Maps Make The Difference In Local
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Local SEO & Maps
Google regularly makes changes that have a huge impact on small businesses, and one of the most recent local SEO changes is that Google is only showing up to four ads and three maps results above the fold. With this change, having one of those top three positions is Google maps is definitely critical if you want to enjoy greater visibility and an ever-increasing number of clicks over time.
Before delving into how your business can enjoy local search engine domination, it’s important to understand local rankings. Local search results show up for people who look for places or businesses that are near their current location. They are shown in various places across Google Search and Maps. For example, if someone searches for “Italian restaurant” on their cellphone, they will probably see local results – because that’s what they actually want to see, not a restaurant five states away.
Local SEO is important for your business, but it’s become extremely competitive. To compete in the local search results, you need to better understand how Google ranks your business in local results.
Take the time to check your business and its local rankings. If your business is not showing up at all or it’s nowhere near those coveted top three spots, you may need to improve your business information online. A Google My Business account can help and help you improve your presence in Google Maps and Search.
Once you have an account, it’s important to enter complete and accurate business information to ensure you show up in the right local searches. This information may include your phone number, business category, physical address, and more. You also need to list accurate hours, verify your location, add photos, and start interacting with customers by responding to reviews that are left by customers who visit your business.
This information must be precisely, exactly the same in every single listing. Even slight differences (such as St. versus Street) will be picked up by the search engines as being different addresses – and this conflicting information in listings will work against you.
For local SEO domination, you also need to understand how Google actually determines those local rankings. Three main factors are used to determine rankings, including prominence, distance, and relevance. A business’ prominence refers to how prominent or well known it is, and prominence is often based upon information Google gets from the web about a business. Review score and count are a part of this factor, so having more positive ratings and more reviews can improve your local rankings.
Distance is also a factor in local rankings. If users do not specify the location, Google will take what is known about their location and calculate the distance, using this to determine the results. Last, relevance is also a factor in local search rankings. When you add detailed, complete business information to your profile, Google is better able to understand your business, ensuring that you are listed to relevant searches.
Local SEO cannot be ignored if you want to grow your business. Start working with a qualified marketing consultant to improve your local SEO results so you can dominate the local market. There are many local SEO tasks that are so time-consuming and tedious that you simply won’t have time to do it on your own – and other tasks that require sophisticated software to do well, such as removing duplicate listings that are not exactly the same.
Just as no business two decades ago would risk not being listed in the local phone directory, smart business owners today invest in local SEO. This tactic is one of the best ways to compete effectively against much bigger businesses with a national presence – without breaking the bank.
With recent changes in Google where they have removed all the advertising on the right-hand side of the search results, now the only results you see above the fold for local searches are Google Adwords and Google maps. When you combine a powerfully written Adwords ad and your presence in the local 3 pack you have prominent positioning that practically locks out all but a few of your competitors.
Request a consultation to learn more about how we can help you employ a powerful local SEO presence in your business.