You know a lot about your local community. All this while, you focused on foot traffic. You got a lot more sales from people you know personally. But you should see something. People these days make purchases from the comfort of their homes. Of course, some people prefer in-person purchases. Even these people come to shops guided by Google listings. So it is time for you to focus on rankings. Use these tips to boost your local rankings. 

Google ranks local businesses based on three factors.

  • Relevance:

It is about how closely a local business matches the user intent. Google wants to provide relevant results to its users. Therefore, it is crucial to add information about your business. It helps the algorithm rank your site. It also lets people know more about your business. 

You need to update your GMB listing. Make sure to list your business in the most relevant category. Also, check whether the details in your website and GMB listing match each other. 

  • Distance:

It is about how close your business is to the location from which a user makes a query. Google ranks the nearest store matching the user intent. Google uses the IP address of your mobile to determine your location. Google first sees where you live. Then it fetches the results of nearby businesses that meet your criteria. 

Google uses the name, address, phone number, and website (NAPW) to rank a business. It helps people discover you. They might make phone calls or visit your website to purchase something. Therefore, ensure that you have NAPW citation in your listing. And make sure to update it now and then.

  • Prominence:

Google also ranks businesses that are popular in your area. Google has several criteria to determine a company’s popularity. Ratings, reviews, links, and user engagement play a huge role in the rankings. Google uses domain authority to determine whether or not to rank a site. 

Make sure your site architecture and internal linking are good. Check if the site loads faster. Become an authority in your niche. You do this by providing valuable content regularly. Engage with your audience about your industry. It will make your audience see you as an expert. All these things are necessary to build domain authority. 

Tips to improve your local rankings

Category Associations 

It is crucial to make sure that you use the right category. There are ten categories to list your business. Select the primary category for your business. This step has an enormous impact on rankings. Work with an SEO company in Gurgaon to pick the right categories. SEO companies in Gurgaon can help you pick the right categories if you live there.

Google has predefined categories. You cannot create custom categories. Make sure to pick ones that accurately describe your business. 

Google frequently changes the name of categories and removes categories. It adds new categories every month. On average, Google changes two to ten categories every month. So, you should check your listings regularly.

Google creates new categories. Keep an eye on them. You might get a category very few businesses get listed for. It can help you rank higher without much effort.

Reviews and Ratings

Google says it uses reviews to rank sites. Three review signals determine rankings.

They are:

  • Quantity: It is the total number of reviews in your GMB listing.
  • Diversity: The number of reviews spread across a wide variety of trusted platforms. 
  • Velocity: It is the number of new reviews received in a defined period.

Reviews can help when you are lagging in content marketing. Creating content requires a lot of research, time, and energy. Reviews can help you with SEO. Your customers will use keywords that will rank. 

Responding to reviews is also essential. It will help you add more content. More content will have a positive effect on rankings. 

Make sure to keep reviews coming in. More reviews will minimize the impact of negative reviews. Your customers need more reviews to make judgments. So, make sure to get people to write reviews.

Review diversity is a crucial signal for rankings. So you should consider multiple platforms. You already have a GMB listing. In addition, create accounts on Facebook and Yelp. Identify review sites that fit your industry. 

Negative reviews indeed affect your rankings. But it has positive effects as well. They help increase your credibility. 

Users will trust a site if it has both positive and negative reviews. Customers suspect positive reviews. They might question whether the reviews are genuine. 

Negative reviews help you fix product issues. You will get valuable feedback for product innovation.

Negative reviews might affect your rankings. But make sure to respond politely. It wins the trust of your customers. Negative reviews could affect rankings. But a good response will increase conversions. Work with a local SEO company to craft a solid review management strategy. They can help you with reviews.