Recently there has been a great deal of discussion on the SEO forum’s and professional sites about how the Google Map rankings are changing.
We have been watching it very closely, and in a nut shell, the big difference between how you places account was ranked last year, and how they seem to get ranked this year is this:
Google places rankings now are based more on organic SEO than maps criteria. There are two elements that remain important that were and are unique to Places. First, and I know this sounds like I don’t have to say it, but you need to list your company in Google places if you are not there now, and fill out the profile with good categories. Two, the address of your business as it relates to the city center still is important.
After that, We use to add a bunch of known citation sites. Most of those don’t even show up as a citation any more, and many don’t even show up as a link. I wouldn’t forget citations, but I would down grade their importance a bunch.
Now it’s all about standard organic optimization. Get your home page up to speed (easy) and then add quality content to your site, and then add links from quality popular sites.
The best way we have found to determine how strong your site is (from an SEO prospective) is to use the free tool bar from www.seomoz.com If some or all of this is above your head, but you want to learn, SEOmoz is a great resource, as is SEO book and Majestic SEO.
Once you have it downloaded it will give you a Page Authority rank for any page you are on. It’s called PA and you need to see how the sites that are ranking above you ranked on PA, and then look at yours.
Many sites that have had very little attention will be around a 10 PA. In most local categories you will need a 25 to 40 PA for your site to get on the front page. You can learn how to add ranking to your site at any of the sites I listed above. I use the rule of thumb that you will need 10 hours SEO to get from 20-30, and 40 hours more to move from 30 to 40. If you follow with that logic you are looking at 120-160 hours to move from 40 to 50. And of course, if you are a beginner Triple the time, as you will be learning as you go.
Most SEO companies charge at least $100 to $150. an hour. If you do the math, you can then decide if SEO is viable option for your business. We have other options as well, including SEO management consulting, where we work with your employee to work through an SEO program. And we do the complete SEO programs for you as well.
If your interested in Doing your own SEO work, you may want to look at joining our Web Optimizers club. It makes your life easier