How do you rank in Google for local intent search terms?

We share a free tool to work out where you're ranking & some strategies to rank better in search - particularly for your Google Business Profile
Rank in Google for local intent search terms

Want to know how you’re ranking for local searches? 🤔

In this video we share:

  1. A free tool that will show you how to check how you’re ranking in the Google Maps results for local search queries.
  2. Some strategies to help you rank better and win more more local customers from Google.

If you want more local customers ready to do business with you, then watch this video to the end.

[expand title=”Read the video transcript”]If you’re a business that has a local customer base, there’s a good chance you rely on Google to deliver those customers to you. If not, then you’re probably wishing Google was just that nice to you!

In this video, I’m going to show you a free tool to work out just where you do stand with Google, and some of the things you can do to improve that standing.

First, let’s look at an example of a very typical local business search and what searches are seeing.

Here you can see I’ve done a search for “mechanic Blacktown”. This is very typical of how someone would be searching with local intent – the “need” + “location”.

You can see first, we have the ads. Here it is showing only one ad, but before I refreshed, it was showing three.That’s a lot of real estate at the top of search results.

So for a lot of businesses, I do suggest having a budget for ads. You only pay if someone clicks on your ad. On average, it is $3 per click, but for a lot of businesses, you may be looking between $1 and $5 per click.

A lot of people do get scared by this, but think about the lifetime value of a customer.

How much would you be willing to spend to get one? Think for a mechanic, for example, with services every six months, the average customer is going to be worth thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of that customer. So if it costs $50 to secure a new customer, that’s money well spent.

After the ads, we have the maps results and then way down the page are what we call the organic results, which probably most searchers don’t even scroll to see.

Going back to my search query, 46% of the searches on Google include local intent like this, with 28% of those leading to a purchase, and up to 78% if the search is conducted on a mobile.

So how are you ranking in Google?

Knowing how much real estate and the percentage of clicks it gets, let’s look at the Google Maps
results we see in search results. And for this I’m going to use a free tool from Surfer Local.

First, I’ll search for and select a Google Business Profile – these used to be called Google My Business Listings, if that’s the name you’re familiar with – and then I put in the search query I was interested in.

What Surfer Local does is then show how your Google business profile ranks in the Maps results. In this example, you can see the business is generally ranked somewhere below the 20th in the results.

Now, this is why tools like this are so important if you’re the business owner to get
the real picture of how you are ranking. There are two reasons why this tool is so important:

  1. Google will give some weighting to businesses that are close to the searcher, and if you’re doing a search yourself to see where you sit, you’re probably doing it from your own place of business.
  2. Google does skew the results it shows to you to you based on your own preferences, search history, and even your browser actions.

Zooming into the results, you’ll see that nearby searches show better rankings, but outside of that, the picture is not so rosy. There’s really a lot of work that needs to be done if this business owner wants to get results out of Google.

So if you’re not performing so well, what can you do?

I’m not going to go into great detail around this, but these are some of the more obvious and easy things you can do.

1. Optimise your Google Business Profile.

There are a few things you can do, but the top priorities are going to be…

Making sure that the primary and secondary business categories you have listed are correct.

Then make sure that your business name, address and phone number are still correct. Pretty obvious, but sometimes businesses haven’t updated. They’ve moved, whatever’s happened, that’s not up to date.

And lastly, make sure that Google is telling you your profile is 100% complete.

Now, I do say lastly, but there are extra things that you can continue doing on an ongoing basis that will keep your Google My Business or Google Business Profile up to date and something that Google will like to rank better for you.

2. Make sure that your website is optimised.

It’s making sure that you’ve optimised for the keywords you selected as categories in your Google Business profile.

It’s making sure that your business name, address and phone number are still correct, and match up with what you have in your Google Business profile.

And if you look up just about any article about on page SEO, implement those recommendations. There’s a tonne of articles about on page SEO, a tonne of how-to’s. All of those, it’s pretty standard recommendations,
so you can follow just about any one of those, and that will give you a good basis for moving forward.

3.Listyour business in business and industry specific directories

Think of True Local, for instance.

These should in large part reflect the content of your Google Business profile. What these are, therefore,
is to pretty much lend some credibility to your Google Business profile. It’s telling Google that, yes,
this is a legitimate business, and there are all of these other business directories that are referencing your business so Google can rest assured that somebody exists at this business location.

4. Look at getting more Google reviews.

Over the years, many SEO professionals have gone back and forth on whether Google reviews do have a direct impact on your ranking.

Even if they don’t, here’s what they do. They give you massive social proof, and they encourage people to click.

When people click, it’s telling Google they have got it right. If people don’t click, then Google assumes that maybe they’ve got it wrong and they’re going to reshuffle the results.

So the more Google reviews you have, the more appealing your listing actually looks in those search results.

So you are going to get more clicks and that is likely going to have a feedback on how you rank in the Google Maps results.

Okay, so that’s pretty much a wrap on this video.

The takeaways from this…

Make sure you know where you stand in the Google Maps results.

If you look at the results, do a search yourself, you’re going to see those ads at the top. A lot of real estate there, so worth taking a look at.

And then you’re going to see the Maps results.

So it’s really important, you know where you stand. And once you know where you stand, obviously it’s taking those actions to improve it.

The more you improve your results, obviously, the better it’s going to be for your business and the number of customers and sales that are coming in.[/expand]

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