Ok, so you have just opened your local business. Whatever it is, a store, a restaurant, a repair shop or something else, you did it. You made your first step towards your dream. Now, you need to create your own little niche within your local community. Neighbors will sure notice a “Grand opening” sign at your door. Although, how to bring in other people from the area, who don’t usually walk on your street, and yet are really close? Right, you want your listing to show at the top of the list in a search.
Here we will talk about some FREE, easy and actually necessary steps that every local business should take to assure its online presence.
First, let’s see how Google determines local business ranking.
There’s no way to request or pay for a better local ranking on Google. It keeps the details of the search algorithm confidential to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone.
According to Google its algorithm uses for ranking three major criteria:
Relevance is about how well a local business listing matches what a customer is searching for. Adding complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to the relevant searches. Make sure you took your time and filled the Google My Business form fully and in a detail.
Distance is about how far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search. A “Coffee place in Manhattan” request will return different from a “Coffee place in midtown Manhattan” results. If a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about their location. The more your business visible for Google the higher it will show on the results.
Prominence is about how well-known a business is. The information that Google gathered about a business from all over the web (like links, articles, and directories) affects the prominence. Google review count and score are factored as well: the more reviews and positive ratings the higher business’ local ranking.
Just having your Google My Business page set up is not enough. To perform well it should be tuned up.
Let’s see what you can and should do to improve your business’ Google ranking.
- Entice your patrons with images. Make sure you picked the best photo of your product. Get something amazing to show next to your listing and get people in the door!
- Write your business intro using keywords that are appropriate for your industry. Remember, you should write it so that both humans and bots equally enjoy reading your description.
For example, you own a coffee shop in Brooklyn, NY. What kind of stuff should you have in the intro?
If our specialists wrote it, they would include the types of coffee you offer, adjectives describing it, and that you are located in Brooklyn, or maybe there in Brooklyn specifically, as it is a large city.
Located in DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY, XYZ coffee shop
takes great pride in crafting rich hot and cold coffee appreciated by true coffee lovers.
Our latte, mocha, cappuccino and, of course, espresso
are all good to the last drop.
- You may also add a keyword to the business title. Google provides explicit guidelines on how to add a keyword so it actually works. Please respect these recommendations because a violation of one of the rules could possibly result in your listing receiving a ranking penalty. In a worst case scenario, it will not be shown in the local results at all.
It’s obvious. You can’t beat a distance, there is just so much what you can do about the relevance. The only thing left is to improve upon the prominence. It is great if a multitude of media outlets wrote about you and you have numerous of positive reviews. However, what if you are just starting and have very few of those or none?
In our next post, we will explain how listings in directories can help to improve your local business ranking in a search.
If you have questions, leave them in the comments below. Otherwise, contact us and our specialists will be happy to work on improving your presence in in a search.