Getting your business to show up on the first page of Google is an ongoing challenge that can seem impossible to complete. SEO is a system that must meet each data aggregator’s requirements (Google, Bing, etc.), which are ever-changing. Maintaining listings for your business is the best option for ranking high in local search results and attracting potential consumers and clients to your business, which is why accurate, consistent information and ongoing monitoring of listings is vital to your business’ online presence.
SERP and Geolocation
Search engine results pages (SERP) are web pages that appear when search-engine users type in specific “keywords” on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., such as “Dentists Near Me, Salt Lake City, Utah.” It’s essential to keep your information, such as your company’s NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) updated, because even the most minute differences in your business’ online listings can affect your company’s SERP rankings, especially locally. Inconsistent local listings can yield poor SERP results, which significantly affects the traffic to your business’ site, and could result in fewer client conversions. Another common term that’s tossed around in regards to location and Google-rankings is “Geolocation.”
Data aggregators, such as Google, use location data to determine a business’ relevance, and therefore, how its listing ranks on Google. Geotagging involves using location-specific information and adding it to photos or pages listed on a site, to increase the SERP value and hopefully boosting its position in search engine results. The most efficient way of doing this is adding an SEO title and relevant metadata to every image and page listed on your business’ site, and remembering an essential rule — make sure that your business’ information is accurate and consistent.
How Inconsistent Location Information Can Affect Your Business’ Google Ranking
If a business’s information is incorrect or inconsistent, it makes it impossible for Google to direct traffic. Google’s analytics algorithm requirements are constantly changing, but if a business’ listings are consistent, supported by relevant, targeted metadata, and updated whenever there is a change (change of address, company name, phone number, business hours, etc.), this shouldn’t affect the SERP. However, if a company changes its phone number, or moves to a new location without updating listings, this can mess with Google’s algorithm, and result in a lower SERP ranking, decreased site traffic, and client conversions. Other information that can affect a business’ Google ranking include:
- Keywords – using relevant keywords with high search value is one of the most essential factors in ensuring that your site ranks high in Google search results
- Back-linking – creating profiles on a mix of sites to create a clickable link that is directed to the business’ site. For example, a law firm might have backlink profiles on SuperLawyers, Find Law, etc.
- Varied Content – it’s essential to have a mix of content on your site – videos, blog posts, full-length pages, longform and shortform articles – prevents potential duplication, and increases the odds of content ranking in several different search results
- Page speed – if a page loads slowly, it has less prevalence with Google’s algorithm and could appear lower in search results
- Mobile-friendliness – desktop speed loading has long been an SEO metric, but over the last several years, Google’s algorithm has been updated to include mobile-speed as a SERP factor
If you are looking for ways to have your business appear in local search results, it’s essential to use accurate, consistent information, not only when creating initial listings for your business, but ongoing. Google’s algorithm requirements are continuously changing, and the best way to keep your business’ ranking relevant is by continually producing fresh, varied, and consistent content for Google to categorize.
Google Analytics and Your Business’ Online Presence
Owning and operating your own business can be hectic, and as a business owner, you might not have extra time to track your site’s performance continually, but citation directory services, such as Moz Local make it simple for business owner’s to update their locations, add new information, and monitor their company’s online traffic to see what is effective and ineffective in drawing in “page clicks” and consumers.
Our team uses Moz Local to track the Google analytics of our clients’ sites and ensure that incoming traffic is “converting” into new clients, sales, and high Google rankings.