5 Ways to Improve Your Local Ranking on Google

Google has significantly updated its help page on local ranking, including for the first time specific common-sense guidelines that show businesses how they can increase the chances that users will find them in Google Maps on desktop and mobile. Aside from the release of the Google My Business API, this move underscores Google’s notable recent focus on providing tools and insights business owners need to manage listings effectively.

As the Google help page outlines, businesses need to focus on five areas of activity.

Google ranking factor

1. Enter complete data.

Local results favour the most relevant results for every search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. Make sure to enter all of your business information in Google My Business so customers know about what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you. Provide information like (but not limited to) your address, phone number, and category. Make sure to keep this information updated as your business changes.

Google considers core data as the most critical aspect of a local business listing. If either your address or phone number is inaccurate, Google won’t be able to deliver an accurate search result to users, and if your categories are missing or wrong, your listing won’t appear in the correct keyword searches. Google has been historically unable to collect a critical mass of core listing information directly from businesses, so it has had to rely on a complex indexing mechanism to look for structured citations for a business that corroborate its own local data.

Google My Business Tools

 

2. Verify your location(s).

Verifying your location(s) will give your business the best opportunity to appear for users across Google products, such as Maps and Search. Owner-verified listings are far more likely (in Google’s eyes) to contain accurate and complete data.

3. Keep your hours accurate.trading hours

Entering and updating your opening hours, including special hours for holidays and special events, allows potential customers to know when you’re available and gives them confidence that when they travel to your location, it’s open. Opening hours are especially important on mobile, which is used by most local searchers today.

4. Manage and respond to reviews.

Responding to reviews shows your value for your customers and their feedback about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’ visibility and increase the possibility that a potential customer will visit your location. Of course, you’re not in control of the quality and sentiment of reviews, but as you interact with customers, you’re more likely to create a positive brand image.

5. Add photos.

Nowadays, people want visual content. Add photos to your listings to show people your goods and services and help you tell your business’ story. Make sure those photos are accurate and appealing pictures to show potential customers that you’re offering what they’re looking for.

Google makes use of photos in local Knowledge Graph cards, Maps listings, Snack Pack listings, and Google Maps app. When there are no photos from the business, Google will use street view photos or, sometimes, just a pin showing your location on the map. And these are less desirable options both for you and Google, so it’s better to provide photos.

Optimize image for website

These are the basics but, because Google algorithms are constantly changing, you need to keep posted about the subject.

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