With over 200 ranking signals used by Google to determine which local business gets the top visibility in search results, it is helpful to understand which signals are the most important to focus on. From time to time, sometimes Google reveals specifics that help confirm the best practices we advise small businesses on.
Question: What Is Google’s Top Ranking Factor?
Answer: Content is still King!
Content is what matches your business to a search. Your content should answer search queries related to where you are, what you do, how you can help the person searching solve their problem, and/or answer their question.
What Are the Top Ranking Factors for Local Businesses?
So what are the most important local ranking factors? Again, we look to Google for this answer.
- Relevance. Relevance refers to how well a local business matches an individual’s search. From a content standpoint, is your website describing all your services?
- Distance/Proximity. How far is your business location from the person searching or the search phrase if a geographic modifier is used? From a content standpoint, is your address location accurate and easy to find across your entire digital footprint (website, Google My Business, social sites, directory listings) … for prospective customers and Google?
- Prominence. Prominence refers to how well-known a business is. Some businesses are more prominent in the offline world and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). From a content standpoint, do you have more reviews and better ratings than your competitors?
With these ranking factors in mind, what could a possible local marketing strategy look like for your small business?
Increase Your Local Ranking Checklist + Action Plan
1) Optimize your website
- Ensure your website has accurate business information, including your location and contact details.
- Create a detailed product/services page on your website.
- Feature prominent customer reviews and testimonials across your website.
- Consistently publish new blog posts, images, and videos to keep your website content recent.
Action Plan: Leverage digital tools that make it easy to consistently publish relevant content at scale to your website.
2) Optimize your Google My Business listing
- Ensure your Google My Business listing has accurate and complete business information, including your location and contact details
- Select the right categories for your business
- Focus on online reviews: Ask for reviews, get reviews, and respond to reviews
- Add content to your Google My Business listing: Product descriptions, images, videos
- Use Google My Business’s Q&A feature to spark engagement
Action Plan: Find a digital tool that allows you to manage your online reviews in one place.
- Review and update your categories
- Ask for and respond to online reviews
- Publish images and videos to your Google My Business listing
- Create, monitor, and answer common questions
3) Maintain your 3rd-party sites
- Ensure your business information is complete and accurate across all business listings
- Publish images to all of your listings
- Maintain an active presence on social media
Action Plan: Find a digital tool that makes it possible to manage your business information across your online presence and maintain an active presence.
- Review and update your business listing information when necessary
- Publish images about your business, completed projects, office, etc. – one image can easily be uploaded to 70+ listings at once!
- Create and share content on social media
How to Improve Productivity and Create Greater Visibility
While you could find individual tools to handle each section of the action plan we just walked through, why not find an all-in-one local marketing software to manage everything in one place?
If you’re ready to maintain your web presence through a robust interface that speaks the language of website traffic, advertising analytics, call tracking, social media monitoring, voice search, competitor analysis, and more, we’re ready to help you. Request a demo of our Surefire Local Marketing Platform today to get a complimentary analysis of your online presence!