An average of 18 per cent of people who search for local offers on their smartphones converts to customers within a day ( Think with Google ), compared to only around 3 per cent in e-commerce ( invespcro.com ). As a freelancer for local SEO, I experience time and again with customers that the area of e-commerce is being expanded significantly, but that the individual locations are far from fully exploiting their potential.
The search results are divided into 3 to 4 search results from Google Maps (especially the “Local Snack Pack”) and the “classic” Google results. Depending on the industry and whether, for example, Google Ads are also displayed via Google Maps, around 50 to 60 per cent of all clicks go to the results in Google Maps. Priority to the top 3 ( moz.com ).
While the classic Google search results are fed from data from websites, the results from Google Maps are made up of user-generated profiles on Google my Business, Google’s own data or data from third-party platforms.
These Three Factors Determine Your Local Ranking
1. Relevance: The relevance is the content-related correspondence of the search with the offered offer of your online presence.
2. Distance: If the search query does not contain a location (such as “Restaurant Berlin Tiergarten”), the search results are automatically displayed in the vicinity of the searcher. The closer a company is to the searcher, the more likely it is to be featured prominently. Using the example of “Restaurant Berlin Tiergarten”, Google is most likely to represent restaurants that are near the centre of Berlin Tiergarten.
3. Awareness: Awareness is made up of, among other things, the targeted brand demand for your company as well as classic signals such as mentions, number and quality of reviews, etc.
The Basics Of Local Search Engine Optimization
Consistency On The Web – A Hygiene Factor
When you talk about your company on the web, it is imperative that you always use absolutely the same address data, the same name and the same contact address (NAP). This creates trust on the part of Google and is a guarantee for optimal recognition for search engines and users.
Google My Business – Your Entry On Google Maps
- Get access to your Google my Business profile or create a profile if you don’t have one,
- set relevant main and secondary categories,
- link your home page for one location and the special sub-pages of the respective location for multiple locations,
- fill in the data on the opening times and contact details correctly and keep them up to date,
- Use the 750 characters long description text to describe your offers in more detail.
- Add pictures of your location, your offers and your team and
- Complete all open input options if possible.
- Ask your customers actively and, if possible, directly for reviews on Google Maps.
Your Website – This Is Where You Can Shine
- Make sure that your website complies with current web standards such as optimization for mobile devices, fast loading times, SSL encryption (HTTPS: //), optimal readability, etc.
- Prominently mention your city and district in combination with your services: For example, “Italian restaurant in Berlin-Tiergarten”.
- Describe your achievements not only with pictures and videos but also in text form. Make sure to answer the classic W-questions about your company: who does what, where and how different from others and under what conditions.
Citations – Profiles For Business Directories
Create profiles in local business directories such as meinestadt.de, kennstdueinen.de etc. You can also do this automatically using the IONOS List Local service, for example. Make sure your data is consistent too.
Local Backlinks – Mentions In The Local Press, Partners, Associations, etc.
While citations rather form the basis of your external mentions/backlinks, high-quality mentions in the local (preferably also supra-regional) press and links from local partners on your website ensure that what you will probably differ from your competition for Google.
Entries In High-quality Specialist Directories
There are now specialist directories for almost every industry or type of company. The best known include Jameda, Tripadvisor or Anwalt.de. Use at least the basic profile for this. While entries on portals such as meinestadt.de are purely reputational and SEO measures, customers can be won directly via such portals.
You can find a survey among local SEO experts on the ranking factors in local search engine optimization for 2020 at brightlocal.com. The individual factors and measures are discussed in more detail here.
Conclusion – Still Massively Underestimated Potential
In my work, I find out every day that even the big ones do the absolute basics wrong: Missing categories in Google my Business, no location information on the website, wrong website stored in Google my Business, etc. These errors can mean the difference between position 1 in Google Local Snack pack and absolute invisibility.
From my experience, I can say that Google Maps can account for up to 60 per cent of new customer acquisition for various industries if used correctly. Don’t give away your “right” to visibility and act.
Also Read: 5 Online Marketing Keys To Sell More