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How Does Google Determine Local Rank? - Relevance

In this episode we discuss Relevance and its importance in determining your local business ranking on Google.  Relevance is all about how well your listing matches what someone is looking for.  There are a bunch of things on your GMB you can optimize in order to rank higher.  Are you taking care of all of them?

Jamie:    All right, Adam.

Adam:    Hello, Jamie.

Jamie:    All right. Another super fun addition of local SEO intent.

Adam:    That's right. Coming at ya again. Alright so hot here. It's so hot.

Jamie:    What is the temperature outside? Like a million

Adam:    It's summer temperature here in Northern California. So I know where I'm at. It's pretty hot.

Jamie:    Yeah. I always like play a game with the kids. Where's hotter. Brentwood or Las Vegas or Redwood or Phoenix.

Adam:    Or, Death Valley.

Jamie:    Oh, well definitely death Valley. Oh yeah. All right. Well, is that what we're talking about today is how hot it is.

Adam:    No, we're going to talk about something even more exciting. So this is a question that I always, I get asked multiple times per week. So I wanted to make sure that we started talking about it. And that is, that is how does Google determine your local ranking? How do they determine which businesses to show in that Google three pack the top three results there underneath the map. And actually I wanted to go, this is a pretty broad topic. So today we're going to go over only over one of those things. There's three main factors to getting into that top three of that Google three pack. They are relevance, distance and prominence. And so today we're going to talk about a little bit. I thought we'd go through the relevance part of this and how you can as a local business, increase your relevance. So that way you have a better chance of getting in that Google three-pack and standing out. So your competitors are a distant third or fourth or fifth.

Jamie:    Great. I'm taking notes.

Adam:    Okay. So first thing you want to do is you want to make sure that you're choosing the right category for your Google listing, your Google, my business listing, the right category means. So if you're a real estate agency, for example, you have a big agency with multiple agents there. You don't want to choose the category real estate agent. You want to choose the category real estate agency. Why is that? Why do you think

Jamie:    One's a singular and one's a business or a company

Adam:    That's right. And what happens if you, so at that agency, you have 10, 15 agents working for you. They're all have their own Google, my business listing. And when they do, if you're all listed as agent, you're going to cancel each other out, that means that could be really bad for your listing. So you want to make sure when you're choosing your Google category, your main one you're choosing correctly. So I know if you're a lawyer, for example, you have most likely a specialty. So Google allows you to specialize. Meaning if you're a personal injury lawyer, you shouldn't put as your category, legal services or law firm, you want to choose personal injury attorney. The reason we do that is because definitely competition. And once we start creating content for your Google listing and for your website, that will help your authority in for that category. So that's really, really important that you choose the correct category so I can give a bunch more examples. Do you want more examples?

Jamie:    I think it's pretty basic, but yeah, go ahead.

Adam:    I know we've had for example, restaurants come to us and they're like, okay, our category is restaurant. And I have to say, well, you know, there's about 400 restaurants in the city that you're, you're trying to break through with. And some of, many of those restaurants are 10, 20, 30 years older than yours. So it's going to be tough to unseat those restaurants with a much bigger history. They're much more relevant in Google's eyes. Okay. So you want to make sure that you choose your Google category correctly. Okay.

Jamie:    Category. Got it.

Adam:    Yeah. That also connects with the searcher's intent. That's the other, the way people are searching for your business. So for example, if you're a business coach, there is no category on Google for business coach. There is a category for business consultant. So you choose business consultant, how it, and then one year, once you do that on your website, you use the words, business coach, many, many, many, many, many, many times together with the words, a business consultant. So you have that as your main H one tag, for example, on your page, which is your, the main words on your page. And under that you say in H two . Business coach, time code! Not life coach, but business coach. They're very different in case you didn't know. Right. Sorry, I don't want to make, I don't want to make either one of those coaches angry at me. Okay.

Jamie:    Well, you know, and as you always like to say Google is very easily confused. It likes consistency, right? And so how does that, how does that come together? If your category is consultant and you put in your website, coach, would you want to put consultant? So you're consistent.

Adam:    Yeah, you would, of course. But when you have to work within the parameters that we have. And so if your main category is not one of Google's categories, if your main business, what you want to do is kind of take that main category and subvert it a little, move that definition a little to include you. And, and the most important is what are people using or what do you think people would be using to find your business? So, one way you can do that is you can go to a Google ads just type in Google ads. You're going to have to open up an account there. It's free. And then once you do that, you can do, you can enter into a Google keyword search for your business, and you can just type away. Google will give you a lot of great information about what key words you're, you're going to need to use to build your website and to increase your ranking for those terms that you are, that you want to be ranked.

Jamie:    So wouldn't it. When you also want to contact Google, see about, you know, I know you're laughing Hong Kong, but contacting Google by adding that category. Sorry,

Adam:    I had to say yes, you definitely can do that in the meantime do this and then you will succeed. Okay. And then the next thing that I wanted to talk about is optimizing your Google My business listing. So when we say optimize, what we're really meaning is filling out everything. So on your Google, my business listing, you have a ton of places we've gone through a bunch of them before, you know, your, your questions and answers your services. When you log into your dashboard, you'll see on the left hand side, there's a bunch of different things you can put into there, like your Google, my business website your services, like I said before, you want to make sure that all of those products, everything that you filled out as much about your business as possible. That that's what we mean by optimizing you're listing. It makes sense?

Jamie:    Okay.

Adam:    Okay. So it's in those areas. You want to put your keywords, those, remember we want to key on to what people are using or would be using to find your business. So you want to make sure that all of those places are full of those key words you've got from the keyword planner, from Google ad words, to make sure that you are a rising in the ranks. Got it?

Jamie:    Got it. Okay.

Adam:    All right. Any questions so far?

Jamie:    Uhm I've answered them or you answered them.

Adam:    Alright. Then one really weird one. Okay. And that is this, we know that Google prioritizes businesses that are closer to the city center, as opposed to businesses that are kind of out in the boondocks, right? So you want to realize that when you're building your business, if you have a choice, you know, down downtown businesses just naturally get more relevancy, more authority, so that, that can help. And that can definitely put a competitor over you. So to fight that if you're outside of that area, you want to be building content. You want to be optimizing your listing. You want to be making sure that your website has a lot of those keywords. You want to make sure that your categories chosen correctly, as well as your subcategories. Okay. Final words here. You're going to be tempted to put in key words into the name of your business on Google.

Adam:    So what I mean by that is say, I am, I'm a plumber in let's say Sacramento. So a really easy way to fool Google is to say, John's plumbing, Sacramento, plumber, or Sacramento's top plumber, or you'll see people do that. And it gets very frustrating of course, but what they don't realize is that's an easy win. If you can get it by Google, definitely. But if that's not your real name, Google can take you off of, they can suspend your listing at any time. And so you definitely, you want to stay away from it's called keyword, stuffing your, your name on your Google, my business. You can get away with it. Maybe you've seen that happen, but if it's not the name of the business, if it's not the real name of the business, then they're going to get taken off eventually. Right. Eventually.

Jamie:    Yeah. I just, I did a search today actually were looking for a heating air conditioning company, a particular one, and a different one came up.

Adam:    Yeah. It's, it can be really frustrating because that is a ranking signal. So if you are, you know, Seattle's best AC HVAC co if that's the name of your company, you know, you are killing it on Google. If that's not, if that's not your, you can expect your, your business and your, that listing that you built, put all this work into to be suspended at any moment. And, and they're definitely when your competitors see that they're reporting it to Google, so it's going to happen. So I know it's really, really tempting. Don't do it just don't don't unless it's the name of your business. And when I say that it has to be the proper name of your business on your website, you know, on your logo.

Jamie:    So we should change our business name to world or universe's best, whatever. Yes.

Adam:    If you think people type in, I want the universe best H back plumber, plumber,

Jamie:    Universal taco about that?

Adam:    That's okay, too.

Jamie:    All right.

Adam:    I'm going to start searching for that, The Universe's best tacos.

Jamie:    All right.

Adam:    I was just taking a break to see, to imagine the universe's best taco.

Jamie:    Alright.

Adam:    Okay. That's all I got for today for relevance. Remember your category. You want to make sure that you get the intent of your researchers. You want to have your optimized listing, if you can be downtown that's best and please don't keyword stuff, your title.

Jamie:    Got it. Sounds good.

Adam:    Well, it's, it's one third or more of how Google determines local ranking. Very good. Alright. That's all I got for today.

Jamie:    Okay. So make sure listeners to share this podcast out. If you know someone that is, you know, they're frantically on the phone every day, calling for business, you know, wouldn't it be better if the business came to them and they can definitely do that with local SEO intent. So it's definitely shared this. So they'll be thanking you and then make sure to rate and review this podcast. And so it gets a higher in the ranking so we can reach more people and help more businesses.

Adam:    Yep. That's it. Everybody have a great week.