Many business owners put so much effort into local search and so much money into digital marketing agencies. Every now and then, they make a Google search and end up finding no trace of their websites. In this article, we will explore how local search rankings operate, explain why you can’t find your business on Google, and give you some tips to make more fruitful local search efforts.

The Elements that Decide Local Search Rankings

First of all, we need to understand how Google works when it comes to local search rankings. There are 3 main elements to consider:

  • Relevance
  • Distance
  • Prominence

Relevance has to do with how close your business is to the search keywords. It’s not enough to state that you “sell used computers” and expect to dominate local search results. You need to provide your complete business details and optimize your website to increase the local search relevance in your business field.

Nothing is hard to comprehend when it comes to distance. Google knows exactly where both your business and the searcher are located so it shows the businesses that are closest to the searcher.

Prominence covers your branding efforts as well as digital signals. Customer positive feedback for your business, articles, and directory listings are some of the factors that contribute to good prominence.

Google’s Source of Business Information

Since we’re focusing on all the details and business information that Google uses in local search rankings, we need to explore where Google gets these details from.

  • GMB: we talked a lot about the importance of having a complete Google My Business account. The information you add in your GMB account is used in local search rankings.
  • Your website
  • Details and information submitted by Google users
  • Other sources and directories

The business owner has the capacity to provide more details and information than any other source Google can count on. This is why it’s important to provide accurate details when creating and managing a listing.

Clients and Google users have the ability to provide Google with details concerning your business whether through reviews or suggesting modifications on your listing. This is possible because Google can ask its users to answer questions about businesses and locations they have recently been to.

Google and other directories have the possibility to get details from business listing databases and other services. While you don’t have the ability to control these details, it’s always better to check any changes made to your listing and make sure all the details are accurate.

What is Affecting your Visibility

We explored the details and information Google needs to rank your business. Now, let’s examine your local search situation and what you might be doing wrong. These are the possible reason behind your business not showing up on local search results:

  • Unverified listing
  • Guidelines violation
  • Recent modifications to your business’ details
  • Inconsistency in your information

You should always keep in mind that an unverified listing has almost no chance of making an appearance in local search results. Google won’t present your business to its users when it can’t validate it. A verified Google listing is a vital must for local search.

Increasing your business’ prominence is also an important step; you need to make sure it’s present in additional directories. However, you should make sure that all the information and details about your business MATCH. They need to match your Google info.

You shouldn’t violate the guidelines of any directory to make sure your visibility won’t decrease. Violations come in different ways; an invalid address, more than one listing for the same address, or keyword stuffing. Violating the guidelines will have a very negative effect on your local search visibility.

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