How To Get Ranked High In Local Search Results
Getting ranked locally in search results is a common concern for marketers. And knowing that Google often favors popular businesses with the most chatter in a given area only becomes an advantage when something is done about it.
Although modern companies have an ability to market nationally and even globally, the average consumer still shops locally whenever possible. It’s why Google looks at several locally specific signals when forming their search results, particularly when the search is from a mobile device. Needless to say, the business with a well executed local SEO plan will have those consumers calling & walking through the door!
How exactly do you build a strong local presence online? Here are the signals that interest Google most to support visibility with the locally motivated consumer.
Top Signals Needed To Rank Locally
- Create Quality Content > Can’t hammer the tables enough on this: one of the biggest mistakes a company can make is NOT investing in content. Content should been regarded as the basis for an online presence and any competitive advantage a business can gain online. Unless it’s useful (including the use of highly searched keywords), assume neither search engines nor people will ever care. This is not just content on a website; a thorough strategy also includes publishing locally relevant content to a Google My Business page and other social media channels as well. Better yet, BLOG! Publish it on a website and then push that content out into social networks & listings. Google is hungry for new content and it will look to all of these areas, not only the website, to get it! See > Website Content: Your No 1 Competitive Advantage!
- Pursue Good Reviews > Live unsolicited reviews matter BIG, especially on a Google Plus listing page! And because 9 out of 10 people won’t ever think to give one, a business must have a strategy in place to go and ask for those good reviews. Per Mary Bowling from Moz, “No one wants to get awful or even so-so service if they can choose to use a business that has a history of making its customers very happy, instead. Whether people think you’re doing a stellar job or a stinky one, there’s no way to hide from your reputation anymore. Prospective buyers can now see the collective history of a business’s ability to keep its customers happy 24 hours a day via online reviews.” And while many business owners fear reviews because they feel as if they might get a bad one, the truth of the matter is no one can stop or control reviews. So actively chasing good reviews is not only obvious, but serves as the hedge against if anything bad ever does show up. Have a look at “What If You Get A Negative Review?” and always know that consumers look for people’s experiences in the form of reviews.
- Be Mobile Friendly > If you’re following this so far, Google is particularly interested in serving up local search results when the search comes from a mobile device. What’s more, they intend to give their user the best search experience possible. So we need to be sure our content is friendly to anyone, anytime and on any device ( e.g. phone, tablet, PC )… or Google isn’t likely to help any consumers find it. Sure you’re focused on delivering a higher level of content quality, but if visitors are forced to pull, pan, and scroll on their mobile devices than it’s not what Google considers a good experience. For more on Google’s mobile- friendly stance check out Mobile Website Design | Responsive Website Design.
- Google Plus Matters > Simply put, Google favors its own listings platform known as ‘Google My Business’. So get a Google Plus page registered, verified and set up with all the important information possible. Have it linking back to a website often, for a greater depth of information, and use anchor text links in highly targeted keywords! And, whenever possible, drive those good reviews to this same Google Plus page.
- Search & Directory Listings Also Matter > Search engines crawl search and directory listing websites as a highly weighted locally based business ( yours!) reference. What’s sometimes referred to as “direct data” in the search engine results pages (SERPs) demonstrates that companies are providing detailed information about themselves in many places. They do it in order to find visibility any way possible. It’s these granular pieces of information we see on business listings and in search engine results data that prove the value of “direct data”. For instance if we searched for a Annandale NJ Home Inspections Company, we will probably be provided with location, phone number, work hours and other details consumers want quickly up top of a local search result. This extra data improves visibility, important for local businesses, and also serve as reference and even a link for primary website content too. For a simple way to deal with it all, see Search And Directory Listings SEO Management Plan .
- Have A Social ( Network ) Voice > Acknowledged widely as a signal Google uses to recognize & rank a company highly is a social voice. Online discussions can spread virally, allowing visibility to reach farther than what was previously possible via traditional media. And search engine monitor these signals! The more activity a business generates, the more prominently it can find itself placed in search results. And because of this, a social media presence should be managed wisely! Perceptions created online with positive timely useful information can also last far longer than those created by word of mouth. With new social platforms, services, and trends emerging constantly, keeping up can be a daunting task. If its too much, consider hiring a social media service to help devise a ‘stay current strategy’ that maximizes a social voice’s potential.
And again, this is about local areas to your business. It’s not going to solve a nationally driven competitive presence, but local is also less competitive. Frankly, if you don’t have these firing than you’re not taking your local visibility to ( B to C or B to B ) consumers who want your service seriously. It can seem like a lot, but we will genuinely attest to regular lead activity for clients leveraging what you see in the above here! And we certainly provide highly qualified competitively priced options. If nothing else, we’re happy to answer questions so that you’re informed.