How to Improve Your Business’s Local Search Results
As we’re sure you are familiar, local search results for businesses appear when a person who performs the search is in that specific area. For example, if you were to search “cheap food” from your phone, your device would likely come up with results for “cheap food” near your location.
The picture below shows us local search results for “cheap food” around the user’s location…
See how this works?
Now try to search your business and see what comes up…
Can’t find your business? This is where Google My Business comes to the rescue.
If you find that your business won’t appear for local search results in your area then you may need to check your Google My Business account. You may also want to make sure you are following the 5 do’s and don’ts for local optimization. In order to maximize the number of times customers see your business in local search results, you must complete all of the steps in Google My Business. Providing and updating your business’s information as needed can help your local search results and optimize its standing in Google Maps.
Below are some helpful tips to help you out…
Enter All Information
Naturally, local search results favor the most relevant results for each search. Because of this, businesses with all of the necessary information filled out on their Google My Business page turn up in local searches more often.
It is imperative that you enter all of your business’s information correctly so your customers can know…
- More about what it is that your business does
- Where your business is located
- When to visit your business (hours)
- Information such as your physical address, business category, and your phone number are all important things to provide (make sure to keep this information up-to-date in order to avoid any possible confusion)
Verifying your business’s location is one of the best ways to allow Google the opportunity to place you in the correct search formulas. Verifying your address allows for you to show up across Google products like Maps and Search.
Providing and updating your business hours on Google My Business is also very important. Include special holiday hours and special event hours in order to let potential customers know when your business is open or not. This will allow customers to travel to your business confidently knowing that you are open and ready to help them with their needs.
Reviews are SO Important
As every business owner knows, customers are the most important aspect to a business’s success. Make sure your customers are happy and coming back for your product. Respond to reviews about your business. Responding to your customers shows them that their feedback is valuable.
- High-quality/positive reviews from customers will improve your business’s visibility, and in turn, increase your chances of acquiring a potential customer.
- Encourage your customers to leave feedback for your business by creating a link that they can click to write their reviews.
When you add photos to your listing, it shows people your business’s products and services. This makes you come off as “human,” makes you more approachable, and helps your business tell its story. We encourage that you add compelling and accurate photos so that your potential customers can view what you’re are all about.
How Google Decides Local Ranking
Google bases its ranking process on three main factors: relevance, distance, and prominence. Together, these factors “team up” and assist each other in helping the user find the best match for their search.
- Relevance: In the eyes of Google, relevance means that a local listing matches what someone is searching for. In order for your business to be relevant for searches, adding a complete and detailed description of your business information can assist Google in better understanding it and matching it to relevant searches.
- Distance: In the eyes of Google, distance describes how far each potential search result is from the location of the device in which the search came from. If the user of the device happens to not specify a location in their search, Google is able to calculate distance based on what is known about the search device’s location.
- Prominence: In the eyes of Google, prominence refers to how well-known a business is. In some situations, businesses are more prominent in the offline world (museums, hotels, etc.), and Google tries to show this in local rankings as well. Prominence is also based on information that Google acquires about a business from different sources around the internet (articles, links, and directories).
Now that you have a sense of what a Google My Business page can do for your business here are the steps to setting it up…
- Go to google.com/business and click Start Now near the top right corner of the page
- From here, sign into your Google account, or create a new one
- Once this is done, you will see a map of your country with a form near the top left of the screen. From here, enter your business’s name in the first field provided
- While you type your business’s name, you will see suggestions for matches. If you see your business during this process, you can select it
- If you do not see your business, continue to fill out the rest of the provided fields, then click Continue
- You may or may not see a business that potentially matches yours. If it is indeed your business, click on it. If it is not your business, click Keep The Information I Entered.
- Once this is complete, you will see an option to confirm then you’re authorized to manage the business. If this applies to you, check the box and click Continue. If this does not apply to you, you will need to find the person within your business who is authorized to continue the remainder of the process.
Check Over Your Business Information…
No matter what, you should always check over the information about your business. This is a very important piece of this process and is essential to your business having the correct information online.
In the event of incorrect information:
- Click on Verify Later
- Click on Manage Location and choose your business in order to edit
- Click on Info at the top of your page
- Find and click on the section of the information you would like to manage and enter the correct information
- When you have completed your edits and have all of the correct information in place, you will be able to verify your business. Once verified, your business’s information will be able to appear in location sevices in Google.
If you have any questions about establishing your business in Google, please do not hesitate to contact us! At Twelve Three Media, we pride ourselves on getting real results for all our clients and we would love to help you too!