Asking Google to tell you how to rank your local business website in their search listings, is a bit like a asking the chief of police to let you know how to seduce his daughter. It generally never happens.
Google and their anti-spam officer Matt Cutts, have famously kept the exact formula for ranking websites a mystery, in an attempt to reduce the amount of people gaming the results and ranking low quality sites.
So it comes as a bit of a surprise that in the spring of 2016, Google has actually revealed the very factors their search algorithm uses when choosing to rank a local business website.
For us at Bizboom Local – there is no surprise as to what the ranking factors are, because we have been using them to rank our clients websites for a while now. But it’s definitely good to see that Google has finally pulled back the curtain for local business owners everywhere.
So if you are tired of the frustrating trial and error when it comes to local SEO then read on, because the mystery is now over.
Drum roll please and hold onto your hats because here are the essential ranking factors your business needs to be found in the local search results:
In other words how well known is it on the world wide web, and how much trust and authority does it have?
Google measures trust and authority in a number of ways, but the key factors are:
- How many other websites or directories are linking to your website
- How many links there are to articles on your website
- How many articles on other peoples websites are linking to yours
- How many active social media accounts your business has linking to your website
- How many business listings or ‘citations’ there are their linking to your business website
These are all the areas that traditional local SEO has focused on in order to achieve organic rankings, and Google is now acknowleging that organic rankings are not only based on these factors, but also effect the local map result listings.
Tip: Quality press releases are an effective way of increasing your websites prominence and authority quickly.
Does the information on your website clearly match what someone is looking for in the search engine? This is clearly the biggest quality factor when it comes to finding your Google My Business information and website in the search results.
Structuring your website information correctly, including titles and descriptions is the first step. If you then link your website to your Google My Business page that has all the information completed clearly, this will greatly increase the chances of your listing being found.
Tip: Make sure you add as many photos as you can to your Google my Business page and complete the description, location details, contact details and opening times correctly.
Clearly Google will not want to list a Manchester plumbing business, when someone in Bristol is searching for ‘emergency local plumber’, so proximity to your business is a key factor when determining the search results.
If someone in Edinburgh searches for ‘Bristol plumber’ they are also likely to get the slightly different results to someone in Bristol searching for ‘nearest plumber’.
In other words Google will make the search results most relevant to your location
Tip: If you are a bricks and mortar business with a fixed location, make sure your location information is clearly listed on your Google Business listing, and embed a location map on your website.
How we can help your Local business.
If you are not yet getting the search rankings your want for your business, we can give you a free SEO audit for your website, and advise you on the areas you need to focus on.
We offer all areas of local seo services from, Google My Business Page optimization, on page SEO, “back-linking”, citation building, and content creation as part of a overall SEO strategy.
Apply now for a free consultation: