Imagine your car needs a repair and you don’t know of any good auto shops in your area. Or let’s say, you’re hungry on a Saturday evening and dying to try some place new—how about a Mexican restaurant with killer margaritas.
Google and Local Search
What would you do?
Most likely, if you have a smartphone, you would do what most people do: search on Google for a solution. Whether you search “auto shop” or “top Mexican restaurants,” Google returns with the closest and most relevant results.
How does Google know what to suggest?
As it turns out, Google looks at some important factors to find the best results in your area.
If you’re a local business that wants to target local customers in your area, optimizing your Google+ business page is a great marketing avenue to get in front of customers in your area.
First… Location, Location, Location
Let’s go back to the example where you want to search for an auto shop in your area. When you do this search, you’ll notice the results of auto shops closest to you. There can be a bunch of results if you’re in a big city or there can be just one or two if you’re in a rural area.
That’s because Google takes into account your geographical location.
Consider the Area of Your Business
When you optimize your Google+ page it’s important to consider where you’re located. Are you downtown in a major city? Or are you off in a suburb?
You’ll want to make sure you aim for the area where you are actually located, rather than an area you’re nearby.
So if you’re in the suburb near a major city, you’re better off ranking for that suburb versus ranking for that major city.
How to Take Advantage
Make sure to mention the area you work when you write out your “introduction” on your Google+ page. Actually, write it in the description on EVERY directory listing that mentions your business (i.e. Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare).
Do Your Keyword Research
Keyword research will help you determine how many people are searching for your type of business in your area.
Higher populated areas will have more searches, but the competition will be much greater than that of a lower populated area (i.e. Chicago chiropractor has more searches than its neighbor, Oak Park chiropractor).
A lower populated area will have less competition, but fewer search results – sometimes even 0 search results. It helps to do your keyword research to see where the opportunities are in your area and industry. You can do a quick analysis by going to http://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of your geographical location, next we’ll dive into another important factor: citations. [Coming Soon]
What types of businesses do you normally search for in your area?