There are three key factors that every business needs to take into account when ranking local. They are relevance, prominence, and proximity. The better known your business is, the more relevant you are to the search phrase and the closer you are to the search area, the higher your business will appear in Google. This is a pretty straightforward concept for local businesses with physical locations like shops. But it gets a lot trickier when you are a service-based business like a tradesman who doesn’t have a physical location but instead travels around an area providing their service.
If this is you, then you are probably aware that Google gives you the opportunity to list as such a business in Google My Business, and define the area in which you work. Initially, Google did this by requesting your address and then forcing you to set a mile radius in which you would be willing to work. Naturally, this wasn’t a perfect solution, particularly for people who lived near the coast or in areas with poor road infrastructure. It meant service-based businesses listing for areas that they didn’t work in or missing out on areas that they would be happy to make the trip too.
The good news is that Google has changed how Google My Business works for service-based businesses. You are now able to submit the exact area you operate in by city or ZIP code. This makes Google My Business a lot easier for service-based businesses to manage.
That is not all that has changed, either. If you are willing to pay for local ads, Google is also testing service ads that come with a Google Guarantee. As a result of a fee to Google, the search company will vet your business and guarantee your work if they like what they see. This gives customers an added incentive to click on your ad and use your business.
How else can service-based businesses get Google clicks?
There are a couple of other things that service-based businesses can do to get higher rankings and increase the number of clicks they get from Google.
Get more reviews
The more (and better) reviews that a business gets from customers on Google, the higher that business is likely to rank and the greater the chances that a user will click on their listing.
Enter more directories
Directory listings are another ranking factor that Google uses to rank local businesses. Therefore, the more directories you are listed in and the more consistent your listings are (same name, address, and phone number, for instance) the better you will rank.
Use a Local SEO expert
Ranking in Google Local is hard. There are all sorts of issues that you could come across that even veteran SEO experts may struggle with. That’s why if you’re serious about ranking it is always best to hire a local SEO expert in the long run.