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How can I make my business more visible on Google

Are  you a local business owner?

Do you have a website?
(I sure hope so, if not that’s a whole different conversation…)

I get this question asked a lot:

How can I make my business more visible on Google?

Today I am talking directly to local business owners who live in my area.

Why?

Because most of my clients are from this area and I understand the business dynamics of this region. Yes, there are a lot of similarities all across the country, continent and even the world but I find that I am able to help businesses in my area better because I understand their target market better.

Not all search results on Google (or any search engine) are the same!

Why?

Google delivers three types of search results: paid, organic and local.

I am only going to talk about local search results today.

Local search results

The localized search results are usually tied into a map and reviews. My local  search in Calgary yields local store locations. This is also called the 3 pack or snack pack because there are only 3 results showing. Google search results for {flood}

I know…, SEO (search engine optimization) is the mysterious, elusive and right down annoying…there is a lot of uncertainty and misinformation around it.

The reality is no matter how you look at it and how active you are on social media your website will not show up in the searches on Google if it is not optimized... Typically, this involves choosing key words or more like key phrases your services and products are being searched under and associated with and trying to speak a little “search engines” language so your website will have a chance to show up when those words are typed in by prospects.

Why does the business down the street shows up in local search results, but not yours?

There are some strategies and technical aspects that need to be applied (Google has over 200 ranking factors) BUT there are also some very simple changes you can make yourself and have awesome results!

Here are 2 simple steps you can take immediately. By the way, when I say results, please be mindful that it takes some time for the search engines to recognize your change so if you are looking at the search results as soon as you made them, the next day or next hour…you won’t see it.

Just one more tip before I share the 2 steps. Google is looking for consistent changes/improvements on your site, meaning, if you just make a change and then you don’t touch your site for months…..you can’t expect to keep the benefit of that change. Your ranking will slide.

OK, here are the 2 steps to improve your local search results.

  1. NAP

Yes, NAP. I mean, don’t take a nap but do take special care to make sure your Name, Address and Phone number show up consistently all over the web, starting with your website.  If your address is: 21 Happy Street, {Flood}, AB then you should be consistent and don’t switch it up to 21 Happy ST.  Or 21 Happy St., Calgary, Alberta….You get my point.

NAP should be:

  • placed on in the footer of your site, it should show on every page
  • consistent on all local directory listings
  • on all Social Media sites (that allow or ask for it)
  • consistent everywhere on the internet
  1. Reviews

Getting consistent NAP on the internet does not necessarily guarantee front line placement in the local results but it will definitely help. So what else can you do?

Let’s talk about credibility. How do people and search engines determine which businesses are more reputable? There are a few factors, but a very important factor, is reviews, online reviews to be exact.

These are not the testimonials on your website, these are reviews that can, to some degree, be independently verified by the search engines, reviews from review sites, and on Google where people can only add a review if they use their email address or have an account. These kinds of reviews are more credible. Of course, if somebody wants to be dishonest…they’ll find a way but for the most part people are pretty honest and straight forward.

Ask and encourage your customers to review your business on Google, Yelp, Facebook, industry review sites and anywhere else where they have an opportunity. If you only choose one, go with Google reviews. Why? For the simple fact that Google favors….well, Google.

Some people worry about bad reviews…just so you know you can still get bad reviews even if you think you are not actively “online”. This way at least you can address the bad reviews and most likely make them irrelevant with all the good reviews you are getting.

Hope this helps.

To our success!

Viola

Let me know if you have any questions.
Please leave a comment and I will respond promptly.

Comments

  • Fran Watson
    April 5, 2017

    This is great stuff Viola!!

  • April 5, 2017

    Thank you Fran. Glad you find it useful 🙂

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