Basic Google Search Engine Optimization
Finding the reasoning for your low Google rankings can be frustrating and feel impossible to figure out. However, often times the mystery can be solved by going through a check list of the most common causes for problems with Google rankings. By taking a little bit of time to double check all of these, you’ll likely find at least one or two things to fix that could really help boost your local rankings. Before we get started, keep in mind your local rankings are local to where you are searching. You will see different results in different areas. For instance, if you are in Andover, Kansas, you’ll likely see different results for a search than you would in Wichita, Kansas. It’s also a good idea to make sure Google hasn’t made changes that could have affected your rankings. Check out sites such as https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change to stay updated with Google’s latest changes. Sometimes, if Google recently did an update, it’s just a matter of waiting it out to see if an update to fix bugs will follow.
Among the first things a business owner should check when local rankings aren’t doing well include:
- Local address – if your business has a local address that isn’t a PO Box or a home address, and you have face-to-face contact with customers, you’re eligible for a Google My Business listing! Be sure your business is listed!
- Check your cities. For instance, if your business is a bakery with a street address in El Dorado, Kansas, you shouldn’t expect it to be a top result in the searched phrase, “cakes Wichita, KS”.
- Businesses without a physical address don’t typically rank for searched queries that relate to your locale.
It’s also a good idea to revisit the guidelines for representing yourself on Google: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en. We recommend you familiarize yourself with these guidelines so you can quickly spot violations.
Duplicate Listings & Address Consistency
Ranking strengths are notorious for being divided when duplicate listings are present. If there is more than one verified listing for a single entity, you can expect to rank lower. You can easily plug the info into this Moz Check Listing tool https://moz.com/local/search to see. If you do come across more than one listing, simply ask Google to merge the listings. This tool also serves as a great tool when it comes to checking for accuracy. After plugging in your info, check to make sure it doesn’t tell you something is missing or inaccurate with your listing.
You can always check your Google My Business listing to reevaluate everything. Ensure your hours of operation are accurate, map markers are correct, reviews are good and responses are being made. It might benefit you to explore the optional URLs by Google, such as menus, reservations, and bookings. Check and see if there are any URL options your business model supports.
Finding the solution to your problem can take some serious investigation work, but if you bookmark our handy list of ideas, you’re likely to figure it out in no time. Make it a habit to keep tabs on everything on a regular basis, and you’ll be sure to see results!