Do you want to boost your small businesses ranking in the local search results. Then you have to know what Google is looking for.
Once upon a time when you started a business you could list your business in Yellow Pages or Thompsons Local. Or whatever local phone book you had available and wait for the telephone to ring. In those days you had to pay attention to how your listing was printed. Most directories were put together in alphabetical order. So having a business that began with the letter “A” placed you at the beginning of the list under your particular category. It helped you rank higher in the telephone directory, you were in fact trying to rank higher in local search ranking.
Unfortunately these days it is not quite that simple. Today you have to focus on your online presence and expanding your reach within your targeted market audience. Making sure that you are developing both mobile friendly versions of your offerings and desktop. This enables your customers to find you online using a broad spectrum of devices within local search ranking.
As the “Millennials” (those who grew up using the internet and mobile devices) start to filter into the adult world of work. We have to stop and take notice of our marketing reach. This is the new crop of society with disposable income that you need to catch now and make a lifelong customer. To capture these new market influencers, we have to direct our marketing to them. We have to play on their playing field and understand their game to win them over. As Sun Tzu stated “Ponder and deliberate before you make a move” in The Art of War. You have to reach out to them and communicate using the channels that they use and understand. That is why Google is changing to adapt to this new terrain. Three of the biggest factors involved in Googles local search rankings are;
Local Search Ranking Relevance
Google has spent time on developing software that can understand your website and what it is offering. Google is able to return websites that are relevant to a search that has been implemented. Business listings help to clarify that your business fits within a specific category, but does nothing to aid in its relevance for online searches. To be relevant you have to tailor your relevance on your website with information pertaining to what the web surfer is searching for. Then and only then will you start to gain ground in local search results.
Let us imagine for a minute that you are plumber or ever a solicitor, I can multi task with the best of them! So someone searches on their smartphone for a oil fired boiler plumber. The search engines will return a list of all local plumbers that have information relating to oil fired boilers on their websites. A person searching on a laptop for a conveyancing lawyer will only be shown a list of relevant search results. Google returns the most accurate relevant result that it can when applying local search rankings.
Businesses need to take stock of themselves and decide what they can offer that is different that customers are looking for. The days have passed when you could hang out your shingle saying plumber or solicitor as they are too broad of a spectrum within their relative spaces. You have to qualify and quantify these days. Dig deep within your foundations and select the areas that your customers are searching for and build on those areas of your business. Diversification within your website will help you achieve more relevant local search ranking positions.
Local Search Ranking Distance
Most search engines take into account distance when returning local search results. Google is undoubtedly the master at this at present. They can pin point your location within millimetres. Enabling them to return the results that best match your search query. Google will however return results from a search and list businesses that are not in the local vicinity of the person doing the search. Should they deem the relevance of the search results to be a better match for the search criteria. Put into simple terms, that means if Google does not find what the person is asking for within a close proximity. They will return results from other areas outside the searches immediate locality.
Local Search Ranking Prominence
We would all like to think we are well known within our specific fields. It is very doubtful though that you or I are famous. Businesses that are better known and talked about will receive higher ranking within the local search results. Google’s ability to listen to online chatter and cut the chaff from the wheat is uncanny. Google collects and analyzes a hug amount of data. So much so they can tell you who is a rising star and who is a red giant.
The more information that you put out there, that is relevant to your business the higher you will rank in local search results. It is all about information and informative information at that. Building great content on your website and social media channels is paramount at this point. Relevant content builds customer loyalty and customer retention. If you can interact with your target market delivering relevant informative information. Your target audience will share it and help promote your business. It also helps you rank higher in local search rankings.
Final thoughts about local search ranking
In an ever increasing competitive market place you have to adapt to the new game rules to survive. You need customers to thrive as a business and pay your bills. By applying the above it could help you gain more customers and a larger exposure within your community. Information changes and thoughts change. Inform your target audience before your competitors and deliver targeted information that your customers are searching for. This will help your website rank higher within local search rankings. Remember if you don’t someone else will!
Mark A. Lockwood is a family man dedicated to life and all it has to offer. Dreams become reality when foundations are laid correctly. His fascination started back when ZX Spectrum computers could be hooked up to the internet and a huge world of knowledge was presented.
Since then Mark has worked both in the USA and UK on internet projects. Appearing on a regular TV slot to talk about marketing on the internet for businesses and appearing and hosting several internet marketing events.
Always approachable and always able to help if he can.
Improved Internet Marketing is a total immersed website design and search engine optimization company. Our goal is to help our customers achieve the highest results possible across all elements of their online presence.