Whether you are offering digital services to customers, have a localized website selling digital products, or are running your own small business, you want to invest your time into Google My Business, a free business listing through Google. To put it simply, Google My Business is responsible for the map listings that people see when they do a search inside Google. These local map listings generally come in threes and are what individuals click on to call your business. Why is this important? 72% of people who search within Google and click on a map listing will call that business within 72 hours, the first three listings will get 33% of the clicks, and all traffic you receive from this listing is free.
What Makes a Map Results Rank Higher Than Another Map Result?
There are five factors that you can utilize that will rank you higher than another map listing.
Business Signals: are the consistent citations that you have across Google. This will include things like your business name, telephone number, and physical address. This makes up about 19% of your map ranking.
Link Signals: this is how many websites link back to your website. When a website links back to you, it is vouching for you to Google that you are a credible and legitimate website. More importantly, you want websites that use anchor text that has the keyword you want to rank for. Finally, you want websites that have a high domain authority linking back to you.
On-Page SEO: makes up about 14% of your map listing and is all about optimizing individual web pages to rank higher. This includes written content and HTML source code optimization.
Reviews: makes up about 13% of your map listing. The more reviews that you have from customers with pictures, the higher click-through rate you will have.
Behavior: this makes up about 10% of your map listing ranking. This factor is all about your click-through rate. The website that gets more clicks will always rank above a website that has fewer clicks. One way of getting clicks is by using a branded name that is professional looking and sounding.
5-Step Local SEO Ranking Process
- You want to start with Google My Business. Go in and verify, edit, and add in your business name. Make sure that your business name has the keyword you want to rank for in it. The reason for this is when people search in Google, your map listing will show up because the keyword is in the title of the business. Make sure to add in a description of your business, images, and videos. You also want to add in a profile picture/cover picture and fill out as many categories that your business belongs under. If you can, max this out as this is a pre-ranking signal.
- Go and claim directories. Go to Yelp, Yellowpages, Facebook, Hotfrog, and Foursquare and complete the steps in Google My Business, on these directories. Once you are done here, go to advanced directories like your local chamber of commerce, the BNI of the local area, the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and Home Advisor and repeat the steps above. All of these will give you backlinks to your business.
- Ask your customers to leave high-quality reviews in Google for your business with images.
- Head to Moz to make sure that there are no incomplete listings online. If there are, fix them up.
- Write location-driven content that is centered around your local area and link it back to your homepage.
Step By Step Process for Google My Business
- Go to Google.com/Business if you do not have a listing. If you have a listing, just log in.
- Hit start now and add in your business name with the keyword you want to rank for.
- Add as many categories as you can that you want to rank for.
- Set your hours, phone number, website URL, and business description with your ranking keyword.
- Add in client information for users.
- Add in pictures with the file name as the keyword.
- Once you’re done with this, continue to claim directories, get high-quality reviews, and write location-driven content.
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