Pigeon and Squarespace SEO: Local SEO and Hyperlocal Content

Google Pigeon, Local SEO and Squarespace

Google Pigeon, Local SEO and Squarespace

Hyperlocal Content is more important than ever for local SEO due to Google's Pigeon algorithm update. 

Local SEO is critical to businesses with a defined market, and if you use Squarespace for your website, you can achieve a higher page if you use the following tactics. Hyperlocal content is the fuel that drives local SEO. Google's Pigeon algorithm update changes the way to write content and use on-page SEO. Google's Pigeon algorithm update is a move to makes their local search algorithm more similar to their web algorithm. It is vital to residential architects, design-build contractors, interior designers, and landscapers because local SEO is the way to get seen online by prospects in your specific market. If you are a Chicago based remodeling firm, having someone in Texas read your blog may help a bit with your overall SEO, but it isn't helping you win better clients in your area.

Since Pigeon's release a few years ago local search has taken on a whole new level of specificity and accuracy. Google's Pigeon algorithm reinforced their dedication to local search, but it also changed the way marketers need to approach it. To be effective, you need to break some long-standing habits. Let's explore some of these changes and how you'll need to approach local search optimization to take advantage of Pigeon.

Local SEO Changes For The Better...

Before Pigeon, searching Google and searching Google Maps often provided very different results. Pigeon addresses this. The algorithm is designed to connect web and map search in a much more cohesive way. As a result, Pigeon returns results that are similar to the page ranking results on Google.

The update gives users more specific results with local directory sites like Yelp, Urban Spoon, OpenTable, Trip Advisor and Zagat receiving higher visibility within search results. What this means for users and marketers is that Google has narrowed the geolocation function of the search to incorporate more focus on the distance calculations around a search.

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Google began this process with the Penguin algorithm release, before Pigeon. Rather than identifying cities as a single geographic entity, Penguin sliced cities into neighborhoods. Pigeon has taken this neighborhood approach to a higher level. Pigeon has improved the “distance and location ranking parameters” to offer increased specificity within “dense” neighborhoods, which they refer to an informal space. As a result, the algorithm returns better, more locally relevant search results that use both the “conventional” term for a local neighborhood and “colloquial” terms for the same neighborhood.

What this means for the users is that search results are delivered that are slightly outside of a search for a local neighborhood. For example, if you're in a city neighborhood like The Loop in Chicago, and looking for a condominium remodeler, but you're near the border of another neighborhood, like River North, your search results will include condominium remodelers that may be a short distance away in The Loop. This results in a more robust search set.

Ultimately, Pigeon has and will continue to give greater weight to local businesses that use neighborhood-focused keywords and citations.

Adjusting Your Approach To Local SEO

What this hyperlocal tightening of the algorithm means for businesses, is that to begin to rank better you will need to optimize your social profiles, citations and Google+ profiles to reflect a specific location within a neighborhood of a city not just the name of the city or region. Hyperlocal search optimization is the key today.

With algorithm changes focused on hyperlocal search here are a few things to keep in mind as you adjust your local SEO approach.

Neighborhood Names Where You Work

If your business is located in a larger city with neighborhoods, don't focus your online marketing and SEO efforts exclusively in your city anymore, always include neighborhood information as well. Project and portfolio pages are an ideal place to use the neighborhood names where your project is home improvement located. Use neighborhood names in H1 Title Tags and H2 subcategories and on Squarespace include the information in your page description.

NAP, Name, Address, and Phone Number.

NAP, Pigeon, Squarespace SEO, and Local SEO.png

Keep your name, address and phone information consistent. It's still just as important as it has ever been. Changing your NAP can cause more harm than good. On Squarespace, make certain you fill out your business information. To do this, log in to your Squarespace website, go to Settings and go to Business Information. Fill out all of the requested information. The next step is to go to Goggle Search Console click on Crawl, click on Fetch, and request a "Fetch and Render".

Your Neighborhood's Name

Use the neighborhood where your firm is located. See where you have the strongest geographical showing on results pages and capitalize on your presence there. This is your newly designated Google geographical environment, so get comfortable using your neighborhood name in blog articles as a firm description in your closing paragraph. You should also include your neighborhood in the content on your contact and about pages.

Alternate Neighborhood Names

Discover any alternate names for your neighborhood and use these in your online marketing. One challenge of Pigeon's geographical approach is that neighborhoods can have different names. What a local might refer to as “Uptown” may be the “Furniture District” to a visitor. Use both names in your marketing. This will get your business into search queries using either name.

Local Citations and NAP

Moz Local creates and maintains business listings with our partner sites, mobile apps, and directories that factor into local search engine results. Moz Local makes it easy to push business listings to the major data aggregators, plus other important sites and apps. You can use Moz Local to create and update your online business listings, manage your location information at any time and find/delete duplicate listings.
— Moz, Inc.

Finally, the days of putting your NAP (name, address and phone number) into every directory you could find to get a link and a bump in your ranking are pretty much over. Directories are still a factor in local SEO, but their role has shifted. When adding your NAP seek out the directories that are ranking highest. These can typically be found directly below the local packs in your search results. If you are slightly outside of the geographic area searched, listing your business in the top ranking directories will still give you a presence on those search result pages. To solve the problem of updating thousands of citations we strongly recommend using a service like Moz Local.  You can learn the importance of local citations here.

Pigeon is moving local search forward and continuously refining the way results are tabulated, and that's a good thing. To improve your local SEO on Google remember to focus your efforts on citations, NAP consistency, and reviews, but domain authority, content SEO and links are still important.

Local SEO is always in flux. Google recognizes that today, most queries for local search are coming from mobile devices and has adjusted their algorithm to reflect this new reality. To rank organically, you not only need to have your local SEO together, but you also need to make sure your website is responsively designed and enhanced.

My advice is “don't panic!” Even if you've disappeared from a local pack or aren't sure exactly what neighborhood you're business is a part of, it's ok. Take your time, adjust your local SEO approach and keep focusing on the basics of good marketing. Best practices and consistently publishing, reliable, relevant content will get you there, even if you don't have a complete understanding of Pigeon.

SEO Tips From A Squarespace Website Designer

About Michael Conway and Means-of-Production

If you need help with Local SEO or or just want advice on building a Squarespace website, we would like to help. Contact me at (603) 2789-6616 or email me at mc@means-of-production.com. I am a Squarespace Specialist and Squarespace Trainer who specializes in helping architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape firms get found on line and present their work in the best possible light.