How To Improve Your Google Local Ranking

19 September 2016

Adi Young

Written by Adi Young | @adiyoung

'Local Results' are the businesses that appear near the top, or top right of Google with an address and a map, or on Google Maps, when a user searches for a place or business near to where they are located. An example of Local Results is when a user searches for 'coffee shops' on their mobile device, and is shown a list of coffee shops near to their location in return.

If you find that your business is not showing in Google's local results when your services in your area is searched for, there are various things you can do to correct this. This is important to give your business the best chance of being found and seen by potential customers looking in your area.

How do I improve my Google local ranking?
Firstly, go into Google My Business, and make sure that all your business information has been provided, and is up to date. This information includes everything from your business name, address and phone number, to social media links and a bit about what you do. Keep this information constantly up to date, such as when your opening hours change over the holidays. This will help Google find you and enhance your chances of being listed or pinpointed on a map. You will only be selected to appear however when your business is of relevance to the user.



Other things that will help improve your Google Local Ranking include adding some photos for your listing. These can be anything to do with the goods and services you are offering, but ensure they are appealing and excellent quality. Photo subjects could include; the interior of your restaurant and select dishes (restaurateurs), finished hair cuts (hairdressers), impressive cakes and displays (bakers), your professional looking van (cleaners), some portfolio pieces (web designer), and so on. If you have a good quality logo, then this is something you should add.

Verify your location, and keep your profile up to date and active. If anyone leaves a negative review, respond in a professional way and be seen to deal with whatever the problem is. Replying to customer comments, positive or negative, will demonstrate your customer service skills to users.

How does Google determine my local ranking?
The basis for Google local listings is mainly down to the relevance and the distance to the user's query and location. Google aims to match the best results to meet the user's needs in the search. Where no location is asked for, Google will return results based on where the user is physically located at the time of searching.

Something Google also uses to determine what results are best for the user, is Prominence. The Prominence of a business listing refers to how established, well known, and prominent a place is. As well as a place being prominent offline, for example a major museum or landmark, the search engine will also consider places that are prominent online, such as websites with positive reviews, high traffic, good SEO including high quality back links, and an overall up to date and functioning website.

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