Got a local business and a website, your potential customers are searching Google, but if your website isn’t ranking higher in Google, then you are losing business. If so, let’s change all that, and let me bring out the big SEO guns and show you how to rank in Google Local Business Results.
And not only that, you will also learn Search Engine Optimization techniques that will allow your local business to dominate Google ranking results forever. And none of your competitors will be able to out-rank your Local Business Results. But first, if you read about Local SEO techniques elsewhere on internet, spam techniques such as:
- Create profiles on Local Directories
- Get lots of backlinks from Web2.0
- Create Press releases
- Get links from Social bookmarking site
- Submit to Article directories
Just don’t, do not forever stain your business on internet by following such wild ideas as mentioned above because its against Google guidelines. Instead, use these insights by RankYa
What Are the Benefits of SEO to a Small Local Business
How are you driving website traffic right now, because regardless of how you are doing that, benefits of SEO will reflect in everything you are currently doing online (including Google AdWords spend) meaning, search engine optimizing your website will influence how people are finding you as well as how much you are spending with Google AdWords.
Advantages of SEO for Local Business Owners Include:
- Potential customers finding about your services and products
- Potential customers can learn about how to find, and get to your brick and mortar business
- Reaching a wider audience through online exposure
- Your competitors won’t get the upper hand
- Potential customers can get an idea of your business, as in, what to expect, prices for services or products, what other services you may offer, who they can contact, your local business opening hours and many other important information related to your local business
How to Get on Google My Business Listing for Your Local Business
Make sure you are logged in to your main Google Account, or signup for a Google Account if you don’t already use Google services. Then you will now need to signup for Google My Business Listing and then verify your local business. The process is quite simple.
How-to Verify Your Local Business
Different Google Local Business Listing Compared to Brand Accounts
Because most businesses offer their services or products differently to one another, there are 3 distinct types of Google business listings, and each serve a particular purpose, and they are:
- Google Local Business Listing: this is for businesses with physical address where people can visit your shop/store (this listing may show up in Google Search Results as Places Listing, or in Google Maps)
- Google My Business Listing for Service-Area Businesses on Google: you may not want your business address to show up because your customers do not necessarily visit your shop/store. Then you will need to follow a different approach for Service-Area Businesses on Google. For example: local driving school, London Airport Passenger Service, Mobile House Painters in Ottawa, or mobile Video Production in Dublin Ireland where the business owner may go out to visit their customers instead of customers visiting them.
- Google+ Page for Your Local Business: you can maintain a brand account for your business, this is ideal for businesses who are perhaps offering online businesses.
AdWords for Quickly Ranking for Local Business Search Terms in Google
If you want, you can quickly show up keywords related to your local business by using Google AdWords PPC Advertising (learn more about Google AdWords best practices). Simply link AdWords Account to your Google Business Listing so that you can take advantage of AdWords Location Extensions as well as other great AdWords features.
Location extensions can show your business information in various formats for mobile and desktop search, and your business can show on the Google Search Network, Display Network, and even on Google Maps.
- Google Search Network: On the Search Network, ads with location extensions can appear as a standard text ad with your location and phone number. On mobile, a clickable “Call” button may show in place of your phone number.
- Also on Google Search Network, Reviews from your Google My Business listings may appear in ads when location extensions are enabled. These Reviews are compiled from Google My Business listings with a minimum of 5 reviews, and an average of 3.5 stars.
- Google Search Network Partner Sites, like Google Maps: If you select to advertise with Google search partners, your ads with location extensions can appear on Google partner sites. Ads with location might show a map.
- Google Display Network: Your location extensions may show on sites and apps on the Display Network when people are near, or have demonstrated an interest in, your local area.
How to Rank Local Businesses in Google
Now that you got your business listing all setup, let’s learn more about how to rank higher in Google search results.
Edit & Optimize Your Business Listing Details
I am not going to cover each of the above settings, but rather just tell you this: when you edit your business listing on Google you need to be thorough. For example: when choosing a business category select the most suitable one for your business. When adding local business Photos you should make sure to use advance image optimization for any and all images you upload on internet, as well add more images if possible (knowing that Google is also an advanced image search engine).
Get Reviews for Your Local Business
You probably already know the importance of Reviews for your business, but it is also very important for everything that you do online including your Google Business Listing. Here’s what Google says:
Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking. Source Google
Local Business SEO Tips
You can and should use any reviews that you get about your business throughout your website as well. Meaning if you got 120 reviews on your Google Business Listing and 120 on Facebook, you can showcase all of them throughout your website (as showcasing reviews on your website will increase website conversions).
5 Simplistic Ways to Get Reviews for Your Business
- Get your friends or and family members to review your business
- Because businesses are connected to other businesses, if you refer any business to other businesses (vice-versa) then you can review each other’s business
- Your product suppliers and or wholesalers need you as a valued customer, you can get them to review your business
- Participating in local community organizations, or sports groups? Get them to review your business
- Give incentives for your customers to review your business (e.g. discounts, or vouchers) its just smart business investment.
How Does Google Determine Local Rankings
To improve rankings for your business we need to realize that certain aspects such as a verified business will perform better in search. Also, the Local result rankings are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence.
Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for.
Distance refers to how far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search.
Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking.
Local Business SEO Tips 2017
Google algorithms use information that Google has about a business from across the web. This includes, your website, your social media profiles, PDF documents you may have created, other websites that showcase your business details including links pointing back to your website. Your position (organic rankings) in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.
Video Tutorial Showing More Insights for Local SEO
How to Optimize Your Website for Local Business Ranking
One of the most important factors for ranking higher in Google search engine results for locally based search terms are these 3 things:
- Website structure which branches out to local suburbs by means of using keywords
- Original content within those landing pages (which includes keywords,
images or any other media file types)
- How you are linking your landing pages (whether through menu links, as
well as internal links)
Some suburbs will be more profitable for your business, thus, use those keywords more often on your entire website. Also, internal link towards those profitable pages more often than others, while using related, yet different keywords
Include Google Maps on Your Website
Inserting Google Maps is quite easy, simply search for your own business in Google Maps and find the option for Embed (copy paste the embed code on your site).
Include Geo Location Meta Tags
<meta name="geo.placename" content="123 Example St, New York, NY, 10006, USA" /> <meta name="geo.position" content="40.7063390;-74.0134100" /> <meta name="geo.region" content="US-New York" /> <meta name="ICBM" content="40.7063390, -74.0134100" />
Visit mygeoposition.com and simply place your location address and it will create it for you to place it within your HTML head element.
Use Structured Data with Local Business information
Because Google now supports many different types of Structured Data, you can include Local Business Markup details on your website. Furthermore, you can use itemprop sameAs to link your social media profiles so that Google builds a better knowledge panel about your business.
Be Consistent When Using Your Local Business Information
What this means is, whenever you are using your business details on other websites, you need to use Business Name, Address, Phone Number and Logo (which is common because these business specific details won’t change). However, let’s imagine that an external website has your business details, then, what you can do is change business description to include some new categories (keywords) or suburbs (using keywords).
Utilize Website Footer Section Properly
Most small business owners don’t utilize the footer section of their website properly, and instead, footer section information is the same throughout the entire website. This is missed opportunity for SEO because you can include unique details about your business using the footer section of your website.
Use Internal Linking & Anchor Text Properly
Let’s imagine that a Suburb A was more profitable for you to do business in, if so, internal linking on your site has to address this, and also, you can use anchor text using keywords. This doesn’t have to stop with internal links, because backlinks can also use keywords within anchor text as well.
Create Content Related to Your Location
You can find many creative ideas for content creation, and increase your local rankings, its smart to create content that is related to your target location. For example: if I was targeting the Location intent “Melbourne” then, a basic content idea could be “Top 10 Places to Visit During School Holidays in Melbourne” or “Electrician in Melbourne Saved a Cat from a Tree” you get the idea.
How to Rank Your Google My Business Listing
What you need to do for achieving higher Google ranking results is all of these above mentioned insights, however, you can and should also link back to your Google My Business Listing as well. Meaning, share your details (including Google Map ID details) as link as well as mention that particular listing when creating content.
Backlinks pointing back to your website (as well as Google My Business Listing) are important for higher Google ranking. And there are thousands of different ways to get backlinks.
The best approach for getting backlinks is by creating useful content whether that is blog posts, PDF’s, videos, images or any type of content related to your niche and then share that content. Although thoroughly optimized website won’t need many backlinks to rank high in Google, its better to have them just to double make sure that your competitors won’t be able to rank keywords higher than yours in Google.