How to rank higher for local search keywords on Google.
Google is constantly making changes to their search algorithms to help improve the user experience. The most recent changes have impacted local search ranking to make them even more relevant to users. Local search results appear in Google Maps and organic search results based primarily on the relevance, distance, and prominence of the result.
So what does this mean as a digital marketer or business owner? It means that it’s more important than ever to fine-tune the details of your local SEO efforts including tactics like link building, keyword optimization and anchor text, local citations, rank tracking, social media engagement, and a number of other on- and off-page SEO practices.
Follow these steps to perfect your keyword game in local rankings on Google.
1. Google My Business Categories
In Google My Business, there is an option to categorize your business. Make sure you categorize your business as accurately as possible but try to only select one primary category. The category itself acts as a keyword and will help increase your local search ranking for relevant searches.
2. Business Listing Description
There is an option to add a business description in Google My Business as well. Be sure you add a unique description about your business, about 400 characters long, that naturally uses relevant keywords. This is another key area that can help you rank higher in organic results.
3. Google Post Updates
In 2017, Google released a new feature that allows for post updates to business listings. The posts appear below the Q&A, location, and contact information in the Google My Business profile. Posts only display temporarily, expiring after 7 days, so they need to be updated once per week. The post feature gives you the ability to promote products/services, events, announcements, etc. and link to a landing page which also gives you the opportunity to add keyword-friendly content in your local search presence.
4. Add Metadata to Photos
Adding metadata to all of your photos can improve your rankings in Google image search results, as well as regular organic results. Photo metadata includes titles, descriptions, file names, and EXIF data — all obvious keyword opportunities. Not only does Google pay attention to the metadata, it also cares about the recency of the photos in the business listing so it’s a good idea to add a new photo once per week.
5. Keywords in Google Reviews
New positive reviews will always send a good signal to Google. When your reviews have relevant keywords and location mentions in them, it sends Google even better signals. Even though Google reviews are driven entirely by the customers, you can still make it easy for them to leave reviews by placing calls-to-action in emails or on your website.
Keyword optimization is possibly one of the most important (but easy) factors for gaining high ranks in Google local search results. If you can confidently check-off everything listed above, then you will be hard to beat among other local businesses in search. There are a variety of ranking trackers out there to help you. dbaPlatform is one of the best softwares for Google My Business management. It’ the only utility in its class and allows you to optimize, schedule, and publish content to Google My Business accounts including posts and photos (a lifesaver for multi-location businesses.) It also reports on your ranks in Google every month.
Real Life Results
Brand Lab Media saw marked improvements after just one month of using dbaPlatform for a four client test. After just one month of managing and optimizing the Google My Business listing for one of their clients through dbaPlatform, they saw an 83.6% increase in listing views and an astounding 723 more people found the business from their Google listing than in prior months.