If you are a local business and hoping to rank well for relevant local search terms, it’s essential that you make it as easy as possible for Google to understand where you are located. Simply saying the words “NYC” on you homepage somewhere isn’t going to be enough for Google to understand that you are a business located in New York City. How do you make it easy for Google to understand your location? Well, there are several ways. Try to do as many of these as possible.
Google Local Listing
The easiest thing to do would be to get a verified Google local listing. If you are a legitimate business, all you need to do is fill out some basic information about your company. Then Google will send you a postcard that will help you get verified. Once you are verified, you will provide all the relevant details about your business. This means Google will understand your address/location.
It’s important to put your address on your website. From there, to make it really clear to Google what your address is, you should use markup from schema.org. This is special markup that gives search engines more information about the elements of your content. Google won’t automatically understand that an address written on a page is an address. Schema.org makes that very clear to Google, and as such, I would definitely recommend adding this markup to your website. You can even take things a step further and put in the exact geocoordinates of your business as well.
Image/Video File Metadata
If you have images or videos on your site, you can add location metadata to the images/video files. This would be in the “properties” section of the files. You can add location information in the title, comments, tags, etc. sections. This provides further indications of where your business is located.
Getting listed in citation sites like Yelp and Foursquare are also critical factors in making Google certain of your location. Try to get listed on as many of these types of sites as possible. The easiest way to do so would be to use Yext. Yext does all the heavy lifting for you. You just fill in your business information once and then you automatically get listed on a ton of different citations sites.
There are certainly other ways to help Google understand your location, but this should be a good start.