Google strives to help customers find relevant, useful services and products in their local area. For local businesses, this is a great thing. It means that you have a chance to have your business highlighted locally, to reach people around you who use your services.
In most cases though, you’re not the only business of your type in your area. If you’re not already online, then getting to the top of your Google local business ranking is going to take a bit of work. Don’t worry though, it’s possible. Here some basic things which you’ll need to do.
Please, Google My (local) Business
The first step to improving your local business ranking on Google is to set up a Google My Business page. There’s a lot of information out there about how to setup the page and make it work best for your Local Business, so have a look around. Essentially though, this is going to give your business the opportunity to appear at the top of local google searches.
Give it a go. Type something like ‘Mechanic London’ into Google. and watch as several results appear at the top. Those are Google business pages, and you need a Google My Business page to get there.
NAP the same way, every time
Now that you’ve managed to get the foundation setup, you need to start building a framework to increase your ranking. The best way to do this by ensuring that your NAP is ubiquitous. No, this is nothing to do with having a short sleep, NAP stands for your Local Business’s Name, Address, and Phone number.
Make sure that this information is the same everywhere. Discontinuity can confuse customers and search engine web crawlers. Keep the information simple, direct, and easily readable.
A Landing page for a Local Business
For your average customer, there’s nothing worse than an overly complicated landing page, where finding even the simplest pieces of information can be a trial. Customer’s want intuitiveness; they want simplicity which caters to their predilections and preconceived notions of what a webpage should look like.
Don’t try to pull away from the crowd by changing your website format. Let your content speak, not the way it is styled. Check other Local Business landing pages and see how they have structured their content. Make it easy to read and your ranking will increase.
SEO is still important, but needs localization
SEO is still important when it comes to local businesses. However, it now needs to be localized. Let’s say, for instance, that you’re a mechanic based in Hammersmith, London. Make sure to include reference to Hammersmith and your status as a mechanic, in your Landing page title, URL, content, and Alt attributes.
Keep your SEO relevant and tied to your businesses, yet still natural. Good content which speaks to your customers, will encourage them to seek you out.
Reviews show credibility and class
We’ve all been on webpages where companies have reviews. “Jason says that XYZ Company is the best company for helping people with XYZ”. It’s great, the reviews tell you what other customers have experienced, what they think of the business, and how you can expect your experience with them to lineup.
But is it that great? Reviews provided by company websites can always suffer from the possibility of being fake. There’s always a chance that the company has either hired somebody, or done it them themselves, and written the content to put on their website. Google and Yelp reviews overcome this problem by being from a third-party website. Online reviews show a higher level of credibility, which means that Google ranking will be higher.
Build Local Business links, both online and off
Link-building doesn’t work the same way when it comes to local businesses. The need for links from high authority sites and blogs just aren’t as important. Instead, you want to ensure that local businesses which deal in the same area as you, are mentioning you. If these other local businesses provide you with a link, then it means that your Local Business is in demand in your area.
Luckily, these ‘links’ don’t always need to actually be linked. Instead, they can come in the form of citations which reference your NAP (this is why it’s so important that your NAP remains the same everywhere).
Online tools like Bright Local can help to have a look at any existing citations out there, which might just give you an idea on how to find more. Ultimately though, it falls to you making business relationships with those around you, offline, to start increasing your business’s importance online.
Overall, make sure that you have content which is relevant and useful, structured in a manner which is easy to read. Then, most importantly of all, ensure that your business is one which leaves customers happy and engages with your community. You’ll find yourself at the top of Google’s local business ranking in no time.