If you’ve been searching for a business online for any time whatsoever then I’m sure you’ve come across Google’s local search results. These results look different than anything else you might have experienced. If you have a local business then it’s important you understand the process of why business rank where they do in local results.
More and more people are searching everyday for local businesses. In fact, every single day Google receives searches that have never been typed before. You’ll want to make sure you know how to reach the top of these results.
In this article my goal is to explain to you why Google ranks local companies the way they do in a local search as well as a few steps you an take to maximize your results.
Why does Google ranks local companies they way they do?
If you’ve been following Google’s algorithm updates with any frequency, then I’m sure you’ve seen some changes in your local rankings. Recently, Google has combined their Google places results with their regular search results.
This combination took place to better suit the needs of local searchers whoa re most likely trying to find a company they can visit in person after searching around.
This means that you’ll see the Google Places map and A-G business listings coupled with the regular search results. Currently, the best way to optimize your business is to follow the recommended techniques laid out below.
How can I optimize my business for Google Places?
Obviously you want to rank for your business niche or name, plus your city name. It wouldn’t make sense for “Lake Tahoe Plumbing” to rank in the same results as “Nashville Plumbing”.
The first factor in Google Places ranking is the business address. Even if you’re an internet business and want to rank for a specific city you might want to actually makes sure your physical business address is located there.
The next factor you’ll want to consider are the keywords mentioned in the business name, for example “Los Angeles Lawyer” would have a better chance ranking for the term “lawyer”, than a business without a keyword in the name.
Another factor are the number and relevancy of citations that are pointing to your site. Citations are basically backlinks that point back to your site, except in this situation they are basically references of your businesses location from other web properties. For example, your local chamber of commerce might have listings of all local businesses. It would be a good ideas to get your company on this list.
One big factor that will increase your ranking a lot are the number of positive reviews for your business. For instance, if a person id searching for a local BBQ restaurant and the top listings all have bad reviews, people would stop using the service.However, if Google instead recommends businesses that people love, most people will continue to use the service.
This is exactly where you want to be. Maximizing you location in the local search results should be a very important part of increasing customers to your business. By following our recommendations above you’ll be well on your way to increasing your search rankings.