Search engines such as Google are continually improving the way they create their search results. They’re increasingly making sure that the results they show their users are relevant and in context to what they’re looking for. One of these improvements is local search.
If you’re a business in Johannesburg, you’ll be smart to jump onto the possibility of having your website ready to not only be found on Google but placed in front of people who could literally live next door.
You may be wondering if this simply means putting the word “Johannesburg” all over your website. Not quite. You see, search engines like Google are trying to move away from the old “black hat” tricks and really provide the user with what they’re looking for. Moz did a survey with industry experts about the ranking factors that affect search results. The two factors that stand out (other than domain authority) is quality inbound links and consistency.
Let’s have a look at each one separately.
Quality Inbound Links
Quality inbound links is probably one of the most important ranking factors for search engines. The emphasis must be placed on quality. Having a lot of poor-quality links will not give you better search results.
Even having one reputable website link to your blog will do more than any purchased inbound link will ever do.
The next factor is quite an important factor for great search results. Google wants to see consistency in addresses on your website, on Google and most likely social media platforms as well.
I would highly recommend not alternating between “Jo’burg”, “Jozi” and “Johannesburg” in your business address found across the digital landscape. This also includes your phone number (watch out for the international dialing codes like +27 being used in only some places) and the name of your company. Yes, Google will negatively score your website if your name is spelt differently across your website.
Free Tip: If you haven’t already, get your business listed on Google Maps and Apple Maps. Not only will this create a better user experience (especially for people using Apple devices and the built in calendar app) but search engines will appreciate the time you’ve taken to help your user.