So, you think you’ve done everything right, but you’re still not showing up or ranking well on Local Google search results?
As you know, the local listings are those handy results that appear alongside a map at the top of the results page, which show you the 3 top ranked businesses applicable to your search that are close in proximity to you.
Within this mobile age, this has become the go-to section for users after making a search, so it makes sense to want to have your business show up here. But, there are a few hurdles that can prevent this from happening, so today we’re going to explain what influences these results and what you can do about it.
One of the obvious and main influences is proximity. However, whether your business shows up on the results depends on the number of competitors around you and how well you rank in relation to them. So even if the searcher is very close to you, you can’t depend on this; you need to have all the other factors down packed!
Which category you select for your business will highly influence its ranking. If you find that your current category isn’t helping you, we suggest looking at your top competitor’s categories and selecting the same ones as them (given they are still applicable to your business). In doing so, the aim is to join their game and try and outdo them in other factors.
Also note, selecting too many categories can confuse Google, so keep it concise and to the point.
Physical address counts
If you share the same primary address as your competitor, this won’t help your case! Remember, Google does not factor in suite address numbers either, so if you can help it, try and differentiate in some way, such as changing your category. When competing businesses share the same address or are very close in proximity, the more trusted links will be the ones that rank.
When a range of professionals share the same address, such as different doctors at a medical centre, Google will only display the most trusted links so that one business does not dominate the results page. In this way, practitioners at the same business end up competing with one another. To help this, each practitioner should be under a separate category, e.g. Defence Lawyer or Family Lawyer, and should have different landing pages on the business’ website, and different phone numbers if possible.
Take note of what competitors are doing right
Aside from these broad factors, there are many other metrics that go into play. Have a look and evaluate what exactly your competitors are doing on Google Maps, Google+, Google my Business, and even do a SEO site audit of their site.
How are their Google+ descriptions? Do they have more detailed GMB profiles? Do they have more and better reviews than you? Is their business clearly listed on more online directories than yours?
Take note of these little signals, understand their game, and outdo them!
Other important factors!
Reviews are super important. If possible, proactively ask your clients to review your business, whether it be on Google+ or Facebook. Google uses these metrics to understand your business’ worth.
Show Google that you’re active online and providing useful information to your customer base. Posting special offers and making quality interactions is a very good metric that’ll help you show up in local searches. But remember: never spam, keep it quality over quantity!
Keep your Google my Business profile current, relevant and updated. Update your holiday opening times, upload new photos of your venue and your services, and include online booking features if possible. Optimize your profile and make it convenient and helpful to your customer base. Google will recognise this!
Engagement is predicted to be the main influential factor for ranking in the future years leading up to 2020. This is because engagement is seen as a more trusting and accurate signal of a business’s worth online.
So, strive to be more engaging!
Add more Google+ posts, respond to reviews, include online booking features, send instant messages and utilise the Q&A feature.
Even though it’s a complicated game, refining these small details and learning from successful competitors can make a big difference and give you a greater chance of being listed!