Grow Your Business By Improving Your Google Ranking
As a local small business, you care about your Google ranking. That’s because a high ranking means more visibility in Google Search results, and more visibility means more traffic to your site. But how do you know if your local ranking is improving? And what can you do to get it on the top?
First of all, it’s worth noting that there are two different types of search results: organic, which are unpaid and based on general relevance; and local, which are based on location-specific queries.
To better understand local search results and improve your own, it helps to know what factors affect your ranking. Google bases its local search results on three main factors: relevance, distance, and prominence. These three factors make up the algorithm that determines the order of local businesses in search results.
According to Google, to enhance each of these factors for your business, you should complete your business details in the Google Business Profile. Such factors help Google determine a business’ relevance to a user’s search query and how far the business is located in relation to the user. To attract more local customers from search, local businesses must improve their ranking in the search results.
Google’s 3-Pack is the top three local results that are shown on the first page of a search. They also appear on Google Maps as the top three local businesses for a given query. The 3-Pack provides users with more information about a business, which includes quick access to other important details, such as the business’s contact information and hours of operation.
So how does Google determine where your business appears in the 3-Pack? To better understand local search results and improve your own, it helps to know what factors affect your ranking. As mentioned above, Google bases its local search results on three main factors: prominence, proximity, and relevance. These three factors make up the algorithm that determines the order of local businesses in search results. But what exactly are these factors, and how can you use them to improve your local rankings?
Prominence refers to how well-known a business is, in your area. It is based on information that Google has about a business. Google will consolidate information about a business from across the web (from directories, articles, and websites) to determine its prominence. It also includes customer reviews. For example, if a business has a high number of positive reviews on Google, this indicates that the business is prominent. Prominence also is based on information Google has collected from users, like how long they spend looking at your listing in search results compared to others.
Proximity refers to how close the business is to the user’s location. A business that is closer to the user’s location will rank higher than a business that is farther away from the user’s location. Is your business a mile away or right around the corner? In the traditional sense and according to Google, proximity is key when it comes to ranking. If you’re the closest match, you’re more likely to show up at the top of a local search. Google provides the result based on the searcher’s physical location or the searcher’s physical need. If someone in Denver, Colorado searches for “Italian restaurant” Google will likely first show restaurants that are closest to them physically. Google knows that Italian restaurants in New York will not be relevant to the searcher unless the searcher indicates that they are physically close to the need. For example, the searcher while in Denver, Colorado, searches for “best Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, California. Since you cannot put your business everywhere, to take advantage of proximity, ensure that you have accurate citations in major directories. Here’s a list of 30 Free and Paid Local Directories.
Relevance refers to how well the business information or content matches what the user is searching for. When Google is trying to match a user’s query to the business that most closely matches what they’re looking for, it focuses on relevance. For example, if a user searches for “pizza restaurant” and there are two restaurants nearby with identical prominence scores, but one has more reviews than the other mentioning “pizza” the one with more “pizza” mention will rank higher because it’s more relevant than its competitor in this case (though both are relevant). The same process for deciding relevance applies if one of the restaurants is a pizza restaurant and the other nearby restaurant is a Chinese restaurant. Of course, the “pizza” keyword will be more prevalent in the pizza restaurant online assets. How prevalent and useful is your information or content?
Simply stated, the more you can optimize the three key factors that Google uses, the more likely your business will appear in Google’s local 3-pack (the local map listings at the top of search results) or even in the organic search results.
To give your business an advantage over its competition, complete your Google Business Profile to increase visibility. For example, for Google to consider your company relevant to a user’s query, it must be sure that your company provides a product or service that meets the searcher’s needs. To help Google better understand what products and services your company offers, complete your business details in Google Business Profile. This includes adding photos of products and services you offer; these photos will show up on the Knowledge Panel when someone searches for your company. If your Google Business Profile is not fully optimized, here is a simple step-by-step instruction of how to optimize your Google Business Profile without much technical knowledge. The more complete your business information is, the more likely you are to appear at the top of local search results for people searching for services that your business offers.
The reason local optimization is important is that a high ranking on Google often results in more business. No matter what type of business you have, getting more customers in the door can only mean a good thing. A small marketing agency like DaDigitalSense Marketing that specializes in local marketing will help you speed up the process. They’ll have the knowledge, experience, and expertise to help your business grow in leaps and bounds. By taking advantage of the latest technology for locating the highest converting keywords for your industry, your company is sure to take off like a rocket and enjoy greater market share than ever before.