Google rolled out a new update to its algorithm that meant big changes to local business owners.
The infamous Vicinity update turned the Google Maps rankings of many local businesses upside down. Some businesses loved the update, seeing an improvement in website traffic, while others noticed a dramatic decline.
As the name of the update implies, the vicinity of the searcher more heavily influences the local search results. For instance, searching for a “nearby bakery” in a small suburb outside of a large city will now exclude most bakeries in that larger city.
If you’re a business owner in a small community then this article is for you.
Here, I will teach you how to improve your Google Business Profile rankings for local searches that fall just outside of your vicinity.
You can implement these changes yourself or hire Empirical Web Solutions, a science, health, and medical digital marketing agency in OKC, to make the changes for you.
Let’s dive in.
1 Increase Your Business Reviews
In today’s digital age, online reviews can make or break a business. That’s why it’s important to have a strategy for generating reviews that are genuine and honest.
Google reviews are also a major ranking factor. So, here are a few ways you can increase your business reviews.
Send Review Requests to Former Customers/Clients
Sending a customer review request to a former customer can increase your business’s review count by prompting them to leave a review. This can be done through email, text message, or a survey.
When sending a review request, personalize the message and show appreciation for their patronage. Most importantly, make it easy for them to leave a review by including a direct link to the review website or social media platform in addition to clear instructions on how to leave the review.
Increase the odds of the customer leaving a review by reminding them of their experience with your business.
What happens if you send review requests and nobody leaves a review?
One way you can incentivize former customers/clients to leave a review is by offering a special promotion or discount. This can increase the likelihood they will take the time to leave a review, boosting your overall review count.
One way to increase your business reviews is by running paid ads on Google or social media and offering something of value in exchange for a review.
For example, you can run a paid ad campaign targeting a specific keyword associated with your business. The ad could include a teaser that offers something of value in exchange for an email address or a click on a link.
The link would take the user to a summary explaining that you’re looking for reviews and that they can access the free content by clicking another link.
2 Add More Business Images
Add more images of your business to your Google Business Profile.
This not only builds trust with customers, it also helps Google’s algorithm understand that you are a real business offering real services. This builds trust and can improve rankings.
If you run your business from your garage, add images of your garage, house, front door, trash can, refrigerator, etc. Title each image accordingly and upload it to your Google Business Profile.
3 Add More Website Citations
Another important factor to consider is citations, or backlinks to your business. A citation is simply your business’s name, address, and phone number found on a different website.
To get the most benefit from citations, it’s important to make sure they are consistent across all online directories. You can use Citation Builder Pro to make this process easier.
4 Business Address Consistency
Add your business’s address, phone number, and hours of operation in the footer of your website.
Ensure that the address you put on your website is the same address referenced (or cited) on other websites. Any inconsistency can hurt rankings.
5 Virtual Tours
Although a bit pricy, virtual tours can boost your rankings in search engines.
This can also increase online conversions because a customer will have a more well rounded view of your establishment, building trust between you and the client.
6 Google Location Services
Another tip to improve your rankings is by entering your address into a search engine and asking how far away that is from a major landmark.
Whatever the answer to that question is, paste it onto your webpage.
This helps Google better understand the exact geographic location of your business. The more Google (and your website visitors) understands your business and location the better your rankings will become.
7 Expand the Content on Your Website
Simply having a website is not enough to attract business. To truly stand out in search engines, it’s important to have high-quality content that is both valuable and relevant to your target audience. This is especially true when it comes to search engine performance.
One of the main ways content on a website can improve search engine performance is by increasing your websites relevance to specific keywords.
When search engines crawl a website, algorithms are used to determine the website’s applicability to specific keywords. The higher a website ranks in search engine results, the more relevant it is to a specific keyword. Businesses can improve their search engine rankings by including high-quality content that is optimized for specific keywords.
Content Silos and Internal Linking
Internal linking refers to the practice of linking to other pages within the same website.
Let’s say your business sells custom lab equipment in Kansas City. You, therefore, are going to target the keyword “custom lab equipment” on your homepage.
You do this by writing articles related to the keyword “custom lab equipment” and you link each article back to the homepage.
For instance, you could write the following articles:
Design and engineering custom lab equipment
Manufacturing processes of custom lab equipment
Quality control of custom lab equipment
Safety and compliance of custom lab equipment
Applications of custom lab equipment
Maintenance and repair of custom lab equipment
Advancements and technology of custom lab equipment
Cost-benefit analysis of owning custom lab equipment
Case studies and examples of custom lab equipment
Industry trends of custom lab equipment
Each article builds context to your business and helps Google understand that you make custom lab equipment.
Most importantly, you link each of these articles back to your homepage using anchor text with the target keyword “custom lab equipment in Kansas City”
In summary, the articles are not there for people to read, they are there to help you rank for the keyword “custom lab equipment in Kansas City”.
These are a few actionable pieces of advice you can use to improve your rankings in Google and drive more business virtually or through the front door.
If you need help with the internet marketing of your biomedical science, health, or medical website give us a call for a free consultation.