The introduction of local search listings changes search algorithms to a great extent and offer small local businesses the ability to compete with their competitors. It’s one of the few changes that help local businesses to improve the SEO rankings.
“Digital marketers always keep on looking for new ways, so that they can help their clients to improve their rankings. And finally, a big change was just made: a new ranking signal was introduced.”
Yes, we are talking about Prominence, a new ranking signal for SEO. Maybe it’s not completely new—we already knew that reputation affected search rankings. However, the emphasis on prominence is new and going to change the way of optimization for local search results.
Along with relevance and distance, prominence too needs a certain level of brand awareness. That means if people know you, more people are going to know you, because you will be higher in local search results.
What Is Prominence?
Prominence refers to how well-known a business is. Some businesses are prominent offline, but don’t have any online presence. But now Google will try to count their prominence and offer their listing with higher ranking because they’re renowned in the community and are therefore valuable to be considered for the search results.
How Google Determines Local Rankings?
Local results are primarily offered depending on distance, relevance, and prominence. These factors help in finding the best result for your search. For example, Google may consider a business that’s quite away from your location as more relevant to your search than a business that’s closer, and therefore Google can rank it higher in local results. The factors that determine local SEO rankings are:
1. Distance: It is the physical distance between the user’s device and business location. For example, if you type “coffee” in the search bar, the local search results will give you the nearest coffee shop on the top.
2. Prominence: How famous is your business? Google extracts all information across the web including your reviews and position in the search results to help position you in local search. So the more link building, the more positive customer feedback your business has, the better local search ranking your business will have.
The search result displays “Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure” as it’s from the famous Disney movie -”Winter.” Google offer familiar places in an effort to display relevant search results.
3. Relevance: Relevance refers to how exact the result of local search query matches to what someone is looking for. Adding complete and detailed information of your business can help Google to understand your business better and match your listing to relevant searches.
Ask yourself whether it offers you relevant results or not.
How Can You Improve Your Local Search Rankings?
You may find that your business doesn’t appear for relevant searches in your area. Fill the required information correctly in Google My Business to maximise the chances that your customers can see your business in local search results. Updating information of your business in Google My Business can help to improve your business’s local ranking on Google and also enhances your business presence in Search and Maps.
- Enter Complete Data: Local results give priority to the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with accurate and complete information are easier to match with the right searches. Make sure to enter your complete business information in Google My Business, so that customers can know more about you and your services. Provide information including your physical address, phone number, and category. Make sure to update your information regularly as your business changes. Learn how to edit your business information here!
- Verify Your Location: Verify your business location to offer your business the best opportunity to appear for users across Google products, like Maps and Search.
- Keep Your Hours Accurate: Entering and updating your opening hours, including special hours for your special events, allow your potential customers to know when you’re available and gives them confidence that when they travel to your location, it will be open. Learn how to edit your hours!
- Manage And Respond To Reviews: Make sure to interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to your customer’s reviews means that you value them and their feedback. High-quality and positive reviews from your potential customers will definitely improve your business’s visibility and increase the chances of a potential customer visiting your location.
- Add Photos: Adding photos to your listings allows people to know about your products and services, and can help you to tell them your business story. Accurate and appealing pictures may also help your customers to know that your brand offers exactly the same what they’re looking for.
How Does Prominence Affect SEO And Content Strategy?
Ranking signals, brand awareness, and brand reputation have a great impact on a business’s local search results. This means businesses with physical locations need to implement all three elements into their organic search strategy in order to rank well at the local market level.
So, if your brand is trustable and offers valuable and informative content, your prominence will grow. In order to grow your prominence, build a positive brand reputation, establish a great user experience that transforms into good reviews in store and on your website, and ensure that you are recognized in the local community. Vertical-specific directories, articles from news sources, and links from influencers all impact overall prominence.