Six Tips to Improve Your Local Search Ranking Using Google My Business

SEO
Google my Business graphic

Local
search simply means that your business shows up in the search engine results
when prospective customers in your area are looking for your solutions.

For
example, let’s say that your business provides 24/7 air conditioner repair
services in Sarasota, Florida. When prospective customers in your local
marketplace are drenched in sweat because their air conditioner has broken
down, you want them to find your business when they head to Google (or Bing or
Yahoo).

Local Searchers =
Motivated Customers

What’s
more, research has shown that people who perform local searches — either as individual
consumers, or as employees on behalf of a business — are typically further
along the buyer’s journey than people who conduct national or international
searches. In simpler terms: folks who limit their search to local businesses
often need to solve a problem (or achieve a goal) quickly; especially if
they’re on a mobile device.

Here
are some compelling statistics:

  • 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase. (Source: TMP/comScore)
  • 74% of internet users conduct local searches. (Source: Kelsey Group)
  • 61% of local searches lead to a purchase. (Source: Search Engine Watch)

6 Tips to Boost Your
Local Search Ranking

To
boost your local search ranking, the best place to start — and this shouldn’t
surprise anyone — is with Google. According to Search Engine Watch, nearly 60% of
people use Google each month to find at least one local business, and for many
people the number is much higher.

Google’s
local search platform is called “
.” If your business isn’t showing up for relevant searches
in your area (e.g. overheated people in Sarasota searching for “air conditioner
repair in Sarasota”), then here are six tips to help you shine a brighter local
spotlight on your business — and ultimately generate more qualified leads that
convert into profitable, loyal customers:

1.    
Enter all of your
business information.

In the
past, if you were busy and skipped over certain sections/fields when setting up
your Google My Business page, then now’s the time to go back and fill in the
gaps. Or, if you outsourced this to a web developer or agency, they might have
skipped sections. Unfortunately, this happens quite a bit.

While
all information is important here, among the most crucial are your address and
your products/services. That’s because Google relies on distance, relevance and
prominence to determine relative rank order (we take a closer look at prominence
in tip #6).

2.    
Verify your
location.
 

Google
wants to make sure that businesses are legitimately in the area where they
claim to be — otherwise, for example, a business that is really based in
Chicago or Las Angeles could pretend to be local for customers in Atlanta or
Dallas.  

If you
haven’t yet verified your location, doing so is easy and free. You can choose
to do this by postal mail, or you may be able to verify via phone or email.

3.     Make sure your
business hours are accurate.

Many businesses claim to be open 24/7/365, because in
a sense they can receive emails anytime, and their website is “always open.”
However, Google doesn’t like inaccurate business hours — and frankly, neither
do customers.

As such, double-check to ensure that your business
hours are accurate. You should also regularly update your hours for holidays, extended
hours during campaigns or seasons, and so on.

4.     Manage reviews.

Managing reviews is a very important — and often
overlooked — piece of the Google My Business puzzle. Make sure that you
encourage customers to post reviews, since that can be your most lucrative
source of marketing. You should also respond to reviews to demonstrate that
you’re trying to develop a community.

5.     Add photos.

Adding photos is another easy and high-impact way to
improve your Google My Business page —- and hence your overall local search
ranking. Of course, the photos you choose should be relevant, professional and
updated accordingly. It’s also a good idea to get permission from any customers
who you feature.

6.    
Build prominence.

As noted in tip #1, Google takes prominence into
consideration when it ranks local businesses. But what does this mean?

Simply put, it means that Google looks at information
it has about a business from across the web landscape, including articles,
directories, and links. Other factors include Google review count and score, as
well as position in web results (SEO).

A Word of Warning

Unlike some other review/ranking sites that have come
under heavy criticism lately, there is no way to pay Google to boost your
ranking. As such, steer clear of any so-called consultants or agencies that
claim to have “a contact who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy at
Google,” and who will boost your rankings for a (ridiculously high) fee. Plain
and simple, this is a scam. The only way to boost your local search ranking is
by legitimately improving your profile and prominence — which is covered by the
above six tips.

Learn More

To
learn more about smartly — and safely — boosting your local search rankings on
Google, contact the Noble Webworks team today. We know what works, and just as
importantly, we know what doesn’t! Your consultation with us is free.

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