What is your Google Business Profile?
When trying to rank higher on Google, it is important to optimize your Google Business Profile (also known as Google My Business). Assuming you have already created the profile, all of the information you put in for your business becomes the key source for Google.
You must make sure that all of your business information is complete, accurate, and engaging. As Google crawlers recognize your business across multiple platforms, with matching info, you’re more likely to rank higher. From a business name to location, hours, reviews, photos, etc, the better maintained your profile is, the better return Google will give you.
Consistently updating your profile to be accurate is crucial and will display to Google that your business is active and seeking growth. Getting good reviews and responding to them is one way to climb the ranks. Similar to any social media platform, consumer engagement helps the platform recognize success and what performs well. As you add photos, review management, and even in-store items, you are building a strong foundation to grow from.
How does Google help you rank locally?
Google’s algorithm displays local search results from 3 main factors: relevance, distance, and prominence. Your business’s relevance is going to be determined mainly by your Google Business Profile. This is why establishing your GMB (Google My Business) profile is by far the most important step. The closer your profile matches the intent of a query, the better your chances of being shown to the consumer.
Of course, relevance is only a part of the equation. Distance is a simple metric, Google shows businesses closer to the consumer as long as they are relevant and prominent. There is not a direct way to rank higher for this if you have a brick-and-mortar business, so put more focus on other areas.
With that said, most businesses are fighting for the highest spot for prominence. Google’s algorithm favors established businesses with a good reputation and credibility. “Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business, from across the web, like links, articles, and directories.”
Ranking higher on Google is by no means a linear process. If you want to rank higher organically, this will take time and it takes work. Google bases rankings based on the overall position of the business online. This takes into account your SEO efforts including link building and website optimization.
If you want to rank on Google, commit to the long game and take consistent action. With so many businesses competing for higher positions, your best bet is to stay consistent, provide valuable content, and prove to Google you are active across all web platforms.
SEO and Google Ranking
As mentioned before, your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts work hand in hand with getting you ranked higher on Google. All search engines work essentially the same way.
Here is the process:
- “Crawlers” (an automated program specific to the search engine) crawl web pages and gather data
- Crawlers analyze page data and store it in an index
- Ranking Algorithms constantly send and fetch data to and from the index
- User queries go into the algorithm and this prompts the results
To make this clearer, your website is always being “audited” by these crawlers. They are looking for consistent keywords, healthy links, and other technicalities. Obviously, there are many other factors these programs look for, but it all boils down to relevance and authority.
For example, the more links there are back to your website, the more relevant the search engine believes you are. Administering direct efforts to increase your domain authority will help you rank on Google.
Relevance is based on the search query itself. No matter how perfect your website optimization is if the consumer is searching for something irrelevant to your site, Google has no reason to display it. The best way to climb to the top of the ranks is to do keyword research and really hammer down on the small group of keywords that will perform best for you.
Building SEO and Getting Results
The main components of building SEO are:
- Technical SEO
- Keyword Research
- Content Creation
- Link Building
Technical SEO is what Google crawlers are looking for. Structural technicalities such as your page’s load speed, security, and accessibility are some examples. When first building your site, ensuring that factors such as these are fully optimized is the first step to building SEO. Without a functional site, Google has no reason to send you traffic.
Keyword research is simple, but it takes work. By using online tools such as Ubersuggest, you can do your due diligence and research what words and phrases best match your business or desired traffic. These keywords should be implemented all throughout your website as well as any content you create. Consistent keywords allow Google to recognize your site over time as being relevant to those keywords and this makes it more likely to drive traffic and climb the ranks.
Content creation and link building work hand-in-hand when it comes to building SEO. Content creation can range anywhere from blog posts to social media campaigns, but you have to have it. Content creation is what will set you apart from your competition, and whoever brings the most value to the consumer, will usually end up on top. Writing blog posts specific to your niche and integrating your select keywords and phrases is an amazing way to develop your site.
As you start making more content and populating your website, link building can work wonders for you. By reaching out to other sites and asking for a guest post or even offering one of your own, you are building domain authority. If a well-recognized site links back to yours, Google recognizes this and deems your site more reputable because of it. On top of guest posting and hosting, you can also look into relevant directories that will help build links as well.
Overall, getting results from your SEO efforts and ranking on Google is no easy task. Everything mentioned here is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to putting it into action. In this modern world of digitalization, everyone is competing for even a small piece of their market, and setting yourself apart is difficult. But it’s not impossible. Taking these consistent steps and building the strongest foundation you can is the best way to set yourself up for success.
I am working with Nvent Marketing, a marketing agency.