If you have a business that serves a local area, this post is for you. Google has put a lot of effort into refining search results so the large, national chains aren’t always at the top of results. Even the little guy can rank well in local searches!
How do you stand out? The main factors that influence a site’s position in local search are:
- Plus, all the unstated factors built in to Google algorithm!
All joking aside, here I will focus on the three stated factors in ranking well. Google heavily replies on your Google My Business listing to determine your rank.
Relevance is how well your Google My Business listing matches the phrase being searched. If your listing contains the words or phrase used, you have a good chance of being among the top results. Adding complete and detailed business information to your Google My Business listing is important.
Distance is how far you are from the person doing the search. Google knows where your business is located based on the address in your listing. If you have more than one primary service area, be sure to designate multiple locations within your listing and/or creating service area pages as part of your website.
Prominence is a ranking of how well-known your business is. This is based on the information Google gathers about you from across the web. If you are regularly mentioned on social media, in website links, articles, directories, etc, Google will rank you well. Consistency in your business name is critical here, as Google bots may not connect all variants of your name to the same business.
In sum, Google will rank you highly in local searches if your Google My Business listing and website is highly relevant to the search query, your business is in direct proximity to the searcher, and you are mentioned frequently online.