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How can my business be found in a local search?

Not finding your business when you do a Google search must certainly be every business owner’s nightmare! There are many reasons why this happens and we will briefly examine the possible reasons for this dilemma.

How are local search rankings determined by Google?

Google has 3 (three) main considerations influencing your business search rankings and whether it will be found in a search for similar companies, products or services.

1. Relevance
How closely does your business match the search requirements or related key-words? Just because clients in your community praise you for your talented woodwork skills, it won’t be sufficient to say “I’m the best carpenter in town so if anyone searches for a good carpenter, please let them find my business first!”

2. Location (distance)

  • When people search for a product or service, they would always look for one closest to their location. Include your full business address so that Google can pinpoint your exact location. Google will always show businesses located closest to the searcher.

3. Reputation and Positioning

  • How much have you worked on your business branding?
  • Did you create any inbound links to your website?
  • Have you used your knowledge and experience to write natural content (blogs) related to your industry?
  • Have you linked to other small business websites in the same industry?
  • Are positive reviews from your customers about your professional business ethics being showcased on your website?

Why a local search is important for your business?
(In a local search you will receive much more relevant information);

  • Addresses of businesses
  • Map location points and directions
  • Full contact details of the business
  • Operating hours
  • Customer Reviews  
  • Websites

Below follows a list of the top four online search engines namely:

Google 

  • Undoubtedly Google is the world’s most- loved and user-friendly search engine and they offer your business free online exposure.
  • Always ensure that all relevant company information on your website is accurately recorded to propel your business to the first page of a search.

Bing 

  • Bing follows a close second in search engine popularity to Google.  Similarly, it is free to list your business. Your business is almost assured of being on the first page of search results.

Yahoo! Local

  • Ranked third in popularity, Yahoo Local offers free and paid listings to businesses. The benefits of a free listing are the same as Google and Bing.
  • With a paid listing businesses can upload photos, add links, add significant information, and your listing appears in bold to stand out from the rest.

Yelp

  • This popular review site is frequently used by search engines to rank websites in a search. If your business is showered with favorable reviews on Yelp, it enhances your online business reputation and status, effectively separating you from the competition.
  • If your business name is typed into a search, the Yelp reviews are most likely to feature on the first page of the search.

Business Directories

To expand your reach further afield, add your business to a Directory aligned with your type of business. Below are some links to explore further:

Here is a list of the most important directories compiled by Moz.

It is most important to ensure your business information is accurate on your website and regularly updated with Google, other relevant search engines and directories.  Any inaccuracies or inconsistencies will affect your business showing up in searches.

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