How to Rank in Local Search Results
Every small business owner wants to be the first search result Internet users see when they search for a place to get their hair cut or eat authentic Italian food. Most users never click beyond the first page of Google, so landing on the first page is the goal. If you're not ranking in local search results, then this article is a must-read for you. It will teach you how to rank in local results.
Google Lets You Know Their Most Important Ranking Factors
Google's original page on how to rank in local search results was five paragraphs long but has recently been updated with more information. All small business owners should know the information on this page to stay at the top of their game. It could make the difference between having your website show up on the first page of Google and not being anywhere to be found through Google.
Verify Your Location
One of the first things you should do, if you haven't already, is verify your location with Google. When Google knows where your business is located, it will display your business to users. Would you rather tell someone about a business with an unknown location or one with a known location? Obviously, the answer is the latter. Another reason you should verify your location is to ensure only you have access to your business information.
The Local 3-Pack
When an Internet user searches for places near their location, Google will display the top three businesses for that search term. This is referred to as the local 3-pack. Because the local 3-pack is what searchers see first, you want your business to be in the lucky three. To improve your local rankings in Google, update your business information under Google My Business.
Why It's Important to Enter All of Your Business's Information
Relevancy is a key factor that determines whose business shows up on the first page of Google. In order for Google to match your business with search terms that users are typing into the search engine, it needs to know various things about your business. Therefore, you have the best chances at getting top rankings when you fill out all of your business's information on Google My Business. Update the information whenever your business changes as well, so that it stays accurate and relevant.
Stay on Top of Business Hours Information
Remember to update your business hours to reflect holidays and other temporary changes in the hours your business is open. This is to prevent customers from becoming frustrated if they show up at your store only to see that it's closed when it was supposedly open according to Google.
Reply to Reviews About Your Business
Another way to improve your rank in local search results is to reply to reviews about your business. If you provide a polite response to someone who's unhappy with your service, that person will sometimes change their review to a positive one, especially if you worked something out with them. Even if they don't change their review, others looking at the page will like that you take the time to address problems instead of ignoring everyone.
Upload Photos of Your Business
People are more inclined to visit a business that shows pictures of its building and interior over a business that doesn't have images uploaded because they will know what to expect. It gives them a greater feeling of security and reduces anxiety. If you sell products, also include images of your goods, so that customers know what to expect. If you need professional photos or videos for your business, please contact us with details as we're happy to help!
In order to rank in local search results, you must utilize Google My Business. This feature allows small business owners to accurately portray their business while giving it a greater chance of showing up on the first page of Google for relevant search terms. Google needs to know where your business is located, what it's typical operating hours are, and when your hours change for holidays or special events in order to serve Internet users. Google is the modern-day yellow pages. If you don't have your information listed in Google My Business, you're invisible.
Contact us for additional help with ranking in local search results and staying there.