Ok fellow local SEO experts, time to come to the table and show your cards. We all understand how important local SEO is to our small and “nationally local” clients. Heck, we all wait with bated breath for David Mihm & the folks at Moz.com to release the local ranking factors. (Thanks @davidmihm!) As a matter of fact, Chuck Finley at Cre8asite Forums says, “For those of you that are interested in tapping into Local, this is the Bible. It’s all in there!” And it is!
Mike Blumenthal has an amazing group of individuals in LocalU that travel from town to town bringing a solution for small business owners to learn everything they wanted to know about understanding Google Places & local search. Everyone in the local SEO space follows (or should follow) Andrew Shotland’s Local SEO Guide or uses local tools like BrightLocal, Local Search Tool and services like Yext or Local Site Submit.
What About The Title Tag
So with all these resources and tools available I find it very interesting that every time I ask a fellow SEO expert how they write a title tag for a company trying to rank locally, I get different answers. Moz.com tells us the optimal format for title tags are:
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
Brand Name | Primary Keyword and Secondary Keyword
But what about local SEO for small businesses trying to rank locally?
What About The City Name
Does the city name go in the primary AND secondary keyword? Does the city name go in the front of the title tag? Does it go at the end of the title tag? Do you even add it to the title tag? What if there are 3 keywords like Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning that are equally important to a client? Does the title tag look like this:
Dallas Plumber – Dallas Air Conditioner Repair | ABC Home Services
Plumber – Air Conditioning Repair | ABC Home Services in Dallas, TX
But wait! I am missing a keyword the client wants to rank for on his index page so is it this:
Dallas Plumber – Air Conditioning Repair | Heater Repair | ABC Home Services
Shoot! This example is 76 characters. Now what? What keyword do I drop? So many decisions…
What About The Keywords
What about the services they offer? Does the title tag start with the service or city name? What if there is more than one service for which they want to rank? What if their service is not the best keyword? What if the keyword is in the company name? What if it isn’t?
What About The URL Structure
Do we put the city and keyword in the url like/plumbing-repair-dallas-tx or not? Some SEO experts I spoke with like the following with the city being in a services area. This may be good if they are trying to rank for other cities. For example: /service-area/dallas/plumbing-repair but is the main keyword too far back in the URI?
So let’s pretend we have a local Dallas, TX plumbing, heating and air conditioning company. Let’s call this company ABC Home Services and the url is www.abchomeservices.com. This client wants to rank for all of their services locally in the Dallas area. Obviously the title tag, H1’s and URL structure have to have local identifiers so my question to all of you local SEO enthusiasts is…wait for it…How Would You Do It?
Come on internet marketers and SEO experts please take the local SEO poll and let me know. You will be anonymous, and my hope is to post the answers for your review soon…