Google Rankings: How to Monitor the Important Keywords and How It’ll Impact Your Local SEO Efforts
In today’s digitally-focused world, Google rankings are more important than ever before. For your multi-location business to be visible online, your Google rankings must be strong, and landing a spot within the coveted Google 3-pack can be a game-changer for your business. What are you currently doing to increase your multi-location business’s rankings on Google?
Throughout this blog, we’ll take you through the basics of Google rankings, how to monitor essential keywords, and how these rankings will impact your local SEO efforts. If Google rankings aren’t a component of your localized marketing efforts, you’re missing out on a huge percentage of organic traffic and ultimately, business.
Google Rankings: The Basics
Everyone knows that when you search on Google, certain results rank higher than others, but do you know what determines those rankings? Google has seven local search ranking factors seen below that they consider when deciding how to rank different businesses and links.
As we mentioned previously, your multi-location business should strive to secure a spot in the Google 3-pack. The Google 3-pack is the method Google uses to display the top three search engine results pages. Seventy-five percent of consumers don’t look past the first SERP, and the top page of results receives 93 percent of the traffic. Ensuring that your business appears in the Google 3-pack is crucial.
While meeting the top search ranking factors is critical, your multi-location business can also ensure that you’re seen in more local searches through E.A.T. This acronym will help your chances of appearing in those coveted spots.
- The “E” stands for expertise and refers to your multi-location business’s level of knowledge about a particular keyword or topic.
- The “A” stands for authoritativeness and encompasses the reputation or image of your multi-location business as a whole.
- The “T” stands for trustworthiness and builds on “E” and “A”. The reliability of your multi-location business is based on the sentiment of conversations and local reviews.
We’ll go over how your multi-location can build E.A.T. in your localized presence later in this blog. For now, it’s important to understand that a strong E.A.T. strategy can help your multi-location business rank higher in Google searches.
An effective rating and review strategy is a must if your multi-location business wants to be seen near the top of Google search results, as six of the eight ranking factors Google uses are related to reviews. For more information on building and maintaining a winning rating and review strategy, check out our blog on the topic. Our Q3 2020 State of Multi-Location Marketing Report also has the latest industry benchmarks for responding to reviews, the volume of reviews your business should have, and more. While the volume of reviews and review response rates are essential, keywords are also mentioned multiple times in the ranking factors. Your multi-location business must be aware of the keywords you want to rank for and learn how to monitor them.
How to Determine and Monitor Important Keywords
If your multi-location business isn’t already aware of the keywords you should be ranking for, that’s an excellent place to start. For instance, if you’re a pizza shop, while ideally, you’d be able to rank for the word “pizza”, you should expand your efforts to rank for other keywords related to your business. While searched frequently, the word pizza alone may be hard to rank for because it is so general. If you have a dine-in pizza place or are known for your friendly wait staff, terms around those selling points would be essential keywords to consider. If you’re looking for new keyword ideas, Google has a keyword planner that can help you find the correct keywords for your multi-location business.
It’s also important to note that, in most cases, Google assumes local intent, even if a user doesn’t include it in their search. For instance, if someone is searching for a “sit down pizza restaurant” but doesn’t have “near me” or “in Austin,” the search results will still be local. This helps your multi-location business target users searching for keywords that fit your business and are in the nearby area.
Once your multi-location business can determine important keywords that you should be ranking for, it’s time to start monitoring and optimizing them. With 100s or 1,000s of business locations, it can be challenging to watch them all at once, where SOCi comes in. SOCi will be releasing a Google Rankings feature in the near future that will allow multi-location businesses to monitor keyword rankings easily and optimize their local SEO across business locations. This dashboard will enable users across the business to determine best SEO practices, diagnose potential problems, and measure performance over time. The information is simplified at the Location Level to give local managers only the most essential details on their keyword rankings. A tool to help monitor your Google rankings will make your business more visible online and improve your local SEO efforts.
The Impact on Your Local SEO Efforts
If your multi-location business has a strong keyword strategy and performs well in Google rankings, this will positively impact your local SEO efforts. The more clicks your website or local landing page gets through Google, the more it will continue to be shown, further improving your multi-location business’s online visibility.
Similarly, improving your rating and reviews strategy to increase your rank in Google’s search results will help boost your local SEO as well. If your multi-location business is responding to reviews promptly, while including keywords in the responses, and encouraging consumers to leave keyword-rich reviews, this will help your local SEO efforts as well.
As mentioned previously, a strong E.A.T. strategy can also impact your local SEO efforts positively. When it comes to expertise, your multi-location business can become an expert by including numerous details about your products or services. Make your Google My Business (GMB) profile stand out by including all of the keyword-rich information about your business. To further promote your expertise, you can also look for high trafficked terms around your business and build content around it.
When it comes to authority, your multi-location business should invest in original research or content that others will re-share. You can also build authority by encouraging customers to post local reviews about their experiences at your business.
Finally, incorporate trustworthiness into your localized marketing strategy by managing local reviews and conversations around your brand. Your multi-location business must be aware of the discussions, be timely in your responses, and focus on personalization. If your multi-location business is seen as trustworthy or an expert in your field, consumers will be more likely to do business with you. Similarly, Google will recognize your authority and expertise, along with the keyword-rich details you included, and will show your business in more search results, and be more likely to appear in the Google 3-pack.
As the top local search ranking factor for Google, updated local listings, specifically GMB profiles, are another component of a successful local SEO strategy. Your multi-location business should have local listings for each of your business locations with the most recent business information. While accurate local listings will help boost your local SEO, it will help avoid confusion when consumers find your business through Google rankings and are looking to get more information about your multi-location business.
If your multi-location business ranks high in Google search results and has strong local SEO efforts, you will be more visible to the correct audiences and ultimately gain more sales. Whether you need help with your Google rankings, managing your local SEO, or need assistance developing a comprehensive localized marketing strategy, SOCi is here for you. SOCi is the all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs and is the central command for multi-location marketers. For more information on how SOCi can help take your multi-location business to the next level, request a demo today!