First thing of course is to make sure as a business owner you have a GMB listing and it has the correct information for your business. This is the first step in having a shot at ranking in the local pack. Many more searches in 2019 are mobile searches and those searches have high intent. When someone searches on a mobile phone while out and about chances are they’re looking to visit the type of buisness they’ve searched for RIGHT NOW. If you do not have the top local listing your potential customer may be visiting any number of other local businesses.
Addressing Reviews on your GMB or Social Profiles
Making sure to respond to reviews, especially negative reviews, can show potential clients and customers that you care about the customer. It gives a certain amount of confidence that your business has put importance on the customer satisfaction.
Google posts for your Local listing
Not too long ago Google added a feature of being able to post as you would on a social media site information on your Google my business GMB page. This can be useful for you to announce new promotions or specials in order to bring in new customers.
What is a NAP?
The important factor in how to optimize Google local listing has an acronym. NAP stands for Name/Address/Phone. Making sure this business information is consistent across all the listing sites AND MATCH YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING is vital for local optimization. There are directories which are specific for regions and cities that can also help a great deal in those respective areas. Likewise there are directories specific to certain niches which can also be very powerful.
Building out your profiles on all of these different review and citation pages is a large factor. One technique to make sure this part of local optimization is up to par is by searching old addresses for your business, finding listings with old information, and then updating the information for your business. This also ensures potential customers that find your listing on that site have the correct contact information.
Another way to make sure your listing profile is up to par with your competitors is by searching their addresses on Google. By searching part of their address in quotes, you can find directories their business is listed on. Once you have the list of directories and review sites your competitors are listed on simply create those for yourself.
How to Optimize for Local Search Ranking
Part of optimizing for local search is by having the correct relevance on your pages. You can also help out your local search results by adding localized information on your website. Information about the local area, an address, or even a map can help. Being sure your entire website is search engine optimized can go a long way towards local search.
In the last few years new metadata has become more widely used as well. This type of data is schema, and having the schema on your website with relation to location and business information is something to check to see if your competitors are doing more of. If you haven’t added schema and your competitors are using it it may be the reason they’re ranked higher even with similar amounts of links and local listings.
Reviews on Social Media and Review Sites
Most of the major places to build your local listings are easy enough to find and create a free listing with. The short list goes something like this: Google local, Bing local, Yahoo local, Yelp, Manta, Foursquare, Merchantcircle, Yellowpages, superpages, citysearch, citysquares, showmelocal, mojopages, and there are many more.
Yelp along with some other up and comers are big on reviews and getting reviews on these pages can also make a big difference. Angie’s list, superpages, yahoo, and Google will accept reviews and ratings from customers and this can show up in search results as stars. You may be able to use schema to get Google to show the stars of your business on Google search results.
Finding those Unique Listings to Put You on Top
One of the ways I find niche or localized listings which I can implement is through Google. Doing searches for the highest ranking local listings doesn’t always pay off but it can be gold. Many times you’ll just find that they’ve paid yahoo the $300 yearly to be in their directory, or they’ve been around long enough to get listed in DMOZ(no longer available)- by far the most reputable directory out there. Sometimes you will find that they’ve been listed in some directory which is comprised only of businesses from your city, or a directory specifically listing businesses in their niche. These are the big payoffs which can happen.