We’ve been seeing a lot of changes going on recently in Google’s local search results. Some of these changes have been changes to the look of the search results (i.e. how people on Google actually use it) while others have been changes to how Google decides what businesses to show and not show in the local search results.
Before explaining how your business actually gets shown in Google’s local results, it’s important for you to understand why these local results on Google are something to be focused on as a small to medium sized business.
If you are an accountant (this example can apply for any business), and someone came to you a year or two ago saying “I’ll get your business on Google when someone types the word ‘accountant’”, then 99% of the time I would have recommended laughing them out of the room. “Accountant” is an extremely competitive keyword to show up for on Google, so expecting to show up on the 1st page of Google for “accountant” would require massive effort and a deep pocketed budget.
Now, if you’re an accountant based in San Diego it’s entirely possible to show up on the 1st page of Google when someone based around San Diego types “accountant” on Google.
If someone is using a computer located in San Diego and types “accountant” on Google, the search results that they see are going to be shown are San Diego based accountants.
This means that as a San Diego accountant (remember, this can apply in any business niche), you need to do your best to make sure that you’re included in this “accountants in San Diego” list on Google.
While it’s out of the scope of this particular post to list exactly how to get your business listed on Google (that’s a post for another day), it’s important for you to understand some of the main reasons that businesses get banned from Google or are otherwise not shown when someone in their city is searching for their services.
While it is a bit creepy to consider, I recommend that business owners think of Google as a human reading through their website or business listing. If a human read through your website or business listing and saw the word “accounting” repeated a million times, it would look a bit weird, right?
Google is the same way and they have software to see these red flags. Google’s goal is to show the most relevant and helpful information to people searching on Google.com. If your business listing or your website is filled with keywords in a way to trick Google, then you’re almost guaranteed not to show up when people look for your business.
Are you currently experimenting with Google’s local business results? If so, tell us about it in the comments.