Local search success means getting your business listed in Google at the top of page one. The best way to achieve this is by appearing in the area at the top of the search listings that Google calls its 'local snack pack'. This is where Google shows a map of relevant companies and a listing of three companies that it deems to be important, along with their reviews and addresses. This article shows you how to achieve this.
Below is a local snack pack which appears at the top of the search results on Google for the search term "pizzas Beverley".
The list of companies in the local snack pack always used to be 7 in total, but it was reduced to 3 in 2015 as 3 listings fits on the screen on most mobile phones.
So now you we know what we're looking to achieve, how do we go about getting to the top of these search results? What are our steps to success?
Verify Business Ownership for local search successIf you haven’t done so already, you'll need to verify that you are the business owner at Google Business. Make sure that you fill in the fields as precisely as possible and place relevant keywords in the description. Ensure that you've chosen the correct categories and you've uploaded at least 5 photos of your business. This will help to optimise your page and get the best from the local search results. When you've done this, Google will send you a confirmation code which you'll need to verify online.
Note that if you’re a service business and don’t have a fixed location that customers can visit, don’t worry; you can choose to hide your physical address as you’re setting up your Google My Business listing.
In addition to listing with Google, you can add your local business to Bing Places for Business too. The process is very similar to the Google business process and will help you achieve your business ranking in Bing too.
Collect Google Reviews from customersHaving lots of 4 or 5 star Google reviews will really improve your standing in local search results. Its really simple: the business that has the most positive reviews will appear on the map and at the top of the local snack pack. So to appear at the top of the listings, ask your customers to leave reviews when they've had a good experience. You can offer them discounts or incentives to do this as their positive reviews are extremely important to your local seo success.
Get listed with other sitesHaving a backlink to your site from other high profile sites is another important aspect of local search engine optimisation. Websites such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Facebook and Trip Advisor also influence Google's search results and can influence your position in the listings too.
A full list of category-specific websites to list your business can be found at Moz.com. An illustration of this is shown below:
When trying to achieve high ranking results in local search, don't forget that your website also needs to be optimised correctly to ensure your site ranks highly in natural search results. Your onsite seo is just as important as your offsite seo. Also, if you're technically minded you can add local structured data to your site so that Google's spiders can better determine what your site content is about.
This article has given you many pointers on how to get to the top of the Google Local Search results however, if you need help or assistance in your endeavours, then please get in touch. I'd be happy to help.