Guidelines For Winning With New York City SEO

Succeeding in search engine optimization(SEO) falls into two categories. First, there is the broad spectrum where your website is attempting to pull traffic from all corners of the internet. Second, there is the local spectrum that focuses on securing leads in your local area. The second category is often the most important for small brick and mortar businesses.

How to approach local SEO remains roughly the same for the majority of locations with some minor alterations depending on your specific city, audience, and business. For example, New York City SEO is slightly different than local SEO in Malibu. That being said, New York City and Malibu are both merely modifying proven local SEO guidelines to work with their specific location.

Following is a collection of sound SEO guidelines that you will need to understand if you want your New York-based business to succeed. Many of these New York City SEO guidelines have been adapted from existing and proven marketing techniques. Others required no adaptation at all because they are equally relevant no matter where your business is located.

Getting Listed

Appealing to a local New York audience requires being listed in all of the directories that they use the most. This includes a combination of general directories that all local businesses should use, such as Google, Yelp, and CitySearch, as well as directories that are specific to NYC. Specific NYC directories include Business Directory New York, NYBizList, and NYCTourist. Each of these directories requires registration for listing via their website. Finally, there are listings with government and state agencies, such as the Chamber of Commerce, which are essential as well.

Having your business listed in as many directories as possible is always beneficial for your local NYC SEO. Even if it is a very niche directory that doesn’t pull much traffic. The directories are almost always free, which means that any customers it attracts will be profitable.

Staying Updated

The only problem with creating additional listings in new directories is that you’ll have more information that you need to track. It’s critical that your information on these directories stay up-to-date. Google will check with the most extensive directories, such as Google Business and Yelp. If the business information from one site doesn’t agree with the others, then it’s going to hurt your credibility and your ranking.

The three most important pieces of information on these listings are your business name, address, and telephone number. These are collectively referred to as the business NAT. Google checks the NAT of your business explicitly on your website and all of the directories it considers essential. Any discrepancies in this information will hurt your business.

This means that if any piece of your NAT changes you must immediately update the information on all of your listings and your website. It can be a time-consuming process but should be considered mandatory. If you are willing to invest, there are companies as well as software packages that will keep this information updated for you.

Location Specific Domains

We’ve seen a surge in new domain types over the past few years. One of the best changes to come about was the ability to utilize location-specific domains. For New York City SEO you want to use the .nyc domain listing. These types of domains are specifically designed to help businesses target their local customers.

Ironically, Google has claimed that they don’t offer favoritism towards these local domain types. However, several experts have studied this claim and each time it has been revealed that local domain listings perform better in search rankings. It may not be Google giving them a ranking bonus, but something is undoubtedly causing these sites to perform better than similar sites with .com domains.

A .nyc domain is often a more affordable investment as well. The best .com domains have been purchased for a long time. It often requires bidding thousands of dollars to secure the domain that you want. However, these newer domain types still have a vast availability. You are far more likely to secure the domain that you want without forking over a lot of money.

Make Speed A Priority

This applies to all SEO in general, but the benefit is two-fold for New York City SEO. People are incredibly impatient and don’t want to spend more than 2 seconds waiting for a page to load. It doesn’t matter if there are great deals, cool videos, or awesome pictures on that website. If it takes too long, then the person will leave and find a similar website that loads faster.

It’s been said that New Yorkers can be some of the most impatient people in the country. This is indeed a broad generalization, but there is some truth in it. If the rest of the world wants their website to load in 2 seconds, then a New York-based website needs to load in less than 1.

Luckily, there are a lot of easy ways to increase the loading speed of your pages. The first is to cut away all of those excess page elements that are just slowing it down. Too many graphics, sounds, and videos may seem cool, but it’s only hurting your SEO efforts. Modern website design focuses on simplicity, speed, and user experience.

You can also take advantage of free tools like Google AMP to increase page load speeds on mobile devices. Most people searching for local businesses do so with their mobile phones. Fast loading times on smartphones is critical. The Google AMP project can help pages load up to four times faster in mobile browsers.

As an added benefit, Google gives a ranking bonus to any sites that use the AMP framework. Not only are you boosting speed and improving the user experience, but Google is going to help you climb the local rankings even faster. It’s a win-win situation.

The Key Elements

Speed, directory listings, updated NAT, and location-specific domains are all vital elements for succeeding with search engine optimization in New York City. And if you can’t manage these elements alone, you can always seek assistance from a professional SEO marketing firm in the city.