When you make a local search on Google, a number of businesses are outlined on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The box holding these businesses is called a local pack.
Small and large businesses alike compete for a spot in the local pack, which can lead to dozens – if not hundreds – of additional leads. Imagine you own a pizzeria in Colorado. If you’ve managed to smuggle your way into the local pack, whenever someone searches for “pizzeria” in Colorado, your business is going to pop up!
Think about the hundreds of people making searches like this in communities around the world every day, and you can probably understand why business owners are desperate for a spot.
Until now, local packs included seven business. Now, only three businesses are displayed – and experts believe one of those spots will be paid-for soon. For this reason, succeeding in local SEO has become more difficult, competitive, and important than ever before.
Here are five local pack ranking factors that can drastically improve your odds.
Consider Your Keyword Count
Nearly everything we search, write, and read on the internet is based on keywords. These words or phrases are what people use to search for your business. Using the right keywords in your SEO campaign is one of the most effective ways to push your website higher in the results.
While planning your keyword strategy, think carefully about the questions your potential customers might ask when looking for the products or services you offer. You should also try to use the name of your city in two or three spots on each webpage.
Claim Your Business Through Google
Did you know that Google and Bing guarantee all businesses a free page on their search engine? Simply claim your business through Google My Business and Bing Places for Business.
Going through this small motion will significantly increase the likelihood that your website will appear in your target local pack. Plus, your business will appear on any device when searched for directly.
Write Localized Content
In order to compete locally, you need to create content about your local area. This content should be showcased on your website and tied into your business or industry.
For example, you can use your blog to discuss local events and activities, mention promotions or specials, or publish videos about causes your business supports.
Explore Business Directories
Being listed in online business directories like Yelp has proven to boost Google rankings. In fact, many high-quality directories appear in the first two or three slots on SERPs.
Unfortunately, you can’t create your own posting on business directories. Instead, your focus should be checking the accuracy of each listing. Is your address, phone number, and business name correct?
Sometimes, you can “claim” a listing through an online business directory – but you won’t be able to control reviews from customers and other features.
Collect Positive Reviews
Getting reviews is an essential part of running a local business. Don’t be afraid to ask customers for their thoughts and feedback! The more positive reviews your Google My Business listing earns, the higher you’ll rank and the closer you’ll be to entering your local pack.