Google local rankings are a primary important factor for small and local business, and also for big brands with a local presence to increase website traffic and revenue. If your website's visibility is not ranking highly in local search result, your brick and mortar location could be losing out to competitors.
Here are five solid local ranking tactics you can use to increase traffic and exposure in the local markets:
1. Google My Business
Google My Business is all about local search – this includes searches from people near your business location, and searches made outside the area with the location added. |
If you want to promote your local business, the most important thing you can do is claim and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listings. This is a free listing that allows a business owner to include information about their company, like their address, phone number, business hours, and types of payments accepted.
When you optimize you GMB profile, make sure to follow Google’s guidelines and you have the NAP information correct and keep it up to date. NAP means business name, address and phone number. The more Google knows about your business with complete and accurate information, the better it will be able to correctly display your business listing on its search engine and improve your local ranking on Google.
2. Accurate and Consistent NAP
Consistency across listings is a key attribute that helps businesses climb up the local searches. One of the most frustrating experience for a potential customer searching for a local business is discovering a provided contact details such as phone number doesn’t work, or they’re no longer operating at the same address.
To rank well, it is essential that your company's business information is accurate and consistent because your NAP is thought to be one way that search engines verify that your business is legit. To keep local searchers from creating an uproar about incorrect contact details, search your business online to see all the places where you are listed and check your provided name, address, and phone number. Correct, consistent information will boost your local rankings.
Likewise, incorrect or inconsistent information can negatively affect your rankings.
3. Online directories and citations
Citations provide searchers key information quickly when they search for a location to visit. This will also help you to improve the ranking for your GMB listing, as long as they are relevant and accurate.
In order to improve your ranking in Google and get the highest ROI for your digital marketing efforts, it’s important for local businesses to create local business profiles on online directories and citations such as such as Google+, Yelp and Yellow Pages. These help Google to decide whether your business is relevant to local queries. Make sure to provide a consistent NAP, opening hours, and maps to help with directions to make it easier for your potential customers to find you and decide for a visit.
Even if you don’t have a physical store and you only conduct a business online, create local business profiles on online directories and citations still help your overall search presence.
4. Mobile-friendly website
With mobile devices taking over the place of the PC, not having a mobile-friendly website is like turning your visitors away. Since local search is often done on mobile devices with roughly 57 percent of all internet traffic, mobile-friendly websites are no longer optional—they are mandatory.
Generally speaking, a mobile-friendly website is a site that is designed to display properly on smaller screens, such as such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile-friendly websites consider the following major factors:
• Loading speed
• Mobile-friendly navigation
• Larger, visible and easier to read text
• Friendly buttons
• Image and video availability
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website yet, there is no simple way to make your site instantly mobile-optimized. Converting it into a mobile optimized format will require some development changes because mobile optimization may seem mysterious and difficult.
Having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for organic search ranking a business. If your website in not mobile-optimized, Google considers your website “unfriendly” and gives it a penalty. This penalty can cause your website to suffer from a lower search ranking on Google which you don’t want to happen. This is important because the lower your website ranks, the less likely mobile searchers will see your business on the first page of Google, which will potentially influence your overall online presence.
5. Get more online reviews
Like it or not, people trust reviews so you need to get everyone to review your business on Google My Business, Facebook page or on other listings where you are present such as Yelp. User reviews are a factor that provides people a credibility of your business, and reviews do help improve search rankings and overall SEO efforts. Google also notes that “[h]igh-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility,” which implies that reviews might factor into rankings on the local pack.
In fact, according to one recent survey, 84% of shoppers said they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from friends or family.
About 68% of consumers will read four or more reviews before they can trust a business. There is no doubt that online reviews really matter for your business – and that’s why you need to give your business a boost. Don’t be afraid to ask a handful of trusted, loyal customers to leave a review for you. Just a few positive reviews will be enough to immediately rev up your rankings.