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The Importance of Ranking High in Local Listings

The Importance of Ranking High in Local Listings
By Tracy Berg

If you own a local business and have a website, you surely must consider different SEO plans and options, as part of an overall strategy to get new customers every day. One way that a lot of local businesses use to attract more leads and customers is through effective website advertising. Your company website can serve as a marketing tool for your business if you know how to drive targeted traffic to it. There are many options available when it comes to driving traffic to your website and one of the most common options would be to attract organic traffic by ranking high in the search engines for your business’ targeted keywords.

However, ranking your website high in the search engines for any competitive keywords would be challenging without an effective website advertising campaign that is conducted on an ongoing basis. Therefore, an easier option would be to rank for local search terms that are specific to your business’ category as well as location. As an example, if you are a wedding photographer in New York, you might want to target local search terms such as “new york wedding photographer”, “NY wedding photographer”, “wedding photographer in new york”, and so on. When targeting local search terms, there will be less competition and you will be able to drive more targeted visitors to your website because after all, a New York customer who wants a wedding photography service would not type in the search term “los angeles wedding photographer”.

Once you have identified several local search terms that you want your company website to rank for, the next task would be to rank your website for those terms on Google Places. Google Places is a platform that allows business owners to advertise their business information and physical location on the web for free. The business information provided can also be used to update other Google properties such as Google Maps as well as search and display network sites. Google places are like an online version of the yellow pages where every bit of your business information is integrated into one platform. The key here is to enter as many details as you can about your business on the Google Places page. The more information you enter, the more SEO weight you are going to get, which will have a final influence on your website’s ranking.

One extremely important aspect of Google Places is its major impact on your website’s SEO score. With your business information listed on Google Places, your website will be able to rank higher than many of your competitors for local search terms. The reason for this is relatively simple. Google only wants to display the most relevant search results for any search terms. For a local search term, Google will place more importance to businesses that have a Places page created for that physical location. So if your competitors do not have a Google Places page listed, you will be able to outrank them easily as Google Places will be able to boost your website’s SEO score significantly. Even if your competitors then decide to list their business on Google Places, you will have an equal opportunity to outrank them by utilizing various Google Places optimization strategies.

If your business is not listed on Google Places yet, that will probably be the reason why you are not achieving the ranking that you desire. By having your business listed on GP, and then having your listing optimized for even more SEO weighting, your website will be able to rank easily on the first page of Google Places. With a high ranking on GP, your website will no doubt be able to rank easily on the first page of the search engine results page for local search terms due to the impact of Google Places on your website’s SEO score. If you are not familiar with listing your business on GP or optimizing it for greater SEO weighting. So if you live in NY for example you should consult your nearest NY SEO Company which specializes in effective website advertising using Google Places for more advice.

Tracy Berg is partner of Logik SEO, a search engine optimization company that caters to local and small business. He publishes frequently on his blog and can also be contacted through his website for any questions you may have about marketing your business online.

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