Published today in Local by James Parsons

Local SEO is rarely in the middle of the road.  Either your business maintains a monopoly and is largely uncontested, or there is incredibly fierce competition from all sites.  In either case, the end goal is to be ranked first amongst similar businesses in your location.  So why, you ask, is your site not ranking?
There are a number of factors, positive and negative, that may be keeping your site from the rankings.  Here are some of the most likely offenders.
Your Niche is Dominated by Directories
This is one of the most common offenders after the recent Google Pigeon update.  When someone searches for your niche, what they find is a series of business directories, such as the Yellow Pages, Yelp or Urban Spoon.  These directories may or may not have your website listed.  Typically, if you’re otherwise ranking perfectly, you’ll be four or five down on the list with these directories taking center stage.  However, if your geographic location has local directories – such as local review sites and newspapers – those directories will also likely outrank you.
Unfortunately, short of becoming one of the big dogs yourself, there’s no real way to beat those directories…

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