Local SEO changed in a big way when Google slimmed down their 7-pack to a 3-pack. It was hard enough for many local businesses to make it into the top 7; now that the challenge is to get into the top 3, it may be tempting to give up. Don’t. It’s tougher to show up in Google results than it used to be, but you can make it.
While it’s entirely possible to get your local business into the top 3 Google results, it takes time, effort and above all, knowledge to make it happen. Local search marketing is a highly effective, incredibly focused type of marketing which allows you to reach consumers near you who are looking for what your business offers, but getting high enough in the search results for your business to be seen can be tricky.
If you’d like to make your business more visible online, start with these three tips:
1. For Local SEO get more citations from other sites
One factor that is very important to the ranking of local listings in Google is the number of citations the business in question has received from other sites. All it takes is a mention of your business’ name and some additional information on another site; pretty much anywhere on the web, whether or not this mention includes a link to your site. This is all part of Local SEO.
The information included with this citation could be the address of your business, a phone number or a link to your site. However, these mentions will only be counted as citations by Google if they match the information in your Google My Business listing exactly. If you can get more citations, you should start to see your ranking increase.
2. Add photos
The web is a visual medium, take advantage of it! The more images your Google local listing profile includes, the more likely it’ll be to get the attention of consumers. This applies to any listing your business might have online. For instance, Yelp offers advice to business owners on making their listings stand out and this advice includes how effective images can be. On average, consumers will spend more than twice as long looking at listings which include photos.
3. Get reviews
People pay attention to online reviews and more than ever, consumers are likely to write reviews. This is a trend which has not gone unnoticed by Google and other search engines. Google sees a large number of positive reviews as a sign that your business is one that people will be looking for – and if you want to improve your rankings online, make a point of encouraging customers to leave reviews for your business whenever possible.
Let’s face it: it’s not going to be as easy to show up in the 3-pack as it was in the 7-pack and these tips will certainly help you to get there, but it’s up to you to keep up on the latest changes in local search. You also need to make sure that all of the information given in your Google listing is accurate and up to date. From there, it’s all about placing your keywords appropriately in your profile and using categories correctly – and of course, providing your customers with the best possible products and services!
- Local Search Marketing (Local SEO, Geo-PPC, and More) (grasshopper.com)