About 80% of businesses online have a physical address and should have an hCard on the site, at the very least on the contact page. Why? An hCard is like a business card and testing is showing thet Google Places uses it as an indicator. The hCard uses the microformat vCard syntax to create a citation on the webpage to a physical address, preferably identical to the one that is in Google Places, Localeze, or InfoUsa.
Why Do We Like It?
Using microformat syntax does not affect the way anything looks on the webpage, in fact many webmasters will hide the hCard on the webpage using a style tag (display: none). The typical vCard syntax adds the class markup tag to help the search engines understand which part of the address it is reading. In the example below you can see that there are references to street-address, locality, region, and postal-code. An easy way to check that you have created a properly formatted hCard is to install an add-on like the Firefox add-on Operator, this has saved me some time, and it will also export a valid Keyhole (KML) file, which I’ll get to in a later post.
Example: (from http://www.aoinstitute.com)
The only Required field is fn, which stands for ‘Formal Name’. Note that the A Href does not have any text.
Here is a list of the attributes that are used for addresses, and local optimizing:
- fn – Formal Name
- n – Additional name, honorific prefix, or honorific suffix
- org – Organizational Name
- adr – Address, the full address should be nested inside an adr record
- locality – City
- region – State
- postal-code – ZipCode
- geo – Latitude, Longitude
- url – Website Link
- tel – Telephone (see note below)
tel – Telephone numbers cannot have letters, ex. +1-555-seofirm has to be converted to +15557363416. Use the abbr if you still want to show the alphanumeric version on the website, ex +1-555-SEOFirm
Additional ‘Fake’ Examples:
Sucklin's JeansWorkPhone: 1-732-548-3454 Work Phone: 1-732-SUCKLIN574 Inman AveEdison, NJ 08840United StatesEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether the hCard becomes mainstream within the next year is hard to tell, but don’t sit around and wait for Google to say, “We are using this as an indicator” before you implement it. Do it now and get it out of the way because I have seen a strong indication that it is being used already.
If you don’t want to write them from scratch you can use one of the hCard creators online, mine will be available shortly.