4 Key Factors To Ranking Locally On Google Maps

If you’re a small business owner wanting to get ranked on the first page of Google, I’m going to show you the four factors, the four key factors you need to be aware of.

Hi there, internet fans, it’s Ryan Perry, Simple Biz Support. Today I want to speak to small local business owners in San Francisco, CA. That is, business owners that are acquiring clients, or want to acquire clients, say within 10, 20, 30 miles of their business. What are the four key factors you need to be aware of in order to get ranking?

The number one factor business owners need to be aware of is their foundation, and that foundation is their website. All marketing, all digital online marketing should be built off a solid website and with a solid foundation. And part of that is SEO. If your website is not properly SEO optimized, that is, does it have the information that Google needs in order to rank your website on the first page? If the answer is no, you will never rank, regardless.

I’m not going to go into all the details in this video, because there are a lot. One of the big problems I see when evaluating small business owner websites is that they tend to pack too much information into one page. As an example, if you’re a dentist, you don’t just provide dentist services, part of that might be teeth cleaning, you might do cosmetic dentistry, so we’re getting into implants, you might be doing dentures. What about teeth whitening? Each one of those is a separate Google search and therefore it needs to be in a separate page on your website, because Google is not indexing your entire page as one website, they’re actually indexing, or databasing, each individual page, and so if I’m looking for teeth whitening services, as an example in Santa Rosa, California, and you have a website that has all the services they provide, we’re a general dentist, we’re a family dentist, we offer teeth whitening, we do cosmetic dentistry, all on one page, it’s not specific to what my Google search was, which was teeth whitening.

What I like to see businesses do, is have a service and a menu, at the top, menu, have a service, and then have sub-pages for the different services that they provide, such as teeth whitening, so that when Google indexes or reviews the teeth whitening page, it goes, “Oh, okay, I see this page is specifically about teeth whitening.” And it needs to be relevant to Santa Rosa or whichever local city or cities you want to be found in. ‘Cause with Google, it’s all about relevancy. So now, when I do a Google search for “Teeth whitening Santa Rosa,” Google can say, “Ah, I’ve found a website that’s specifically talks about teeth whitening in Santa Rosa. That’s very specific”. Once you have a real solid foundation in place, you need to know who your competition is.

If your competitors are just really nailing SEO, they’re doing a great job at creating content, they’re active in social media, their website is properly optimized, and they’ve been doing it for a long time, then it’s going to be more difficult, more competitive for you, in order to rank, and that’s where keyword research is going to be very, very important in identifying which keywords your competitors are doing a good job at and finding the keywords that they’re not. If you take a dentist as an example, the last time I did keyword research for a different dentist, there were over 200 different ways that people were searching for the word “dentist.” Now, “dentist” by itself or “dentist in,” “dentist nearby,” “best dentist,” those are all high-ranking keywords. However, there are a number of keywords down below, and if you’re going to put money into SEO, do you want to try and get the top ranking, most competitive keyword that might take you a year or two years in order to do because your competition’s done such a great job, or do you want to find lower-ranking keywords that, while they may not have as much search volume, you can get traction much faster.

The faster you can get traction, that means new customers, that’s ROI, which you can then invest and work your way up the keyword list and get into those more competitive keywords. So, really understanding where your competitors are, what are they doing online, what are they doing well, and what are they not doing well, find those gaps in the marketplace and target those gaps.

Number three on my list is going to be local citations. And citations are local directories such as Yelp, Google My Business, even Facebook and Twitter are different citations. And what Google is doing is they’re evaluating the information in those citations. It’s called NAP. N-A-P. Name, Address, Phone, that’s the short term, and they want to see consistency, they want to see the same business name at the same address, at the same phone number. Additionally, Google loves to see that all the profiles are filled out. So if you’re looking at YP.com, if you’re looking at Facebook, Twitter, if you’re looking at City Search, there’s all these different directories. And Google not only wants to see consistent information, but they also want to see that the information is filled out, and that gives more credibility to your business.

If you’re a business that has moved in the last five years, let’s say, you definitely want to check out and see how consistent is the NAP, the name, address and phone, across all these different citations. And one of the ways you can do that is by going to moz.com and checking out their local. I did a video which you can check out here that talks about moz.com. It’s going to be very, very important because there’s actually two different databases when you do a Google search for a local business. Towards the top is going to be what I like to call the map section. It’s three different businesses with a little teardrop and it shows up on the map where your business is. That’s local search. That is a separate database than the organic search that shows up below. And having the right information in all these different citations, is really important for showing up in that map section. The other thing that’s going to help you as a business owner show up in that map section is going to be reviews. The more reviews you have on Yelp, on Facebook, and especially Google, this is Google’s database, so you want to make sure that you’ve got a lot of great reviews on Google is going to help your business show up in that local search directory much better. If your competition’s up there and you’re down here in the organic section, it’s great that you’re number one, but the map section will always be at the top, and therefore, you’re never really, truly at the top.

Number four on the list is social media. Social media has blown up in the last five years or so and two or three years ago, Google finally, they made the announcement, if you want to be found on the first page of Google, we are going to attribute how well you do social media, how prevalent you are on social media to those rankings. So getting those likes, getting those shares, getting people to engage on your social media websites is very, very important. Now, does that mean you need to be on all social media websites? No, it does not. I always recommend, specially for small business owners, just pick one social media platform. Typically, it’s going to be Facebook, just because of how many people are on Facebook, and learn how to do a great job there. Get your content shared. Drive traffic to your website from Facebook. And trust me, that will help with your ranking.

Those are the four key factors you really want to pay attention to when getting your website ranked on the first page of Google. Do you have a question? Comment? I would love to hear it below. If you have a thumbs up to give or a thumbs down to give, please do so also. Any feedback is always appreciated. Hope you have a great day. Take care.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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