If you have a local business, selling products or services, you have to think about the local ranking of your website.
Local optimization will help you surface for related search queries in your area.
As Google shows local results first in a lot of cases, you need to make sure Google understands where you are located.
In this article, we’ll go over all the things you can do to improve Google’s understanding of your location, which obviously improves your chances to rank locally.
Google itself talks about local ranking factors in terms of:
Relevance: are you the relevant result for the user?
Does your website match what the user is looking for?
Distance: how far away are you located?
If you are relevant and near, you’ll get a good ranking.
Prominence: this is about how well your business is known.
More on that at the end of this article.
Let’s start with your address details
If you have a local business and serve mostly local customers, at least add your address in the right way.
The right way to do this is using schema.org, either by adding LocalBusiness schema.org tags around your address details or via JSON-LD.
Especially when using JSON-LD, you are serving your address details to a search engine in the most convenient way.
This is very much about what Google calls distance.
If you are the closest result for the user, your business will surface sooner.
Google My Business
For your local ranking in Google, you can’t do without a proper Google My Business listing.
You need to enlist, add all your locations, verify these and share some photos.
Google My Business allows for customer reviews as well, and you should really aim to get some of those for your listing.
Positive reviews (simply ask satisfied customers to leave a review) help the way Google and it’s visitors regard your business.
This is pretty much like on your local market.
If people talk positively about your groceries, more people will be inclined to come to your grocery stand.
Getting reviews is one.
You can keep the conversation going by responding to these reviews and, as Google puts it, be a friend, not a salesperson.