If you’re a local business owner, you understand just how important it is for potential customers to be able to find you online. After all, gone are the days when people would pull out the yellow pages to find a local businesses. Instead, most people today who are looking for a business in their local area will either jump on their computer to look up the information, or do a search on their mobile phone. And if your business name doesn’t come up, you could be missing out on some serious business.
But recent changes to Google’s algorithm has made it very difficult for local businesses to show up in the search results, even if the person is looking for local results. Here’s a brief overview of what changes Google has made, and what you can do to help keep your business relevant online.
The New 3-Pack
In the past, when someone typed in a local query, such as “dry cleaners San Diego,” they would be presented with a list of seven names of local businesses. Business owners would either pay an SEO expert to get them listed in these results, or spend a lot of time perfecting their own websites SEO in order to achieve it. But last year, Google changed everything when they went to a 3-pack. Now, instead of seeing seven local business results, people only see three.
As you can imagine, the fewer available spots are fiercely fought over by business owners. And to make matters worse, Google has now began allowing some of those spots to be taken up by ads.
It’s no wonder so many local business owners are turning to local business directories like ours so they can still be found by consumers in their area.
How to Increase Your Changes of Getting in the 3-Pack
If you want to get your business listed in Google’s 3-Packs, there are a few things you can try. Here are some changes you can make to your SEO that should help increase your chances.
Use SEO on Your Pages
Make sure that you’ve maximized SEO on all pages of your site. You can do this by putting keywords in your titles, business titles, meta descriptions, header tags, page content, illustrations and even client testimonials.
Link to Local and Authoritative Sites
You will need relevant links in order to get ranked on Google, and for local SEO, local links are the best. Link to any relevant, local business to get a boost to your rank, as well as any authoritative site in your industry. At the very least, link to your Google My Business profile, as well as to your link on FindUsLocal, or any other local directory your business is listed on.
Maximize Local Directory Citations
Being listed on local directories can really help your rankings, but only if it’s done right. For instance, you’ll need to ensure that each and every local listing has the same name, address, phone number and web address. If they differ, it will hurt your rankings because Google’s spiders won’t be able to trust the information, so it won’t understand if you are one business, or many with different addresses.
Get Some Quality Reviews
Although it’s slight, Google does take reviews into consideration when ranking sites. Even if you only have a few reviews, it can only help in your efforts to show up in the local search results.
Enhance Your Social Media Signals
Some experts says that Google ranks those sites with a social media presence higher in the search engines. To make the most of your efforts, link your social media profiles to your website, be active on social media, and use keywords in your social media profiles and address, if possible.
Of course, even if you do all of this, it won’t guarantee placement in the 3-Pack in your industry. But there is something you can do to ensure that you’re always seen whenever customers are looking for a business like yours. Local business directories are quickly becoming the go-to place for local businesses because all you have to do to show up in these search results is list your business. Yes, it really is that easy. Start by checking out our page and then imagine your own business on it. Every time someone from you area searched for a dry cleaner, or pet supply store—or whatever type of business you own—your name will appear to them.
In a world where local businesses are struggling just to be found, doesn’t it make sense to list yours and stay competitive in an ever challenging business environment?