Google local is a great way to get your business noticed, so it’s important you’re kept up to date with the latest news from the search giant.
A recent update to the “Improve your local ranking on Google” page provides new information under the local ranking factor categories of relevance, distance and prominence.
Making sure your information is up to par is essential if you want your business to show up well in Google’s search results.
So where do you start?
Well, as already mentioned the main local ranking factors are relevance, distance and prominence. Let’s look at what Google has to say about each of them in turn.
“Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for. Adding complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches.”
In other words make sure you fill out your business’s information on Google My Business.
“Just like it sounds–how far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search? If a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about their location.”
Having this information correct will help you show up in results if people are doing a “pizza shop in Ipswich” kind of 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. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local search results.
Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimisation.
There’s no way to request or pay for a better local ranking on Google. We do our best to keep the details of the search algorithm confidential to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone.”
Getting people to talk about your brand and interact with you through social media, leaving reviews and linking to your content will help your local rankings.
It’s also worth noting that Google also says to be sure your SEO is following best practices, so while you’re updating your local information it’s probably a good idea to do an SEO audit too.
How to give yourself a boost
OK, so you’ve seen what Google has to say, how does that translate into actions?
To increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local 3, you must:
- Verify your location
- Keep your hours accurate
- Manage and respond to reviews
- Add photos
Head over to Google My Business now and make sure your listing is up to date.