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Top 6 Local SEO Best Practices in the Philippines

Top 6 Local SEO Best Practices in the Philippines

Updated: September 23, 2016

When you are searching in the Philippines using Google, you will be automatically redirected to google.com.ph even if you only type google.com in your browser. They created this kind of algorithm to serve the most accurate and relevant results for Filipino users. For example, if you are searching for a coffee shop in Manila, Google will only show a list of coffee shops in Manila, Philippines not in Manila, Utah.

Here are six effective ways on how to rank well in local search.

1. Create a Google My Business Page

Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and list your business there. But before doing so, make sure that your business meets their guidelines and it has a mailing address or serves customers at its location(s). You will need to verify it first before it shows up on Google maps and search results.

Create a Google My Business Page

To increase its visibility in Google search results:

  • provide all the required information such as business name, address, contact info, category, and business hours and a short intro about your business (Google are not allowing users to edit business description field since August 1, 2016)
  • add a nice profile photo (business  logo), a cover photo (storefront) and upload lots of public photos to showcase your products or services
  • add a descriptor to your business name (ex. Laba Pa More - Laundry and Dry Cleaning)
  • encourage your satisfied customers to give you positive reviews on your listing
  • always update your page with your latest promos, new products/services or latest updates about your business
  • it's highly recommended that you respond to every review that you will receive even to negative ones

Since Google My Business pages are usually listed above the standard search results, your site will definitely receive more traffic and more leads.

If you search "dry cleaning services" on google.com.ph using a Metro, Manila IP address, you will notice three listings displayed on the first page of standard search results. That’s how your listing will look like on SERPs.

Search Results

2. Submit Your Website to Local Business Directories

List your website to high-quality and relevant Philippine-based business directories such as Yellow-Pages.ph, Yelp and FourSquare. Just make sure that you will use the same business Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) found on your site and Google My Business page.

3. Use Geographically Targeted or Local Keywords

Make sure that you are using local/geo-targeted keywords on your website. Use Google keyword planner when looking for the best keywords. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner and log in using your Gmail.
  2. You will be redirected to a page where you have to put your product or service and the target location. Hit the blue button at the bottom when you’re done. Take note that you can use your target region or city instead of just using Philippines in the location field.

  3. Keyword Research for Local SEO
    Click the Image to Enlarge

  4. After you click on the 'Get Ideas' button, you will see a page that contains 'Ad group ideas'. You'll need to go to 'Keyword ideas' for you to see the recommended words and phrases and their average monthly searches. No need to look at the 3rd to 6th columns. Just choose the most relevant ones with decent amount of monthly searches and put them in an excel sheet.
  5. The last thing you should do is to remove the keywords that return search results littered with popular websites or big brands. These are highly competitive keywords and ranking for them will take forever especially for those with new sites.

    Let’s say I am running a restaurant located in Metro Manila and I want to incorporate food delivery into my business. I will probably use "fast food delivery" as one of my target keywords because it has an average monthly search of 70 (which is a good number for me) and most of the sites showing up on the first page of google.com.ph for that search term are not that popular and not optimized for search engines.

The key here is to strategically insert your target City/Region together with a relevant keyword within the landing page:
  • Title
  • Meta Title and Description
  • H1 tag
  • URL
  • Content
  • Image alt attributes

4. Earn Inbound Links from Philippines-based Websites

Ask other Filipino website owners or bloggers within the same industry to link to your site. Of course, that will be easy if you have an informative and content-rich site. You can politely ask them to include your site in their resources page or feature your site in one of their future publications.

To increase your chances of winning their trust, tell them that you will also do the same for them. Or you may want to befriend them first before asking them for a favor – comment on their blog posts regularly or add them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and interact with them (use your personal account).

5. Implement Schema.org Markup

Place your business NAP in the footer section of your website and mark it up with schema.org markup data. Here is the code:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
<p itemprop="name">BUSINESS NAME</p>
<p itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
<span itemprop="streetAddress">STREET ADDRESS</span>
<span itemprop="addressLocality">CITY</span>,
<span itemprop="addressRegion">REGION</span>
<span itemprop="postalCode">POSTAL CODE</p>
<p itemprop="telephone">PHONE NUMBER</p>
<meta itemprop="latitude" content="LATITUDE" />
<meta itemprop="longitude" content="LONGITUDE" />

Just replace the text in bold with your business details.

If you don't know how to get the latitude and longitude of an address on Google maps, right-click the marker on the map and click 'What's here? (Anong mayroon dito?)'.

What's here option in Google Maps

A box like this will appear at the bottom of the screen with this data - latitude is on the left side and longitude is on the right.

get latitude and longitude of an address on Google Maps

6. Set a Geographic Target in Google Search Console

Sign into Google search console using your Gmail and add your site by clicking on the red button (ADD A PROPERTY) at the upper right corner, and verify ownership of your site. If you're done, go to the dashboard and click 'International Targeting' under 'Search Traffic,' and then choose 'Philippines' as your target location.

NOTE: Don't do this if you want to serve other Filipinos living outside the country.

Set a Geographic Target in Google Search Console
Click the Image to Enlarge
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