When it comes to finding local businesses, people turn to Google to find specific businesses within their area that meet their needs. Normally, people would type in “near me” on their search query, but nowadays, that’s no longer the case. When you simply type in the keyword for that you’re looking for, (for example: bankruptcy lawyer), Google will then give the list of different bankruptcy lawyers within your area. This is what local marketers today call “Local Pack.”
What You Should Know About Google My Business and the Local Pack
The Local Pack is a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Feature that shows up on the first page of your results for any search query with local intent. It features a map of business locations, as well as three businesses relevant to the user’s search query. Before, Google used to show seven results. But now, it has been pared down to three with an option for users to see a long page of results in Google Maps.
Google makes these results through companies’ Google My Business Listings, based on what that algorithm thinks are the most relevant results for the given search query.
Google My Business Features That You Can Use to Optimize Your Ranking on Local Searches
Being featured on the local pack is important for businesses as it strengthens your visibility and allows you to engage more with your target audience. When you’re featured as one of the three high-ranking results, it makes it easier for clients or customers to find your business’s website, hours, address, and phone number.
But how can you make your business rank high? Here are several Google My Business features that affect your business’s rankings on the Local Pack:
- Business Name
Yes, your business name does make an impact on your ranking. Sadly, if you don’t have a keyword-rich business name, it might affect your chances. According to a study conducted by STERLINGSKY and Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, your business name does make an impact on local pack rankings.
Though it may be difficult to change your business’s name, what you can do is check your competitors to see if they are taking advantage of this by adding descriptive keywords into their business names. If they are, then submit the corrections to Googles as it is against their guidelines. Don’t add any descriptive keyword to your business name yourself. Instead, keep an eye out for your competition.
On your end, however, when your business name does not have the targeted keyword for local searches, what you can do is to add it to your categories. Your primary category is another important factor where you rank for a particular search term in your area. It allows Google to know the core of your business so that it can rank your business name on the listing for the most relevant search terms.
Other than your primary category, you can also place additional details about your business in the secondary or additional categories. Since your category is crucial so you can appear on the searches, it’s important to test it for a time, so you can make sure that you appear on the listing when users search for the keyword.
Tip: Develop a list of five suitable primary categories and change it every week until you’ve tested them all out. This can give you data as to which category led to the most and more prominent appearance on the search results.
According to studies, your online reputation makes up 16% of the individual ranking factors that SEO experts believe Google focuses on for local search. Despite reviews providing ranking benefits for companies, it’s important in the sense that it informs and pleases your customers.
One might think that average star rating matters, but apparently, it’s fairly meaningless unless you have a high volume of consumer reviews received as recently as possible. That’s why not only should you want to receive positive reviews from your consumers but you also need to think about the review velocity, the speed and frequency of getting reviews from your clients or customers.
But how can you get more reviews on your Google My Business listing?
Check our article on how you can have your very own online reputation management system.
Another feature that would impact your local pack ranking would be the website field.
According to research, your website URL does affect your local SEO ranking. Most companies would think about using their homepage as the website link to their Google My Business listing. In fact, it’s only natural they should, given it has the most authority, backlinks, and relevance.
However, for some businesses that are qualified to have multiple listings, you might have to consider using different links, like a specific landing page that caters to the niche, so it can provide better results.
- Google My Business Insights
If you want to see how your listing is doing on the rankings, you can check the insights section. From there, you can see the various performance metrics provided where you can have an idea as to the direction your GMB is heading in.
Analyzing the data of your performance allows you to do some improvements and test out features, so you can see what works on the search rankings and what doesn’t. With this, you can see that Insights is crucial in studying your business’s performance in terms of local SEO and online reputation.
Optimizing your Google My Business listing is crucial if you want to get into local SEO. By taking advantage of these features and testing out what works well for your rankings, it can give your business the increased traffic and revenue you want.
From using relevant keywords to building a solid online reputation, Google My Business has become essential in getting more clients or customers to know about your business or services.
How Binary Ideas Can Help You with Online Reputation and Local SEO
We understand that juggling both running your business and marketing your services can be difficult. That’s why if you want to build a solid online presence, get help from experienced professionals who can get the job done for you.
Binary Ideas has a team of online marketing professionals, from website development and design to social media marketing, who can help establish your business’s presence online. We can work with you in creating effective marketing strategies that will increase your website traffic and ultimately your revenue.
Should you want to know more about our services, feel free to contact us today.