Influencing Local SEO rankings - Understanding Local Search

Influencing Local SEO rankings – Understanding Local Search Results

We talked about the Google Pigeon update post a while back. There, we talked about how Google’s returning back to 7-Pack results than the 3-Pack results from before. If you haven’t already Googled up what a 7-Pack or a 3-Pack result is, here is what you need to know about them.

So, let’s say you are looking for a restaurant in Oregon or one in Boston. Just Google up, ‘restaurant Boston Massachusetts’. You will get this below.

As you can see, you are displayed 7 different addresses of restaurants that’s nearby your location. Well, that’s what a 7-Pack is all about. In simple words, it helps you to view seven different places or items of interest that you are searching for.

With the Google Pigeon update, this became a bit different. As we talked about in the Google Pigeon update post, Google started showing more of 3-Pack results than 7-Pack ones. In 3-Pack results, you are displayed three different results instead of the seven you get in a 7-pack result. With Google focusing in on more accurate location search results, 3-Pack results became the norm than the exception immediately after Google Pigeon. In effect, it meant that you have three different restaurants showing up from all the other restaurants in the area. Let’s do a search for where you can get coffee in Portland. You will come up with a result similar to this.

 

 

There are of course more than 3 coffee shops out there. So how did Google choose these 3 of all of them? Or how did Google choose the seven restaurants above? Google looks at a number of different factors when picking up the search results that are the most relevant to you. You should remember that Google’s interest is offering the user the best possible search result and not diverting business to you. Here’s a look at some of the ways you can feature prominently in these local search results.

1. Claiming your business

How do you rank now? Did you know that you can submit your site individually to the Google directory? Yes, you do not need to wait for Google to index or crawl your pages. If you feel Google’s been neglecting you or want to make Google remember that you exist, just submit your webpage to Google’s directory. It might take a few days or weeks for Google to finally crawl the pages, but that’s there to it.

2. What’s your brand name?

We talked about this a number of times actually. Google loves to show results of places that have more reviews, are loved by more people and have a brand of its own. Have your own Google + Local Business page for one. Make sure that you are found in local listings. Remember, Google’s always looking at the relevancy before displaying a search result. If your restaurant features prominently in local search results and in local search directories, it is more likely to be featured in Google search results as well.

3. How socially active are you?

Talking of Google + Page, it’s not only that you should consider. Instead, don’t forget to participate in social media as well. Interact with your audience, get comments and be talked about. Have you heard about the concept of social listening yet?

However, this is only the tip of the iceberg’s that we are talking about. Whether Google shows your business in a local search result or not depends on a multitude of other factors. Let’s list out some of the most important factors that Google wants to know about when ranking your business.

1.      Your category

When filling up your Google + Local Page, remember to include all details properly, including your Business Name and Address.

 

 

1.      Use the right place name

Don’t forget to include the district name or Zip code. This is because a search result with your business name in it is more likely to appear for those searching by the particular location names. So, you might try to include every detail possible to get included in different search results.

2.Consistency is the key

Remember to spell all details correctly and in the same manner everywhere. So, if your business name’s Boston Ltd., remember to write it as Boston Ltd. all the time. Note the ‘.’ after Ltd. – it’s got to be the same, always.

3. Fill up your place in the directories

Let’s suppose you have a restaurant up there in London. You can go to a site like GetListed.org to check the authoritative directories you can include your business name into. While

5. How mobile are you?

Local search results can form a significant part of your web traffic. In fact, if you have a website in the education or restaurant niche or even in the medicine niche, you need to focus on local search rankings.

Remember to have a mobile friendly site. And it’s not just because your website needs to be displayed in mobile. Web searches are pretty different from mobile searches. However, Google is giving a priority to those websites that have a mobile presence. A flexible site structure that’s fluid will help as it can help you display your website pages in every device in an optimized way.

4. How accurate are you?

I assume you have already filled up the Google + Business page. Now, Google will check the address in your website page to know whether the details you wrote in the Business page are the same or different. It’s important got Google to check that the reference and address is exactly the same in both places. As we said earlier, it is important to write the address in exactly the same fashion, always.

 

 

1. Reviews

The better the review your business has, the more will Google love it.  The reviews that you earn in your Google + Local Page is going to influence the rank you have in search result. In other words, the better your review the higher your chances to get displayed. You can know what others think of you by directly clicking on the ‘reviews’ link in the Google + Local Page.

7.Domain authority

You need to have an authoritative domain. Remember, the overall strength of your business website domain is a crucial factor in determining whether Google ranks your website in the search result. This brings to us a whole multitude of different factors including backlinks, the Page Authority and the number of visitors to your traffic. You need to build upon your SEO to increase the domain authority.

8.Meta Descriptions

No, they are not as important as before. However, you need to ensure that you fill up things like the Title Tag properly. So, focus on writing the City and the State in the ‘Title Tag’ itself.

9. The proximity

This is a simple one really. You are more likely to have a place that’s nearer to you mentioned than a place that’s too far off. However, mobile searches and web searches are bit different in this regard. We have talked about how Google ranks those places that’s within 20 miles of the urban city center prominently during web searches in our Google Pigeon post.

The Google Pigeon update has of course influenced how we think about local search results.  Which among all these, do you think is the most important factor among these that you need to consider on? Do let us know!

 

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