For some, there is little variance in their organic and local SEO strategies. If the maps rankings you are trying to secure mirror the organic rankings, this can work out just fine.
However, if the map pack you are aiming for does not mirror the organic results, a few tweaks can dramatically decrease the time it takes to break into the top 3 map spots. Today, we are going to look at three ways to accelerate your progress when working with a disconnected map pack.
For the sake of clarity, a "disconnected map pack" is one that does not mirror the organic results. If #1-3 in the maps match #1-3 in organic, you do not have a disconnected map pack. If the sites in the map results are not the same ones ranking organically, you do have a disconnected map pack.
Now that we have that out of the way, lets get to it.
1. Press Releases
Press releases for organic SEO purposes only are a dated strategy. If you have something newsworthy and you reach out to real new sources directly, that can be a different story though. For the sake of local SEO, press releases can still work well.
As you may recall, the issue Google had with PRs is that they were meant to create numerous links from a single piece of content, much like article directories of the past. When it comes to local SEO, you are not looking for links from a PR though, you are looking for unstructured citations and geo-relevant brand mentions, both of which help Google confirm that you are located where you say you are. To be on the safe side, you should use no follow links in these PRs and when possible, mention your GMB or embed a map to your business for the extra boost.
2. Geo Networks
We touched on these before in our local SEO link building guide from a few weeks back, along with some other effective local link tactics. As previously mentioned, the point of these networks is very simple, to create geographical relevance. This can be achieved with city/county "lifestyle" blogs, with city specific social media profiles, and even with free blog platforms, so long as they are fully built and get frequently updated.
This strategy can be applied very effectively in two specific cases. If your business is filtered (Possum) and if you are just outside of the main city you are trying to rank in.
3. Map Embeds
Google My Maps is a free tool that will allow you to create, share, and embed custom local maps. In creating these, you can also add a lot of information such as:
- Business NAP Data
- Links to Your Website
- Links to Social Media
- Other Local Business
- Long Form Content
This means that you could create a map that links to your top social profiles, your top citations sources, your city specific landing page, and that these links could be surrounded by location optimized text. What's more, you can then take these maps, and share (embed) them, boosting their authority, much like a YouTube video.
Using the other two tactics, you could include your local optimized map in your press release as a point of reference for people looking for your storefront and you could include it on your geo-network as well. There are a lot of creative ways you could share and boost each map, you could even start showing up on maps that other people create in your area...
Anyway, if you are a local SEO service provider, I think you get the gist. If you are a local business, keep it simple and you can still pull ahead of the competition using the three simple tactics discussed above.