As you probably know, a high local search ranking means more business for you. Everybody now uses Google to find local businesses. Who opens the Yellow Pages to search for local businesses anymore?
This is even truer today. People now search from their smartphones and tablets while out and about; they don’t have to be by their desktop computers to search anymore.
In fact, more searches are now done from smartphones and tablets than from desktops, and many of these searches are to find local businesses.
So, how can you ensure that your business gets a high local search ranking from Google?
Optimize Your Local Search Ranking on Google By:
1. Claiming Your Listing on Google My Business
Google My Business is a free account for businesses. Google likely already has listed your business. Claiming your listing signals to Google that your business is live. So go find your business on Google My Business and claim it before someone else does!
Google will then display your business higher in its search results over those have not claimed their business yet, which is most businesses! It’s estimated that 60%+ of businesses have not yet claimed their listing, so you will be ahead of your competition in local search.
2. Optimizing Your Business Information on Google My Business
Once you’ve claimed your Google My Business listing, fill out your business information. Make sure you fill your business name, address and phone (“NAP”), hours, description, directions with many pictures of your business. This information is typically what people look for to decide whom to do business with, so fill out this information as fully as possible.
This, along with customer reviews, backlinks to your website, social media follows and likes, keywords, visitor behaviour on your website, website page speed and mobile friendliness that can’t go into detail here, is what Google uses to measure your business’ web presence. The more web prominent you are, the higher your local search ranking will be on Google.
3. Take advantage of Google Reviews
One of the most important considerations people use to decide whom to do business with are customer reviews.
Next to recommendations from friends, people trust reviews. This is provided businesses have at least 6 to 10 reviews and that the reviews are recent and updated frequently (i.e., within 6 months).
Google recognizes this and has Google Reviews for this.
Google will display your average rating out of 5 stars in your Google listing, once you’ve reach its threshold 6 to 10 Google reviews. Google may even increase your local search ranking to the point you’re featured in it’s coveted local three pack, as shown for example, in the local search result for “Italian restaurant”:
Being featured on the Google Local Three Pack is a great advantage. People will more likely click on your listing if its in the three pack, especially if you have more Google Reviews over the others in the pack.
Thus you should have a system to get reviews after each sale to maximize reviews of your business. This will increase your local search ranking and ultimately, your sales.
If nothing else, at least get your customers to leave you reviews on Google Reviews since Google tends to show their reviews first in its local search results over other reviews, like Yelp’s.
If you’d like more explanation on improving your local search ranking, here’s further information from Google My Business itself.
You now know how to improve your local search ranking using Google My Business. What are your thoughts on this post? Are there any other ways to improve your local search ranking that we’ve missed?
If you have any comments or questions, please write them below. We welcome and appreciate your opinion! Free consultation is also available if you like to talk in detail about this or any other web-related subject.
Watch for our next post on how to create professional videos of your business by yourself in less than 20 minutes! Steven Spielberg not required!