Maintaining a high search ranking is important for all businesses. But if you own or manage a local business, you’ll want to rank high for those critical local-based searches.
So, how exactly does Google determine local search rankings for these businesses? Here are some of the most influential LSO ranking signals.
Google My Business Listing
Formerly known as Google Places, Google My Business is Google’s directory for local businesses and organizations.
While logged into your Google account, follow the aforementioned link to create a listing. Google uses this information listed here to rank local businesses in its search index.
Google My Business is free to use, making this an excellent starting point for small business owners who are trying to increase their local search rankings.
Enhance Your Google My Business Listing
Of course, you’ll want to put forth the time and effort to complete your Google My Business listing.
This means uploading a custom cover photo, writing a short description about your business, adding your business’s hours of operation (and ‘special’ hours if applicable), and including your business’s contact information.
Name, Address and Phone Number
Arguably, one of the most influential LSO rankings signals is name, address and phone number (NAP). Basically, you want to include your business’s NAP anywhere and everywhere.
Whether it’s your website, blog, social media accounts, web directories, etc., you should display this information.
Both human visitors and search engines will see your business’s NAP, making it an invaluable component in your LSO strategy.
Consistent Address Format
While including your business’s NAP is important, it’s also important to use a consistent address format. For example, if your business’s address is listed as “750 Maple Street Suite 20” in one place, don’t list it as “750 Maple St. #20” in another place.
Most algorithms can tell these two addresses are the same, but it’s best to err on the side of caution by using the same, consistent format with your business address.
Doing so creates greater transparency, allowing search engines to rank and list your business more accurately.
Encourage Customer Reviews
According to the search marketing experts at Moz, customer reviews are one of the leading LSO ranking signals.
So as a business owner, you should embrace this fact by encouraging customers to leave reviews about your business and its respective products or services.
Search engines will crawl these reviews, taking them into account when ranking your business.
For more helpful information about Google reviews, and to find out how we can help you get reviews, check out this recent post!
Backlinks’ both quantity and quality also improve a business’s local search ranking. But this doesn’t mean you should buy backlinks.
Rather, you should create high-quality content that encourages other users to link back to your site.
Known as inbound marketing, it’s a great way to boost your search rankings while generating more sales in the process.
Did we leave out any other key LSO signals? Let us know in the comments section below!
As we said earlier, we help local businesses grow by using the above practices and more! Schedule a FREE business growth call here to find out what we can do for your business!