How Can Local Businesses Get on Top of Google Search Results?
This question seems to be a very common question when it comes to small business owners. We will take a look at what goes into getting at the top of search results as well as some direct references from Google. Just remember, Google changes its algorithms every so often, so what is explained in the FAQ may be a little different later down the road.
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Local SEO is focused on providing results that are relevant to a searcher based on their current location. If I search for “best Mexican restaurant” on my laptop right now, Google would show me results that are nearest to me.
Google My Business
Best and easiest way to start is with Google My Business. This allows you to show up when customers search for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps. Google My Business lets you post the major things about your business like your location, hours of operation, phone numbers as well as the ability to post updates to showcase what’s new, respond to reviews to build loyalty and add photos to highlight what makes your business special.
Google My Business will also place your business on Google Maps like the example above. There are people out there who just use Google Maps to do their searching. One of the reasons why is because it is very convenient. If you are hungry and want Mexican food, all you have to do is go to Maps, type in Mexican food and it will show you exactly where to go. So it would behoove you to have this feature set up.
On-page local SEO
You should be using a consistent format for the businesses name, addresses, and phone numbers when optimising local pages on your website. The format should be the same on every page. You can include the name, address, and phone numbers as a footer on your pages as an additional reference. The page’s title tag should feature the brand name, the keyword being targeted and the location. Another great tip is to embed a map of your business location on your “contact us” or “about us” page. This will help give a better explanation of exactly where the business is located. Remeber, the more descriptive and better you can explain something about your business, the more it will help with ranking.
The more content you are pushing out on the web that will help others will only benefit you. The content that I’m referring to are things like Blogs, Videos, Social Media posts, FAQs, and Podcasts, just to name a few. Content Marketing and SEO go hand in hand with one another. The basics of SEO is all about targeting keywords that you want to rank higher in a search so that your business, products or services be found easier. By incorporating your keywords with helpful content will enable you to strategically use your keywords. But, one thing Google does not like is jamming your keywords in useless content to try and “hack” the SEO system. This can actually put a bad rep on you and can cause lower rankings.
A linkback is when someone uses a direct link from your content as a reference or used in their content which will allow others to click on the link and bring them directly to your content. A linkback is pretty much saying “hey click here because I have some great information to share with you”. The more other people are using your links to point to your content show Google that you must have some great information to share. Google is all about trying to connect people to the best information out there. Imagine if you had a blog that you explained everything there is to know about Saltwater Aquariums and let’s just say you created a specific topic on filtration systems. If a major retailer of aquarium supplies used your link to direct people to your blog because they think you have great information about filtration systems, this can help you out tremendously. Now imagine if you had tons of people using your links and people are linking back to your content. This is one of the top ways to increase your ranking with Google.
Take a look at Googles SEO Guide for additional information
You may also want to look the Basics of SEO