Google Reveals How You Can Improve Your Local Ranking

Lana Phillips

Lana Phillips

Director of SEO

Search engine optimization has become a field crammed with myths and theories. Google rarely shares its secrets, so SEO professionals are required to develop their own best practices in order to rank in local search. Until recently, local ranking influences were just another Google enigma, but the search giant has at last revealed its secrets.

Improving Your Local Rank

Google gets to know users through their interactions through Gmail, Google+, and the sites they like to visit. When paired with the precise location of the user at the time of the search, Google’s primary motive will be to give consumers the most relevant information to their search query. The key to exploiting this particular ranking factor begins by making sure your business is listed on Google maps by creating a Google+ business page.

local search google+ profile

Google’s Three Local Ranking Factors

  • Relevance

If someone is searching for your industry, you can control how likely they will find your company by creating a detailed listing. Make sure to include:

  • Write a unique and in-depth description of your company
  • Choose the most appropriate category
  • Add a local phone number
  • Ensure that your name, address, and phone number is consistent with the one on your site and directory listings
  • Add the correct trade hours
  • Add appealing pictures – logos, interior/exterior, and product photos
  • Manage and respond to reviews
  • Verify your business locations
  • Distance

Users often enter their locations in their searches, and when they don’t, Google takes care of that based on their GPS data and the areas they’ve expressed interest in online. When setting up your Google business page, you will be able to enter in your address and move the pin to your exact location. If your business travels to serve your customer base, you will be able to mark a radial area in which you provide goods or services to. You should note that impressions might take a dip when you change your targeting, so make sure that refining your traffic will benefit you before changing your settings.

  • Prominence

The popularity of your company affects this ranking factor. Your prominence score is determined by offline reputations and the number of signals sent out from external links, reviews, social media, and the like. This is where your marketing strategy can really shine, because you have plenty to work with tactically.

Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) inconsistencies across the web are the most destructive facet here, making up a startling 41% of ranking problems. If signals from, for example, Facebook carry inaccurate NAP data, you lose a significant chunk of the prominence rating you should have gained from them. Duplicate Google Places listings and guideline violations also hurt your rank. However, at its core, prominence has everything to do with dominating local and international markets. Your public relations work should exploit it well, so get to work obtaining citations from blogs and sites that rank well with Google.

When it comes to Local Search, stick with the basics and do them well, and your rank will soar.

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