For local small businesses, it is vital to understand how Google ranking works. Without a firm grasp on it, business owners could end up spinning their wheels. If you own a small business, you most likely already know that potential customers turn to Google to search for what you offer. But if they can’t easily find you, they may turn to your competition.
No matter what type of business you may be, a local SEO company such as Unwired Web Solutions may be able to help grow your online presence. Over the past five years, Google has changed dramatically in the way it ranks local businesses.
A Continuous Process
Optimization needs to be done continuously to make sure your website gets the ranking it deserves. The days of hiring an SEO specialist to get your website ranked and then sitting back and doing nothing for ten years are gone.
Although there have been a lot of changes, the core factors for SEO haven’t really changed. They still depend on keywords on the website and links from external sites. But because of Google’s new changes, SEO professionals need to stay ahead of the game and find ways to help clients rank.
A Different Way of Looking at SEO
A few years ago, when Google started changing results based on local intent, local businesses needed to change the way they thought about their SEO strategies. Google Business Profile was also launched, allowing local businesses to claim their business listing and add information similar to a Facebook business profile.
Google Business Profile changed the game for several reasons. Customers could now learn about your business without even clicking on your website. Google Business Profile and local search algorithms also added new core ranking factors such as:
- The proximity of the user on the map
- Photos, posts, and videos of your products and services
- Description in the “About” section
Over the years, ranking factors for local businesses and franchised locations have become much more complex. There are over 100 factors that may impact how your company ranks in the local area. Experts suggest that the most important part of ranking locally is through keyword optimization. It is extremely critical to take the time to do the research as there are hundreds of keyword combinations that can be used to find businesses. When thinking of keywords for your business, you will need to consider which ones have the most search volume and which describe your core service or product.
Understanding keywords can be tricky. Those with the most searches aren’t always the primary keywords for targeted optimization. Sometimes it’s better to be ranked number one for the secondary keyword for a profitable service than being ranked number 18 for the keyword with the most searches. Keyword optimization is a constantly evolving process, with rankings changing every day. With the help of a local SEO company, they can help you track average rank and analyze search traffic to determine your monthly adjustments.
All search engines and social media platforms are paying attention to each other. When Google looks at ranking a local business, they are closely watching every aspect of your business. Some of the most significant factors in Google ranking include:
- Are you actively using Google Business Profile?
- Are you actively logging in and using listing sites such as Yelp and Bing?
- Are you updating your events and information?
- Are you posting on social media regularly?
- Are you uploading photos and videos to Google Business Profile and other platforms?
As you can see, activity is critical when Google is ranking you. When Google looks at solid and active businesses, they appear as thriving companies using these platforms, which shows they care about their customers since they are showing concern about their online reputation.
A strong, active online presence will help your reputation and clickthrough rates to help convince more customers to contact you. As Google is the search leader who has a highly advanced algorithm, it may be essential to work with a local SEO company that can help with the process. Contact our team at Unwired Web Solutions today to get started with your local SEO plan.