At times, Google shows MAP listings on its search engine results pages [SERPs]. These are called the local pack and are populated by Google My Business Listings. The concept is to help people find local brick and mortar businesses that have a physical location.
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Local results have come more featured recently on Google’s search engine results pack. Moving through this next year, we believe it will be more important than ever to have your NAPW established and consistent across all of your profiles and websites.
Good news: Google My Business is free. It provides you with a business profile that can help you appear on Google Maps and Local Google searches. Once you have a business profile, you’ll be able to collect reviews, make posts, answer questions, create your frequently asked questions, add your products and services and even build a website.
Start with Google My Business and set up your local citation.
Real Estate Agents have a challenge because their addresses are generally inside a building with many other real estate agents. Google, therefore, filters out “duplicates” even though the agents are not one in the same.
Some real estate agents will work to “game” the local pack by adding in keywords in their name. A keyword is still a top-ranking factor for the local pack. This is against Google’s policies.
If you see a violation, you can report it to Google.
Reviews are about 15% of the ranking factor, so collecting reviews is very important. If you have negative reviews that resulted from “fake clients”, you can file a formal claim with Google for removal.
The top-ranking factor for appearing in the local pack is proximity to the searcher. This means that the closer the searcher is to your location, the more likely you are to appear in the local pack. All search results change based on the user’s location. There is no such thing as a national search engine results page.
Google My Business Best Practices
- Use your legal business name
- Whichever address you use, be sure to use in the exact way on other websites and listings where you place your business address
- Add images that customers would find helpful when researching your business
- Add your Services
- Add your Products
- Add a Service Area
- Add your Website
- Add Questions and Answers based on your Frequently Asked Questions
- When customers ask questions on your local page, be sure to answer them promptly
- Respond to reviews
Google My Business Websites
- Get started with your Google My Business website
- Edit your Google My Business website
- Use an existing domain name for your Google My Business site
- Buy a custom domain
- Publish or unpublish your website
- Cookies policy
- Google My Business website policies
- Read and reply to your reviews
- Get reviews on Google
- Moving your reviews across your listings
- Types of business summaries on Google Maps
- Flag inappropriate reviews