An incredibly effective way to market your business locally is through local search engine optimization, or local SEO. This form of marketing helps promote your products and services to a local customer set. Google has specific local ranking factors to determine your business’s relevance to a local search query. This means that you won’t always have to worry about competing against large corporations.
Local SEO efforts help increase the visibility of your business online, resulting in more online customer visits, more sales, and more foot traffic too! Local SEO can impact your bottom-line goals and is definitely something to put your marketing efforts toward.
Google’s Local Pack
The local pack can significantly help your business improve traffic to your website by way of the visibility you receive from the platform.
The local pack is the part in Google’s search engine results that displays local companies based on your search query. Google will show the top three local businesses that may answer the query.
Below is an example of Google’s local pack for the search query “pizza shops near me.”
According to Search Engine Land, one study shows that the 3-pack is the #1 result 93% of the time. This means that if your company ranks in the local pack, most of the time you will be displayed in the first result of local search. The visibility that this provides your company to consumers is vital to your growth online.
Additionally, in a Moz Case study, researchers found that:
- 44% of people clicked on the local pack
- 29% clicked on organic results
- 19% clicked on paid results
From this study, it is clear that Google’s local pack can definitely increase traffic to your site and revenue for your business, even more than standard organic results and pay-per-click ads can.
How to Rank in the Pack
Now that you’ve discovered the importance of ranking in Google’s local pack, here’s how you can rank within it.
To maximize your opportunity to appear in the local pack, creating a Google My Business profile is your first step. Google My Business is a free tool to help companies manage their online profile on Google’s search results and in Google Maps.
Optimizing content in your profile is what will set you apart from your competitors and help you to rank over them in the local pack. Here are the steps for optimization:
1. Enter All Data
Businesses with complete and accurate information are more likely to match for relevant local search queries. Making sure that you have entered all of your information is essential for customers to know who you are and what you do.
You should provide information on your physical location, contact information, attributes and industry category. This way, potential customers will know exactly what you do and how they can reach you.
2. Keep Your Hours Accurate and Up to Date
Be sure to enter and update your business hours so customers know that when they reach out or visit, they will get a response and your business will be open. Also, include special hours for holidays so there’s no confusion.
3. Responding and Managing Your Reviews
Online reviews can be crucial to ensuring your business gets that spot in the local pack as the algorithm rewards them. Positive reviews from previous customers will increase your visibility and showcase a trustworthy relationship. When potential customers read these, they will be much more likely to choose your business.
Additionally, it’s important to respond to all reviews whether positive or negative. Neglecting to answer negative concerns is only harmful to your business. The best approach for negative reviews is to apologize for whatever issue the customer faced, and then ask that they contact you via phone number or email. That way, you can show you are proactive in tackling the situation, but you keep all details (and potential conflicts) offline.
4. Include Photos
Add photos to your Google My Business profile to show users your products and services. These photos can also help to capture your company’s values and atmosphere. Appealing photos can attract future customers and encourage an investment in you!
How Google Will Determine Local Rankings
Google rewards businesses with local pack rankings based on prominence, proximity, and relevance. All of these factors combined will determine your ranking.
This factor refers to how well-known a business is, taking into account both online and offline prominence. For example, famous landmarks or brands are more likely to show up in the local pack because of their popularity.
However, online prominence is a huge factor as well. Google considers all of the information about your company that is on the web, which includes any links, articles, or directories you’re connected to. The more well-known you are throughout the web, the more likely Google will reward you.
This is relatively self-explanatory, as Google takes into account how far the user’s location is from the businesses related to their search. Sometimes users will specify a location that isn’t necessarily near them, which is why it is vital to include your current address in your profile. Include local content on your website as well to increase your chances of being boosted in local rankings by Google.
Relevance refers to how well a user’s search query matches with your business. Google will display your company if they feel that you could answer a given search query. With this in mind, the optimization of your Google My Business profile is essential to ensure that Google has enough information to rank you for relevant content. Be sure to include an accurate business description with significant keywords!
There is no way to get into Google’s local pack without increasing your local SEO efforts. But in doing so, your business can soar online by gaining more traffic and generating more revenue!
Reach out to the team at Sixth City Marketing today for local SEO help