Google My Business allows businesses to show up for local searches on the search results page as well as Google Maps. It has helped local businesses grow and helped millions of customers reach local services, quickly and easily. Compared to regular search results, however there is a relatively small amount of information around when it comes to optimisation of My Business listings.
So how do you rank higher for Google local listings? The ideal would to be the first local listing to appear on the results page, but many businesses struggle to overtake the current leader in their competitive market. To get some advice for businesses all over the world, I spoke to the Expert Community and asked for their top tips for Google local SEO.
“One tip we have for helping businesses rank higher in local listings is to utilize the Google My Business tool. This is a great tool
businesses can use to establish an online presence. When you type in a business’s name, or even an industry or service, you often see a box appear to the right of the Google SERP. It may give a business’s name, some reviews, images, and links to their websites and social media.”
Keri Lindenmuth, Marketing Manager at KDG
“Small business owners can improve their local listings by registering on all local business directories with consistent information. Consistency is key for improving your rankings in Google My Business map packs results in Google. The reason for this is Google crawls the entire web, so when they determine local rankings they want to ensure they’re serving the best information. Consistency of your business name, address, and phone number across websites such as Yellowpages, True Local, etc are imperative to improving your rankings.”
Blake Smith, SEO Consultant
“There are a variety of factors that determine the rankings for Google’s local business listings – and Google’s rankings in general.
One way to improve local listing performance is to gain positive reviews. Simply ask your best customers to leave a rating and a
comment on your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Refrain from faking reviews or paying individuals for reviews – these practices are unethical and against Google’s policy. Another way to increase listing performance is to create citations with your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP). Citations, also known as directories, verify your information in the eyes of the search engines as well as increase authority.”
Christine Kilbride, SEO Associate at Majux Marketing
“Make sure your Google My Business listing is fully completed and don’t forget to sign up for Bing Places for Business also. A listing complete with photos, reviews and recent posts will gain favour in the local listings over outdated or incomplete ones.”
Katrina Hibbs, Digital Marketing Manager at Living Online
“The standard metrics of Local SEO include good reviews, Name Address Phone on website, main domain Authority and citations placed on business directories. One of the simple tricks for local small business is to include the desired search phrase into the business name in Google My Business. ie: “Roberts Plumbing Sydney” Could help you rank for ‘plumbing sydney’.”
Scott Nailon, SEO Strategist at Managed SEO
“Focusing on customer reviews for your Google MyBusiness page has had the biggest impact on local SEO results. Reviews have numerous benefits that extend beyond just helping you rank. Higher click-through rates, more brand authority and another way to communicate with your customers.”
Zhen Lim, Tee Junction
“These days your Google My Business page does the hard work for you when it comes to local Search. It’s what drives the local pack in the search results. Ensure your page is as detailed as possible, write a strong description, add photos and include opening hours.
Include a link to your Google My Business page in your email footer, on your website and in all your marketing, encourage your customers to leave reviews so that your result has oodles of 5 star reviews and just demands to be clicked. Also take time to log into your GMB panel each week and add a post, video, event or offer, this will show up in the local knowledge graph panel when someone searches for your business so it’s like free advertising.”
Kate Toon, Founder of The Recipe for SEO Success
Do you have any other top tips for ranking in Google’s local search listings? Post in the comments below!
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