Local businesses often ask about the Search Engine Optimization ranking metrics, and how they impact their businesses. While no one outside of Google knows what is in their SEO algorithms, we do have a pretty good idea of what they are looking for when ranking local businesses.
The first important local, higher-ranking metric is proximity of the business address to the searcher. This involves how close the business and the person searching are to each other. Most people have their location finder enabled so Google has a pretty good idea where you are and where the business is.
The second metric is the proximity to the city of the searcher. Is the searcher in the same city as the business? If so, that is good.
The third metric deals with the businesses presence on Google My Business. Google goes to Google My Business to better understand the local businesses. Having a complete profile on Google My Business is often the difference between showing up in the search and not showing up in the search. Click the link below to get a quick guide with tips on properly setting up Google My Business for best results.
The fourth metric are citations across the internet. Making sure you have the same NAP across the entire internet is a major factor in how Google views your business. What is NAP? Simply, your Name, Address and Phone number. They must be exactly the same across the web to take advantage of your information in search engines. For instance, Google sees 111 Main St #3, 111 Main Street #3 and 111 Main St Ste 3 as three different addresses. Your business name, address and phone number must look identical, everywhere to be to your benefit.
The fifth local ranking metric deals with backlinks. A backlink is when any other website gives a link directed to your website. However, not just any backlink will do. Having a plumber include a link on his website to an accounting firm will not pass much authority to the accounting firm. Having Forbes Magazine give a backlink to an accounting firm will pass their authority to the accounting firm and boost their ratings in Googles eyes.
So, what does this means for a local business? It means that, as a local business, if you want to be seen in search engines, you have to do a bit of work to make the most of your online presence. The bottom-line is that taking care of what some might call, “the small, pain-in-the-neck things” can lead to more business from your internet marketing strategy.