Search Localization Changes Everything
Over the last two years Google has been focusing their efforts on better matching searchers with businesses in their own geographic area through localized search results. This is partly out of consumer preference and partly as a result of increased use of mobile devices. Searchers are looking for products and services while they are on the go.
So the question arises: how good is your local search optimization? If you are a B2B business centralized in one city, you are going to be competing with a lot of other similar businesses in your area, so your localization strategies had better be up to par. Here are some suggestions for being ranked higher in local search results.
1) Upgrade your Google my Business local business listing. Google has released version 3.0 of Google My Business. Version 3.0 adds new functionality for people who like to actively manage their business locations. The key new features let businesses provide additional attributes for their locations. These include:
- Attributes: Users will be able to provide additional, category-specific information about locations.
- Find Matching Location: Users will be able to find and manually associate existing maps locations with your business location.
- Preferred Photo: You will be able to indicate which photo you would prefer to show up first in Google Maps and Search.
2) Expand your social media efforts and content on local review sites. When people search for businesses using a local site (or locally-oriented site, such as Yelp.com), most review sites consider local businesses first and show listings based on the mobile user’s location. Therefore, developing your listing on that site, as well as encouraging your happy customers to review your business, will go far in improving your local search results.
3) Look into creating more highly-targeted local ads. Google has also recently updated the local search results for their AdWords programs. Local business ads have started appearing in the map section of the Local Finder results. The addition of the ads in the maps section of Local Finder results means that ads for businesses that are not displayed in the main Google local listings have a new way of getting to the top of the results if users click through the main ads (by clicking “more places”) to see more listings.
The ads in the Local Finder results rely on AdWords location information (called an “extension”). These extensions are added by you when you set up your business in “Google my Business”. Google will use the location information to place your ad in the map results if your ad does not make it into the Local Search ad results.
Going forward: As Google and other search engines focus their search results more on local businesses, now is the time to review your local search marketing plan. The help of an experienced SEO agency can help your rankings rise to the top when your clients are searching for your services online. Contact us today to learn how we can help.