Do you know that more than 97% of customers search for services online. 69% of such search results are affected by geolocation.
Like Bill Gates of Microsoft once said, “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business”.
In today’s context, if your business is not in Google search you might go out of business because your competitors are going to take away all the traffic.
The good news is that you can get listed in Google’s local listings even if your business does not have a website.
But, why are local listings important? What benefit do they derive for a business?
Apart from helping customers reach you faster, local listings have several other features. First of all, it serves to boost local SEO. Google considers local listings as an integral component for local SEO ranking.
How does Google Local search parameters work?
Google’s local search take into consideration several parameters or ranking factors which helps your listing land on the top map listings when a user raises a related query.
Some such ranking factors include:
Google looks to match your physical address with the location proximity of the user. The more accurate and specific the address is, the better the chance of getting listed in Google map listings.
You can set the correct physical address of the business by placing the pin in the exact location. Placing the pin in the wrong direction will not help in getting listed to local customers who could be searching for your service.
Google considers the business category associations you have provided in the Google + Local page. Wrong choice of categories will lead to incorrect indexing or even fail to list your business in the local listings.
Tip: If your business offers a niche product or service, you can use the custom category association to include it in Google’s listing.
In simple terms, Local Citations are like recommendations. Search engines like Google look for links to your website’s name, place or contact in other websites. They create links each time they find such a link, which is referred to as local citation. More the number of local citations, better is the chance that your website will show up in listings.
NAP (Name Address Phone Number) consistency
Name, Address & Phone number consistency is a serious ranking factor that Google considers before placing your business in top listings. NAP consistency requires that you use a consistent brand name, physical address and also telephone number (preferably local) in listings. Using several alternatives will confuse the search engine pushing your business down the list.
Tips to create a foolproof business listing
Now that we have told you the ranking factors, you also need to know some hacks that can help you get higher listing ranking in Google local search:
Use brand name
Google weighs brand names and branded keywords higher than keyword stuffed listings. Keyword stuffing in a business name is a thing of the past. The way forward to impress Google will be through branded business names that can attach some weight to themselves.
Collect online reviews
According to BrightLocal, at least 80% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust suggestions from near and dear. Online reviews not only inspire customers but also help in boosting the search engine friendliness of your business. Further, these reviews might also include keywords that help in boosting search engine ranking.
Use local phone number
Let’s say your business is located in Gujarat. It makes sense to use a local number with Gujarat STD code than, the number of some other location where your business might have an office.
Direct to Local pages
The last thing you want to do after bringing your visitor click on your business listing is to let them go around in circles. So, ensure you direct your users to the specific location page within the website.
Use different descriptions
Let’s assume your business has multiple locations located across the city. In such a case, you can use the same brand name but not the same description everywhere. Use different descriptions for different locations for maximum advantage.
These are some pointers you must bear in mind while listing your business for local SEO advantage.
Now, check out this handy list of websites you can start with for listing your business online:
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