How to Improve Your Local Ranking on Google With Google My Business?

Small and medium-sized businesses will inevitably have to rely on customers from their local area to ensure a stable profit. This is especially true for service-based businesses since customers are reluctant to venture outside of their neighborhood when they need to show up in person for a service. Therefore, it's critically important to work on your website rank in local searches. Many factors can influence which position you achieve on results pages, and business owners might get confused. However, Google and its Business tools are probably the key deciding factors determining your overall rank. To have your website stand out and reach more customers, we will teach you how to improve your local ranking on Google with Google My Business.

Google My Business is changing to Google Business

Yes, you read that correctly; Google has already started implementing changes to how users can manage their business profiles. Let's look at what this means for local businesses and SEO. First of all, this shouldn't be a cause for concern. Your account isn't going to get deleted or anything like that. Small businesses can still boost local SEO the same way as before. However, the current form of Google My Business is intended to support larger companies. Google plans to expand its features and enable owners to run businesses with multiple locations.

Small business owners will still be able to log into their profiles which will be called the Google Business Profile. You will be able to log into Google’s services with the same email you created the account with. For small businesses, Google plans to extend support and enable managing your profile through multiple services such as Maps and Search. We don’t have an exact progress timeline for when each change will be rolled out, but small business owners shouldn’t experience any substantial changes other than the name of the service. Honestly, we expect people to continue calling it Google My Business for a long time before they get used to the name change. We plan to do that, so we don't confuse users.

Here’s how to improve your local ranking on Google with Google My Business

Below is all you need to do to improve your local ranking on Google with Google My Business.

1. Claim your profile

It's almost impossible to believe that some business owners haven't created or claimed their Google Business profiles; however, it needs to be said. Thankfully, the process is pretty straightforward. Just log into your Google Business profile and follow the necessary steps. We want to point out that you should fill in all the information regarding your business, primary services, and NAP (Name, Address, Phone number). The more information you add, the better, so feel free to add your office hours, pricing, and other contact information.

2. Update your listings on other directories

Any business owner who has spent time developing a local business website and improving their local SEO will tell you that besides listing your business on Google, you should also get listed on other local business directories. Unfortunately, many of them fail to consider that you also need to update those accounts occasionally. Your NAP and additional business information should be consistent across all of your listings. Google’s bot crawls many business directories, and if it comes across mismatched information on your business, you could receive a drop in SEO. You can include the same information on your website to get an additional bump in organic traffic.

3. Invite users to leave reviews

Google will promote the businesses which users are satisfied with. This means that positive ratings and reviews from users could go a long way toward boosting your ranking on results pages. While you aren't allowed to reward users for leaving you a review, Google suggests asking them directly. Just be polite and kindly ask users to leave you a positive review if they are satisfied with the service or product you provided. To make things easy for your users, you can create a dedicated URL for your Google review page.

Remember to respond to users, regardless of what kinds of comments they leave. Don't delete or ignore negative reviews. Instead, you should contact those users and try to resolve the issues they are experiencing immediately. You can earn a lot of trust from your audience if you publically show that you are willing to listen to what your customers have to say.

4. Maintain an active Google Business profile

Unfortunately, you can't treat your Business profile as a one-and-done task. If you want to improve your local ranking on Google with Google My Business, you should actively maintain and update your profile. We realize that this can be overwhelming for most business owners; however, you can hire professionals to organize and help you maintain your profile. Keeping your profile active includes regularly adding photos, engaging users in conversation, inspiring them to upload their content, and posting announcements.

5. Optimize your website for local searches

Google’s algorithm has become pretty smart over the years, and it can make a correlation between your Business Profile and your website. This means that if you work on your website to make it more appealing to local users, you will also boost your Google rank. We recommend creating dedicated local landing pages with information relevant to your area. You can also host an FAQ section where you mention your location and include local long-tail keywords. Users commonly phrase their search engine queries in the form of questions, and FAQ pages go a long way towards boosting your local Google rank.

The bottom line

As you can see, Google pays a lot of attention to what happens on your Business Profile and your website. However, if you put a lot of time into curating your online presence, users from your area will surely notice your website. We’ve shown you how to improve your local ranking on Google with Google My Business, so start working on your profile and prepare for the upcoming changes.

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