Why doesn’t your business show up in local search on Google and other search engines? Well, the answers might surprise you! Learn all about local search from the expert marketers at Contractor Advertising here today!
Google’s local pack is an excellent place to draw traffic to your site and your Google My Business listing. It is always displayed above organic search results. The Google local pack includes an interactive map so users can immediately gauge how close you are to them. To be featured in local packs, you have to beat out a lot of competitors first. Getting your company to rank in the local pack consistently is difficult. It is especially so if you have a lot of competitors that have been around longer than you have. We’ll go over what we’ve found to have the most impact on getting your business to rank in the local pack and how you can apply them to your business.
Claim your Google My Business Listing
Without a Google My Business (GMB) listing, you will never appear in Google’s local packs. Why? Because they are populated wholly based off of GMB listings. That also means that they are generated differently than organic search results. Just because you can get your business to rank well in organic results doesn’t mean that you’ll rank well in local packs. We go a lot more in-depth into different aspects of Google My Business in our What is Google My Business and How Can it Contribute to SEO blog post. However, we’ll go over the top actions you can take here also to make your GMB listing as healthy as possible.
- Claim your business on Google My Business – This is your first and vital step towards ranking in local packs
- Make sure there aren’t any missing fields in your listing – Neglecting areas such as your name, address, phone number, or hours in your listing will negatively impact your likelihood of ranking in local packs. Doing so will also make it much harder for potential customers to get in contact with you.
- Encourage your customers to review your business – Yelp actively discourages companies from asking their customers to give them reviews. However, Google encourages it so long as it’s done ethically. In other words, don’t offer your customers benefits like free services for reviewing you. If your customers take the time to review your business, make sure to reply as it’s one more thing that can strengthen your GMB listing and increase your chances of ranking in local packs.
Make Sure To Always Maintain Your Google My Business Listings
You should also make sure there aren’t any inconsistencies between your Google My Business listing and information on your page or other listing sites. An easy example would be listing your business as “Los Angeles Family Plumbing Professionals” in GMB. Still, your URL and name on your site are actually “Family Plumbing.” According to Moz, Google will often read the other words in your GMB listing as spam keywords. Google also discourages attempts at manipulating search results, which can negatively impact your chances of ranking in Local Packs.
Here’s an example of Google My Business Local Pack Listings
As you can see from this screen capture, the local pack will always display above organic search results. It will also display the star rating of your company, which will drive a lot of traffic to your site.
Local Citations Boost your Credibility
So your Google My Business listing is up to date, now it’s time to focus on other local listing sites. Listing your business on websites like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Angie’s List, and other home-service-oriented sites improves your authority score. Improving your authority score also increases your chances of ranking in local packs. If you have those kinds of listings already, make sure that any information about your business is consistent with your GMB listing. Any inconsistencies can make it harder for you to rank in local packs. Remember, an incorrect listing makes it harder for customers to give you their business.
Your User’s Location Has a Major Impact On Local Pack Results
The old adage “Location, location, location” has never been more relevant. Where a user is searching from can have a significant impact on what will be shown in the local pack. Google has determined what it calls the city “centroids” of most major cities worldwide. Furthermore, they will alter the local pack ranking based on how far away a user is from those points. How did they determine centroids? Well, wherever the name of the city shows up on a map is where Google has determined the city centroid is.
Unfortunately, there’s little that can be done about this aspect of local packs. Luckily, that isn’t the only factor that determines where you rank in local packs. With the other tools of Google My Business under your belt, you can make enormous strides towards consistently ranking in local packs and dominating search results. If maintaining your listing as well as running your business seems like a hassle, a professional SEO company can manage your listing for you and drive your business to the top of local packs.