Search engine technology has become part of our daily lives and this means that for many small and medium businesses ranking high on Google has become a priority. Successful ranking on Google is not just about cramming repetitive keywords into a website (Google is clever and will penalise you for trying underhand tricks). What works is providing your potential clients with valuable information – key details that differentiate your business from your competitors.
There are many ways to go about this; for example, geo-location provides additional opportunities to improve ranking by adding the physical location of your business to Google Maps. This translates to happier customers, which feeds into Google’s algorithms, which improves your ranking. Many customers search for businesses locally, and this represents an added opportunity to display your business and increase orders. Here are five tips to help you along the way:
1 – Google likes consistency; mixed information will discredit your business and, in turn, this will affect your ranking negatively. This is particularly relevant in the case of small businesses. It is essential to verify your listing and make sure that there is one listing per business entity or per physical location. This includes your business name, location and phone number.
2 – Consistency also includes references to your business from other websites, namely from major data providers. For example, Google sees data from Facebook and LinkedIn as trustworthy sources; this means that your basic details have to be the same on both these platforms.
3 – User reviews are also a great way to help your business climb up those all important rankings. The caveat is that you have no control over what people write and reviews can be read by anyone. At this stage it’s helpful to ask your best customers to help you out. Why not ask them to leave a review? The first step is to create a landing page on your website containing a direct link to your Google map listing (find yourself on Google Maps, click “more information” to see your listing. This is the link you will want people to click to write a review). Make sure you send out this link to your favorite customers who will then write positive reviews about your business.
4 – Include location keywords in anchor text for inbound links. These are important as Google will factor them in when ranking your website. Make sure that all those inbound links include actual keywords that are location specific. For example, instead of it saying “click here” to visit website, replace it with “Visit Emma’s hand painted tiles”. 5 – Don’t forget to include keywords in your listing description. Your Google Maps description should be short (there is a character limit) but has to include your distinctive keywords. Instead of writing “We are a great architectural practice with a vision…” say something like “London architectural practice with vision”.
Finally, don’t forget to include your full business address on the contact page. The information on the contact page must be correct and up to date. Google always checks that your website contact page is consistent with your Google Maps listing information.
Learn more on how to get your local business found on Google.