SEO is much the same as having success with organic SEO. Just like link building, we build citations which are ‘the links’ of the Local SEO world. Citations are considered a ‘vote’ towards the consolidation of your companies business information.

NAP Consistency

Local SEOGoogles new local search platform, Google+ Local, farms information in Canada typically from the Yellow Pages, so this is where most local businesses should start. The Yellow Pages creates an online directory listing using your phone number, and address from the Yellow Pages book. If this information is incorrect, Google will typically create an unclaimed Google+ Local page based on this listing which puts you off to a bad start.

First, call the Yellowpages and get them to update your listing (you may even need to call your service provider, such as Telus). Wait the 6-10 days for the listing to get updated, and either use Google Map Maker to create your new listing, or claim the incorrect listing and update your information. It’s important to change the Yellow Pages listing first, as this can cause NAP confusion and constantly create unclaimed listings based on the old incorrect address.

Super important questions the Adster team asks a client when undergoing a new Local SEO project:

1. Has your business changed names, phone numbers or addresses?

2. Have you created any directory listings for your business already?

3. Do you have access to the listings you claimed? Check out our Top 10 Canadian Citations for small businesses.

Adster’s Top 3 Local SEO Tips

1. Use Rich Snippets (micro data, micro formats) to tell Google EXACTLY what your business name, phone number and address are.

2. Try not to abbreviate your company when posting on important directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages and 411. The key to Local SEO is to be as consistent as possible.

3. When building citations for Local SEO, check your competition. If they have 20 quality citations and you put in an order for 400 – Google tends to look at this as a spam signal. Generally Canadian cities (with the exception of Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal) aren’t as competitive as the United States, so typically 20 – 50 citations (depending on your competitors) will be enough to win online.