You likely already know that a majority of potential new customers and leads to your business will first look online to find the local services they need or a problem they need solving, whether it be for a plumber, a fitness instructor, a landscaper, a party planner … basically anything!
In fact, the statistics are quite staggering … 97% of people who needed to find a local business first initiated some sort of search online!
Over 85% of people who look up the location of a business do so by using Google Maps.
What is Local Search?
Local search is when people type in (or speak) a question where they need to find something that has local intent.
For instance, “Find pizza near me” is an obvious local search. A search engine like Google knows that the person is looking for a pizza restaurant, and in a location near where they spoke into their cell phone (or near their home if on a computer).
Google will tailor their search results to both nearby restaurants and those restaurants with excellent ratings.
This list of three businesses is known as the “local pack”, and includes the name of the business, their reviews on Google, their business address, typical price and an image of their business. Google also shows a map of where they are located.
There is great chance that a majority of hungry people looking for pizza will go to one of these places listed. Some may first look at the reviews. Others will view their menu. You can certainly bet that they wouldn’t receive even half as much business if they weren’t online.
So, the next question is: How do I get listed here?
Getting Listed in the Local Search Results
Google states right on their page how they determine local ranking. They are:
Relevance – How well does your business match what the user is searching for?
Distance – How far away is your business from where the user searched?
Prominence – How well-known is your business?
Before we go further into how Google determines local ranking, you first need to register to be listed in the results in the first place!
There are three main steps to getting your business listed in local search:
1. List your business in Google My Business
2. Gain Citations for Your Business
3. Customer Reviews