One of the very best positions to Rank in Google is the neighborhood maps results, which are generally shown just below the advertisements on a search page, just above the regular serps.
If you take an interest in SEO, you’re no doubt aware that 2016-17 has already seen some major updates in local SEO, and one of the outcomes of all these changes is that if you only have a single address from where you run your business, it’s now much tougher to rank in the local 3 Packs in Google in other suburbs.
The explanation for this is that the most important factor in the Google local algorithm now turns out to be the location of the searcher. The up side to this is that smaller less SEO wise firms now have a much better chance of being displayed in 3 packs because proximity to the searcher is something that cannot really be manipulated by an SEO.
HOW TO IMPROVE LOCAL RANKINGS
With this increased focus by Google in ranking local area results based on the position of the searcher, how can you increase the chances of ranking better in the Google 3 pack in your area?
One idea is to ensure that you focus your link building tasks locally. You should continually be trying to get good local links into your link profile and Google’s recent updates now make it even more advantageous than ever was previously the case.
WHERE DO YOU GO TO TRY TO FIND DECENT LOCAL LINKS?
One often neglected and reasonably easy resource for getting good local links is in the business directories of neighbourhood councils. Regional Councils are excellent places to get listed in for many reasons, the first of which is that your budget is not a concern, because they are usually free to be listed in.
These sites also tend to have excellent domain authority because they are usually on a regional council’s domain or are connected to by other local authorities with government domains. These regional listings also typically have strong validation procedures in place to guarantee organizations noted in the directory are definitely in their local area.
Google really likes Government domains. Websites on government domains are trusted by Google, so getting links to your website from these domains, or from websites linked to by these domains, forwards some of this trust to your site, which is very desirable and beneficial in raising your rank in Google.
WHAT DOES A GREAT LOCAL LINK LOOK LIKE?
So what does an outstanding local link look like? Click here to see a real example of a first-class regional council directory link.
This listing is a council web page in Victoria, Australia run by the Whitehorse City Council. It costs nothing to get this quality link and the council validates each listing and provides an independent profile page in the directory for each local company. This guarantees you actually get 2 links, one from a category page where you are listed with other nearby businesses (which is really outstanding for relevance) and another from a single profile page, which is the link shown in the example link above.
Getting a link on a single profile pages like this is fantastic since the only link from out of the page is the local business displayed on the page, which means all the authority on the page is passed to the local business.
HOW TO OBTAIN LINKS LIKE THIS
So how do you begin searching for desirable regional links like this in your area? A great place to start is by entering a series of easy search strings into Google based upon “the name of a regional council” + the term “directory site”. This will provide you with a list of potential council sponsored directories that you may well qualify to be noted in. When you’ve found these simply follow them up and apply for a link.