Have you ever done a Google Search for a service or product, either with your device or voice-activated search, “Alexa, where is the nearest Tim Hortons?” The ability to find what you need locally and quickly with a ‘Near Me’ search is now your every day reality, helping with time management when you’re on the run.
Using a local ‘near me’ search is an essential marketing tool for your business, linking to your other marketing tools like your website, SEO, and social media. Today, customers don’t want to travel half an hour to find a product, they want local. Google has recognized this and made Google local search defined and targeted. This is a win for local businesses and something you want to have set up.
The best way to rank in a local search is by setting up a Google Business Profile, ensuring that your business information, location and links to your website are updated and correctly linked. You can also add photos about your business and, most importantly, a list of your reviews and ratings.
Setting up your Google Business Profile also entails adding relevant and specific keywords for your business or service and the target location parameter for your business.
While Google is now smart enough that you don’t need to add the words – ‘near me’ to search for a product, it’s important when setting up your business profile to have your location parameters set to cover your specific map area.
If your business doesn’t show up on a Google map when you search for the specific product you sell, then you need to work on your Google rating, keywords and location parameters.
Google search has developed a huge improvement to local search using AI (artificial intelligence). According to some of the latest search information coming out of Google, Google Lens is now an active development on your cell, using your camera to do visual searches for products and businesses.
For example, let’s say you need a bike part, but you don’t know what it’s called or where to find it. You can take a photo and upload it to a Google search. Google will give you local search results based on your picture, including price and designs. This opens up huge opportunities for businesses, where a local search becomes a key marketing tool.
Having good Google reviews and ratings on your business can say a lot about your reputation with customers. You can be sure that potential customers will read local Google reviews when wanting to learn about your business, whether it’s reputable and does what it says it will.
Google places a lot of importance on you retaining a 4-5 star rating and keeping up-to-date reviews. This and your relevant business information help to determine where they place you in a local search.
Encourage your satisfied customers to give you a Google review after they’ve done business with you. Make sure you respond to any reviews, good or bad, to show your appreciation for a client. This helps your rating and shows you are interactive with your customers.
Read more about improving your local search and getting quality reviews here.
How is Your Google Rating and Business Profile?
We recently worked with a business that had a one-star Google rating. After optimizing the local SEO on their Google Business Profile and working on specific location data, our client ranked in the top three businesses for a Google search for their product.
Improving your Google local search ranking is a long endgame. But with some work, you can start to see initial results quickly and a substantial improvement increasing your website traffic exponentially.