3 tips to get your biz in Google's top 3 local results

Sep 14, 2020

If you do a local search for your business category, do you see your biz in the top 3 results? Are you on the map?

Those top 3 spots are definitely the place to be and we've got some tips to help improve your chances of getting there.

TIP #1 - OPTIMIZE GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

The first step to the top of the rankings is to spend a little time with your Google My Business profile. Don't have one? Go claim yours ASAP so you're not missing out on this free tool to promote your local business.

Just claiming your Google My Business profile is only step one. Next, you have to make sure your profile is complete - fill out all those fields.

Select several categories that relate to your business, not just one. Remember Google will be using all the information you provide here when determining search results so give them the data they need.

Add some photos to your profile, not only does it help showcase your location, but it helps Google provide the best results. If your photos are geotagged, even better.

Landlines may be a thing of the past but having a local number in your profile is key to local searches. If you're using your cell phone that you got 10 years ago from another state - you're not doing yourself any favors.

Finally, be sure you have some great reviews. Google loves the data that comes with reviews and those 5-star ratings can really set you apart.

TIP #2 - NAME-ADDRESS-PHONE CONSISTENCY

If your business has been around for a while, there are probably links or mentions of it in multiple places on the web. Everything from Yelp to Facebook to local directories probably have your name, address and phone number listed - which is great for SEO.

But what's not so great is when there is inconsistency in that information.

To consistently nab those top Google spots, you need to make sure that every time your business name is listed online, it looks the same - including any abbreviations or special characters you might include.

This also applies to your address - don't use Road in one listing and Rd. in another. Keep them all the same. If your business has moved or you've changed phone numbers, this becomes even more important.

When Google sees conflicting information, it gets suspicious and that will hurt your chances of those top ranking spots.

TIP #3 - ON PAGE CONTENT

Just because you've cleaned up a lot of your external links and profiles doesn't mean you'll be shooting to the top of the search results. You still have to make sure your actual website is top-notch.

Check your page loading speed. Google hates slow pages and will penalize them in search rankings.

How's your overall content? Do you reference your location including towns served? The presence of local keywords is important if you want to get on the map in Google.

Even better, embed a Google map on your site in a place that makes sense. This confirms to Google that you really are who you say you are and that your location is accurate.

STAY THE COURSE

Search engine optimization is a long game. Don't expect to tweak your profile and show up first in the rankings later that day. And don't expect to make changes once and be set on your SEO.

There's an entire industry of professionals out there who do nothing but help businesses with SEO and for most local businesses that cater to kids and families, not only are they out of reach but largely unnecessary.

The good thing about local is, your competitors are limited and you probably know them personally. So do what you can to optimize your rankings and chances of being number one, but don't obsess. SEO is only one part of an overall local marketing strategy.

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