You may not be aware but the launch of Google’s recent “Pigeon” algorithm update in the UK presents a fantastic opportunity for your small business to compete in the organic Google search rankings with the big players in your industry. This is great news and I am sure you are wondering how your business can get involved in all the local search action? Well we’ve answered a few of your questions below:

What do you mean by local search?

When we say local search we mean ensuring your business is ranked for your key terms when the search is coming from nearby your location. For example, if someone is looking for a ‘pizza restaurant in Bolton’, and your business just so happens to be a pizza restaurant in Bolton, then you are extremely relevant to that search so you should rank well and above let’s say a pizza restaurant in Manchester. So in a nutshell, the Pigeon algorithm is designed to provide the searcher with more accurate and relevant local search results.

What could this mean for my business?

This means that if you get your website updated and fully optimised for local search, then more search traffic from your local area will be hitting your website and (hopefully) buying your product or service. This provides a fantastic opportunity for small businesses, as now the aforementioned small pizza restaurant in Bolton can rank above big players in the industry such as Pizza Hut and Pizza Express, simply because it is located closer to the computer, mobile or tablet where the search query is being made.

How do I rank for local search?

The all-important question… It’s actually pretty simple. Here are just some of the ways in which you can improve your local search performance:

  • Ensure the location of your business is mentioned across your website
  • Set up a Google Places for business page and optimise it by adding contact details, location, opening times and if possible get your customers to write a Google review
  • Ensure that Google Places page is assigned to a number of categories, e.g. pizza place, mechanics, plumbers
  • Make sure that your name, address and phone number are consistent across Google Places for the business page and website
  • Try to slowly and steadily obtain positive reviews – Google reviews are more key to search success than any other business directory
  • Use a local area code for primary number
  • Create individual landing page for location or optimise existing home page
  • Have a physical address in location of search
  • Improve overall page/domain authority

So there you have it, that’s local search in a nutshell. Please get in touch with us if you would like to know more, we’re a friendly bunch here at Bring and we are happy to offer free, impartial advice to help you get the most out of digital.

Lee Wagstaff