Attention Local Business Owners: Big changes from Google
Are you a local business?
Your website ranking might have been affected
You probably remember the way search results showed up on Google’s first page when you were searching for a local business, let’s say a plumber or a lock smith…
If you are not sure, here is a reminder:
That was called the 7 pack and it was pretty sweet for local businesses to show up there (see image below), there was a lot of business to be had since it was a bit easier to rank in the 7 pack and prospects could call the business immediately, not even having to go to the website.
Well, it was good while it lasted. Google “nixed” it on August 6th and replaced it with what they call now a 3 pack.
Not only did Google cut basically 57% of local search results ranking in the 7 pack but now the convenient phone number and address is not showing anymore forcing the prospect to click through to the website.
As if that wasn’t bad enough the map showing up on the search result has up to 20 of your competitors showing….nice…no…not really, not good for the wondering eye of a prospect.
What do these changes mean to you as a local business owner?
That depends. Was your website showing up consistently under many keyword searches in the 7 pack? If so is your site the in the 3 pack now or was it a Google update casualty?
No matter what Google does ,my advice is pretty much always the same.
Make sure you have good On-Page SEO and that means you need to have:
• Good URL structure
• Relevant, informative and engaging content on each page that your visitor AND the search engines can understand
• At least 300 words on each page but personally I would say have even more specially on your most important pages
• Images that are optimized for the search engines
• And more…. we don’t want to get into major details otherwise this article will turn into a tutorial, lol
Then comes the Off Page SEO….not even sure I want to get into it here…but
One of the most important things you can do if you have a local business is to claim your Google My Business listing
- optimize it the best you can, put as much info and pictures on it as possible …
- AND ask for REVIEWS…
As you might have notices even with this new change Google is still showing and rewarding businesses that have reviews. Please make sure the reviews are legit…if not sooner or later Google will find out and throw you off the grid. Now having said that there is nothing wrong in asking a happy client to take a couple of minutes and write a review.
Off Page SEO is an ongoing, tedious process and best left to professionals. It is not a cheap service so if you cannot afford it at least so something consistently yourself, it will pay off in the long run. You can start by adding your website to local directories.
As usual TAN = Take Action Now.
Please don’t fall into the trap of reading, learning, getting informed and …NOT DOING anything.
Let me know how is you website doing in local searches?
Were you in the 7 pack?
Have you claimed your Google My Business account?
Let me know if you need help or clarification.
I invite you to attend our Local Buzz Workshop if you live in Calgary. Lots of good hands on tips that you can use immediately to improve your local ranking.