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How Does Google Determine Local Rank? Part 2 - Distance

In this episode we discuss Distance and its importance in determining your local business ranking on Google.  Distance is all about proximity to a searcher, and how to signal to Google your listing is more valuable than your competitors'. We detail how you can increase your geographic relevance in Google's eyes which leads to higher rankings and even more qualified customer leads. Another episode you don't want to miss!

Jamie:    All right, Adam.

Adam:    Hey Jamie!

Jamie:    Oh my God. Another week has flown right by, but it's not for another local SEO intent, Right?

Adam:    Yes, it is. I'm, I'm jazzed up about today's topic as well as usual. Very excited, very excited about

Jamie:    One quick question, when are we going to have someone from Google on? What happened to that?

Adam:    I don't know.

Jamie:    All right, go ahead. What's today's topic.

Adam:    Well, today I wanted to go in part two of our Google, my business ranking factors. I wanted to go spend a little time talking about the second ranking factor and that's distance. So distance means basically how far that potential search result is from the location. So say you're searching. So from using your phone, you're a, you know, across the street from a bank and you're looking for a bank to do business with Google will give you that result. When you search for bank, you don't have to do bank near me. You can just do bank. Google will ask, Hey, can we get your location? And usually people say yes, so probably yeah, well maybe not, but probably that first result will in that Google three pack will be that bank that's closest to you. So that's, it's called user proximity. It's it's it's distance in relation to where you're searching from. It makes sense?

Jamie:    Yes, yes it does.

Adam:    So the reason they do that is because they want to give you the most impactful, meaningful results, right? So Google's whole their whole objective is to get you to stay on Google. So keeping you there with the most meaningful results does that, keeping it keeps you on Google and allows them to hit you with ads constantly. So they want to make that feature. That's why Google, you know, they started asking for your location long ago because they want to give the ideas. They want to give you most the most meaningful results. So if I type in bank, it's not going to give me the result from, you know, Nova Scotia or something like that. They want you to, they want to give you the result. That's going to be the most meaningful for you.

Jamie:    Yeah. I mean it doesn't get more meaningful than when you say bank near me.

Adam:    You don't need to say near me anymore, actually. Yeah. It'll give you the same results. So now as a local business or owner, how can you capitalize on that knowledge? So what we say to do, and this is on your website, you're going to be using you know, you have your location. First of course, if your location is closest to downtown, that's great. That's one of the, one of the, a big, that would be a big advantage. The next thing we want you to do on your website is to start writing articles about any local landmark that's in that city that you're in, that you want to service,

Jamie:    Maybe not the local statues.

Adam:    Correct. Okay. You want to, and that actually you want to, you want to stay away from other businesses, for example, like a yogurt shop or something that is kind of transitory. Google's not going to really recognize that as a relevant landmark. So, you know, they've already in Google patents, they've already talked about big ones, which are of course, airports train stations in our area. They would be Bart stations parks, schools city and County offices, that kind of stuff, any kind of locally known landmark is perfect. So you write a few articles, you know in a, in a past episode we talked about listicles, so you can do, yeah, you can do the top 10 landmarks in my city and write individual articles about each one. What you think about each one, make sure it's a unique article, that kind of information, what it does. It shows it shouts at Google. It shouts at Google that you are locally relevant. So that distance to that that center that basically the more locally relevant you are in terms of distance and in terms of relevance, that's gonna raise your chances of getting into that group. Google three-pack even more

Jamie:    Well, you're giving me so many ideas of what I'm going to be my next listicles.

Adam:    Okay. So if you have multiple locations, one thing that we talked about is having making sure that each location is connected to its proper Google, my business listing. So you don't want to just have every Google my business listing connected to your homepage. You want to have a location specific page then from there. So say from there, then you want to have those pages branching off of it. So for example, if I have a location in Orinda, California, I want to have my homepage slash location, which would be Orinda and then any article or any about any landmarks in Orinda. Makes sense?

Jamie:    Yeah. Yeah. I got it. I got a million of them.

Adam:    Wait, if you have other locations, basically Google sees that site structure and they, and it, it recognizes the organization that exists around there, so that those local articles about Orenda connected only to that Orinda page. And then if you have a, a Berkeley page, you would do the same thing with Berkeley,

Jamie:    Or if you know, I'm, I don't think the DMV is going anywhere. So how about I write a local article about directions from the DMV?

Adam:    Sure. You can definitely do DMVs, anything that is that Google realizes is a landmark. That's perfect. It's tough to get content for these places. So you do have to either think of that content, pay a writer to think of that content. You know, you can use the internet and talk about all kinds of stuff. Make sure it's relevant, make sure it's it's actually understandable English make sure it's not copied wholesale from somebody else. That's terrible. You can get penalized for doing that. If you have pictures of those locations, that would be perfect. Now the other part I wanted to talk about that's, if you're a, a brick and mortar, the next thing is, if you're a service area business, your address is hidden and you serve a large area. You want to do that same thing, and you want to definitely include a lot of photos.

Adam:    So you can have your cities that you serve. Those can be your main pages and then branching off of those city pages. You can have articles about landmarks in each one of those individual cities or projects in each one of those cities, anything that says those city names, plus some original content, some photos perfect, those photos. When you upload them to your website or to your Google, my business listing, we've talked about before they contain longitude and latitude information in the exit data. So Google loves that. It gives, when you do that, it gives Google a broader, more, a broad picture about who you serve and where you serve. So that helps a ton.

Jamie:    You also mentioned actually putting in the neighborhood on the title as well, because near me could be, you know any part of the city. So right near me could be really impactful.

Adam:    So if you're in a bigger city, you definitely want to get down to the neighborhood level. So then you know, if you're in Manhattan, you want to get down to each, each neighborhood each it gets really, really really detailed. And you know, you have to do a deep dive into your neighborhood. And when you do that, what you're showing to Google as it you're hyper relevant in the local area that you're serving, it works. And once you do that, what happens is your ranking in the three pack will rise and your phones will ring. That's why this is all, that's what this is all about. So that's distance, the distance ranking factor.

Jamie:    Well, and that would lead me into, because yeah, in my solar business, our phones are ringing. We would like to implement some kind of filtering. So maybe we'll address that in another podcast. How can it filter, you know, maybe not the people looking for the cheapest, but looking for the best, the best of the best

Adam:    Dope! So we also want to do one last thing, you know, you might be considering, or you might have considered, Hey, should I join that local chamber of commerce? And the answer is yes. Oh, you love the chamber of commerce for the link. That link from that chamber of commerce website shows that you are locally relevant. So I know it might be a hassle, but you, you might if you're, if you have a large service area joining each of those chambers and getting a link directly to your location page for that city, it might be something to consider. And I've heard that a lot of chambers of commerce basically never take that link down. Oh. So if you joined for one year, you could be there forever. Yes. I've heard Matt. I'm sure it's different from each chamber to chamber, but those are that, that is that chamber link is worth a lot of money.

Adam:    And in future episodes, we'll go through actually what directory local directories are, are perfect. And you want to make sure that you're want to be listed at them, but for distance and local relevancy, a chamber, a chamber link is, is very important.

Jamie:    All right, well, this episode flew right by as usual. So I'm sure you'll have lots of information in the show notes and hopefully some examples of what people can do.

Adam:    Yes.

Jamie:    All right. So make sure to rate and review, share this podcast with anyone who's in business that you know, needs or wants to have more business. It's a, it's great when people are calling you and you can say, Nope, not interested instead of the other way around. So definitely you're looking for more referrals and operating business more efficiently, definitely subscribe to this podcast, share it around and then make sure to give us five stars on wherever you are listening to it. It really helps.

Adam:    Thanks a lot. Everybody see you next time.