In this post I’m going to show you How to rank your local business in google searches in 2020 in four simple steps. For most businesses ranking well in Google for a target search term is something they leave to chance. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you’re a local business then there are some simple ways you can give your website is real boost in the search engines.
The difference between position one and position eight in a Google search equates to the difference between more enquiries than you can handle and tumbleweed… so isn’t it worth doing everything you can to rank well?
Stick around and I’ll show you how.
For local businesses discoverability matters. Being offered as an option when someone is searching to fill a need clearly a good thing and in a local market it’s not too much to expect from Google. 70% of online sale begin with a Google search… so this matters.
This isn’t an exhaustive post about search engine marketing. This is quick guide to the things every business owner should do but which most don’t bother with. Google has hundreds of ranking factors but if you focus on these four elements you can see some surprisingly good results.
Step 1 – Your Google my business account
First of al claim and complete your Google my Business Account. This is your businesses official listing page with Google. You must complete every field in as many of the forms as possible. Within this profile you can also manage your Google reviews and post to your Google my business social stream.
Reviews and posts are important. Google wants people to get when they need so reviews are something they really reward. The same goes for posting to the Google my business social stream.
Lastly you should verify your address with Google. This is also done through your Google my business account and involves them sending you a postcard with a code on it. This is needed so they can be sure of where your business exists, that you are legit and they’ll also then show you on a map search.
Step 2 – Fix your website
Most website were built by people who didn’t really know what the search engines were looking for. Not only that, but Google’s standards are evolving. Keeping your website on Google’s good side can feel like a moving target.
If you’re not a web developer than making all the changes you might need could be too much for you. Even if you have a budget and a developer it still often a game of balancing priorities as to how much you decide to do.
With fixing your website you have firstly need to know what to fix. I’m not going to go into that because there are hundreds of things to consider. You’ll either need a good consultant or you can use an automated scanning tool such as this web page analyzer.
This tool will scan your site and report back you you any search engine optimisation issues on your site. I did this myself recently and fixing one error saw my site jump in the search engines. Either start working through the suggestions or take the report to your web developer.
Step 3 – Inbound links
Links into your website from other websites are an important ranking factor. The more relevancy and authority these sites have the more impact these links can have. Start a list of all the other businesses you know who could link back to you. Think about joint projects you’ve done where they might put an article on their news page. Get on podcasts and they’ll link back to you. Have you been featured in the news?
Link building is something you are in complete control of. They say the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is right now – so get started.
Step 4 – Content
For a lot of people this is where it starts to fall apart. They don’t like producing content for their website. Writing isn’t why most business owners go to work in the morning. Well, you have a choice. You can play Google’s game or you can play your game. How’s that been working out for you so far?
So how much is enough? I recently asked a few people I know about this and for most small business where competition in terms of content isn’t serious ( this is probably you ) then 350 words per week could see a big change in your search engine fortunes.
This content would normally be added to a blog or news page, but the thing is once you have the content it opens the door to all kinds of things. You can post links to it on social media. You can chop it up and use it as smaller social posts. You can record it as a podcast or a video. Content is the seed for greater visibility online. We’re talking here about SEO but there’s so much value creating content.
None of this is very hard. It’s all within the capabilities of most people. But the thing is most people won’t take action on any of this. And for you thats’s great news. That means you, if you do take action, have an advantage.
Take ownership of building your business online. Don’t leave it to chance or think it’s too technical or just for the kids. That’s just weak. Take the steps I’ve outlined here and you’ll move forward. Then go and reach or watch my other content and you’ll move forward again. Always be moving.