How to Rank Locally

Step By Step Guide – Chapter 1

Ever wondered how to boost the online presence of your local company or branch in Google Search/Maps, Apple Maps, Bing? Great, keep reading!

NOTE: Nearly 48% of all online searches are for local oriented products or services and before we get into the deep, we need to answer one major question:

What is Local SEO?

Local Search Engine Optimization relates to the course of ‘improving’ your online visibility to entice more business from relevant local searches, like calls, bookings, web visits, direct visits at your office. Those type of searches appear on all search engines.

It is important to note that this isn’t just about Google. Users tend to search for local services on  Google, Bing, Yell, Apple Maps, etc.

Example of a Local Search  – simply type in „Estate Agents in Birmingham“ on your browser – these kinds of results are considered to be „Local Results“.

Google has an estimated ~92% market share (in the UK). Which means that most people are using Google for local searches. A reason why this guide will be nearly 90% focused on improving your local presence on Google.co.uk. So let’s talk about Google My Business (GMB) – the MUST have for every Local Business Apple Maps and Bing Places are important, of course not as much as Google My Business. Setting them all up is not a big deal, you just have to follow their instructions. With Google My Business, you might face some obstacles. Which is why, we created a full walk-through. Let’s start.

GMB – A free tool that allows you to manage your business’ online presence all over Google Search and Google Maps.

Google My Business is considered as one of the major ranking factors for both local and organic results. Open GMB here and follow the steps below:

Step 1. Type in Your Company Name

This is the 1st thing Google asks you. You face two options:

  • Add new business or
  • Claim and existing

Start typing, and Google will check for your company name in their database.

NOTE: DO NOT stuff keywords here. Enter your exact business name, Do not SPAM it. For example, if you run an Estate Agency in Birmingham called “Lion Estates”, then enter “Lion Estates” as your business name. Do NOT enter something like Lion Estates – Estate agency in Birmingham —it’s against Google’s guidelines.

Step 2. Add Your Address

If you’re trying to claim a company that is already on Google, the fields bellow will be predefined. If not, simply type in your address.

Having an estate agency storefront branch is easy—enter your branch’s address. But what if:

  • You work from home.
  • You have business partners, and all of you work their homes
  • Your business is mobile (e.g., towing service).
  • You have several
  • You serve customers at your physical address, as well asremotely (like delivery).

Our advice:

  • Having a physical office – that’s the one to type in.
  • Two or more partners working from home – add the address closes to the area your business serves.
1.1. If you are to claim an existing GMB listing, 1st confirm if the information matches. Next: You will also a checkbox named “I deliver goods and services to my customers.”
1.2. Ticking it will indicate to Google that you are a “Service‐area company”. Suitable if you deliver products or services to your customers. If so, another checkbox pops up—”Hide my address (a.k.a. it is not a shop).”
Ticking it will indicate to Google that you are a “Service‐area company”. Suitable if you deliver products or services to your customers. If so, another checkbox pops up—”Hide my address (a.k.a. it is not a shop).”

Step 3. Set up a Category

Google only lets you choose one primary category while setting up your GMB listing. Later on you can add additional categories. More on that to come.

NOTE: Not sure what category to pick? Check your competitors. Let’s say that you run an MOT centre in Leicester. If you enter this into GMB, it will return no category results. However, try searching for “MOT centre [your city]” in Google Maps. Choose the one your competitors use.

Step 4. Phone Number and Website (not mandatory)

Nothing to wonder – just put in your phone number and a website link.

Step 5. Verify Your Listing

Nearly done, hold on! Before your Google My Business account goes live, you will have to verify it. Most cases there are 2 options: phone or postcard—a simple one, just follow the instructions. Awesome—you are now verified!

Step 6. GMB Further Optimization

No need to stop here! Keep on with:

  • Adding more categories;
  • Upload photos;
  • Add opening hours;
  • List any individual services or products you offer;
  • Add relevant amenities/ attributes to your business;
  • And more.