BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

Local Business Favored In Google Update

May 3, 2013

Listen up business owners, because Google is at it again. They have recently (and quietly) rolled out another update that continues to give the power back to the local business by giving them top priority in rankings when it comes to local search terms.  While not necessarily a game changer for some, it should make you re-look your targeted terms and come up with a new strategy for you how approach what kind of business you are in.

As a local business owner, this should come as fantastic news.  Getting a leg up with Google never hurt anyone but are you making the most of the advantage? Just being a brick and mortar isn’t going to get you jumping up the top of the ranks, like most things, you have to put a little work to reap the rewards. First and foremost, let Google know that you are there. Set your business up on Google Places (and linking it to your Google Plus account wouldn’t be a bad idea either). This is going to allow you the chance to get listed in the local listing section of Google, which is becoming a more predominant part if Page 1 every day.

Next, while it may seem obvious, make sure that your keywords reflect you are in fact a local business.  Geo-targeted keywords are more important than ever, and if they are relevant to your business, than make sure to include them in your content.  Think about it, if you’re a bakery in Portland, but just focus on your brand name, you then begin competing with every other bakery on the web. Help Google, as well as potential customers, make it really easy to find you. Include contact forms, maps (linked to Google maps perhaps?) and any kind of info that would be helpful. Remember user experience is top priority for Google, and if they can find you, chances are others will to.

Lastly, use local directories as well as social media to your advantage. Yelp is great for this purpose. Getting listed in these is one more way of saying, “Hey, world, we’re right here!” While there may be hesitation opening your business up for reviews and critiques, the fact of the matter is it’s the nature of the business and if you hide from potentially negative feedback, all you’re doing is holding yourself back from a lot more potential business.

OK, so that’s great for the local guys, but what about those who do business strictly online? Don’t worry, there’s hope for you too! Stay tuned for ways to rethink the way you market yourself to Google as an online business.

Elisa Houghtelin is one of the Account Managers at SEOhaus. If you would like to stay up-to-date on all of the latest SEO industry news and tips, you can subscribe to our blog here. Thanks for reading the SEOhaus blog!