Until recently, if your website ranked in the top positions organically for a search query on Google, you would appear below paid advertisements and above the Google Local Business Listings.
Google has once again changed their algorithm, this time in favor of local listings. The top three Google Local Listings now appear above the organic listings. This means that traditional organic listings appear about halfway down the page.
What does this mean for your business?
This means that in order to rank within the top three positions on Google, local businesses will have to put a stronger emphasis on their local SEO efforts.
How can your Google Local Business Listing rank higher?
1. Verify your local listing with Google. Put your complete contact information on your Google+ page and verify it. This authenticates the existence of your business with Google.
2. Obtain as many user reviews as possible. The number of online reviews has a significant impact on how Google decides to rank search results.
3. Optimize your Google+ page. Choose at least five categories that best match your business. In addition, mention all of the services you offer – and the cities in which you offer them – in your Google+ description.
4. Submit your local business information to the major search engines and directories. Google checks whether the data that you have provided – including your business address – matches the information submitted to other trustworthy sources such as MapQuest, Citysearch and Yelp.
5. Build quality backlinks. Securing inbound links from reputable sources still has an impact on both your local and organic SEO.
Austin SEO Kyle Sanders also noticed Google is now displaying nearby business ads on mobile without use of “nearby” in the search query, which is a significant change on mobile and opens additional AdWords opportunities.
Keep in mind that when it comes to Google, change is constant.
When you operate in the digital landscape, you must always be prepared for change. Google and the major search engines make changes to their algorithm constantly. If you do not have up-to-date information, your SEO efforts will suffer.
In fact, Google’s next “big change” is has already been implemented in San Francisco. Google will soon directly connect users to service providers in their area via the search engine results page (SERP). This means that Google users looking for a specific service such as landscaping or legal services will no longer have to visit a company’s website. On its first page, Google will display a company that it recognizes as the best match for what the user is searching for and allow the user to connect with the company directly from Google. This change only enhances the need to employ a strong local SEO approach.
DigitalParc is a full-service Internet marketing company located in Minneapolis, MN. Our professional web design and SEO team will enhance your online visibility and generate a positive ROI.