How do you rank on Google Local Search?
It is a question that is often asked by participants in our Digital Marketing Fundamentals course. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. In this blog post we hope to shed light on how Google Local works and what a business can do to improve their local search rankings.
How Google Local Works
The websites that Google ranks on the 1st page of organic results as well as local searches for any given term are the ones that it considers to be the most relevant and useful for the searcher. Google determines which websites are the most relevant and useful via complex algorithm that takes into account 200+ different SEO factors as well as dozens more local search rankings factors.
Google does not let online marketers know what those exact factors are; however, through testing and experience a tech-savvy SEO consultant will know which of those factors are the most important. The following are a few of the important factors that Google considers when ranking websites: keyword research, site structure, site speed, bounce rate and the number and quality of backlinks. Please see the below infographic for complete details:
Image Source: SearchEngineJournal.com
The algorithm is designed and set-up by humans, however, the rankings given to websites are wholly determined by the outcome of the algorithm. There’s no manual intervention by humans to adjust the rankings specific websites are given by the algorithm.
5 Ways You Can Make a Difference in Your Local Google Rankings
1. Page Verification
Claiming your Google My Business page will get you one step closer to getting control of your listings and make additional improvements and updates. Verification is done through a phone call or a post card sent to the place of business. Once you receive the pin, all you have to do is enter into your dashboard after login.
Reminder: inactive accounts that have not been updated in 6+ months may be unverified by Google.
2. Category Association
Once the verification process is complete, Google affords you with the opportunity to associate your local business with up to 10 categories. One of the categories will be primary; choose carefully as this is one is by far the most important. This simple step can greatly impact the performance of your listing.
3. Name, Phone Number and Address – Consistency
One of the requirements of having a successful Google local account is to keep your business information consistent and up-to-date. That means making sure that the info you have on your website matches the info on Google My Business page. Google is infamous for checking this information and does it without notice.
4. Solicit More Positive Reviews
Another way you could influence your Google Local rankings is to try to improve your reviews. On some level, you would want to receive positive reviews. If you receive a negative review, try to resolve it and ask the reviewer to remove the review once it is satisfactorily resolved.
5. Use Local Area Codes
A final simple but effective improvement that you can make to a Google Places Page is to use a phone number that contains the local area code.
We don’t know exactly how Google works. No SEO company does or can know. You can become a successful digital marketer by simply knowing the kind of sites that Google likes. If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to enroll in our online digital marketing fundamentals course.
To learn more about SEO and Google My Business Optimization, DMAC encourages you to enroll in our Digital Marketing Fundamentals course. DMAC also offers customized corporate training sessions for enterprises looking to upgrade their staff’s skills in areas of digital and internet marketing and web design. Click here to set up a free corporate training consultation.