4 Ways to Improve Your Local Search Ranking
We are often asked by small business owners, “How can I improve my ranking on Local Search?” as well as “How do I get on the first page of results?” While search ranking algorithms may be nearly impossible to crack, we have some simple hacks that can lead to ranking higher on online directories such as Google or Yelp.
1. Claim, Verify and Optimize Your Business Listings
Online directories like Google and Yelp are more inclined to show business information that they know is correct. The verification process involves confirming your correct business information with online directories, which allows search engines to determine how many times your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) is cited or mentioned online. Businesses with more citations will typically rank higher online, as online directories find this information to be more reputable.
2. Ensure NAP is Consistent Across Directories and Your Website
While your business information may be listed in multiple directories, if there are minor inconsistencies in how your business information is listed, search engines may think that they are from two different businesses, lowering the number of citations for your business information. Keep in mind that an inconsistency in the eyes of a search engine can be as little as St. versus street. While it may be obvious to users that the listings show the same address, search engines may recognize them as being two listings for different businesses.
Don’t forget about your website either. You’ll want to make sure that your business information is listed consistently on your website header and footer, as well as your contact page.
3. Ask for Reviews
Online reviews not only affect consumer purchasing decisions they also are a huge factor in your local search ranking. Potential customers will be more inclined to click on results with a higher amount of positive reviews.
You can increase your reviews by taking a proactive approach to ask your loyal, happy customers for reviews, sending Thank You emails with an invitation to post a review, add your listing review link to your website, or adding reminders in your store.
4. Use a Directory Listings Management Program
While it may be easy to create your listings on a number of directories such as Google or Yelp, maintaining these listings to ensure your business information is up to date and correct can be very time-consuming.
Maintenance of online listings is a critical part of your online health since your listing information can be updated at any time. Directories accept suggestions from online users and they will even pull information from other online sources. For this reason, the maintenance and management of your listings is an on-going process – not something that requires just 3 or 6 months of oversight. Even a slight inconsistency on your listings can negatively affect your local search ranking.
The good news is, by taking advantage of a Directory Listings management program someone else will monitor and correct any inconsistency, so you don’t have to worry about it. With a Directory Listings service, you will also receive monthly reporting of all the listings that are being managed. In this detailed report, you will have insight into all of your business information as well as clicks and keywords that people are using to find you.
Don’t know where to start or have questions on how you can improve your online presence or want to enroll in a directory listings program? Click here to schedule a time with one of our Local Marketing Experts.