Ever wonder what Google relies on to determine local rankings for home inspectors?
Local results appear when people search for something that Google interprets as having "local intent". Meaning local businesses & places. Think restaurants, stores & local contractors.
Google states that local results are based primarily on Distance, Relevance & Prominence.
Let's examine what each are, and steps you can take to improve your local SEO.
This is a simple one. How far is your business address from the location of the person searching?
This doesn't mean you automatically will rank first for searches in your area. This is where local citations & directories play a big role in Google having confidence you are the best local result.
Your goal should be to get a phone call from every person in your local area that searches for a home inspector. Those are the people you have the highest chance of turning into customers since you are the local neighborhood inspector!
Make sure you:
If you haven't claimed your business or need to add it to Google My Business, follow the steps in this video:
If you need to verify your business, check out this video:
Relevance is how well your business matches with the term someone searched for. For home inspectors this can include:
Make sure there is no doubt that Google understands which services you offer and where.
You can do this by adding complete and detailed business information to your Google My Business profile, your website and in your local citations.
Google gains confidence in ranking you by verifying multiple sources across the web. Not just your site.
Anyone can type "radon testing in San Francisco" on their site 20 times. Be sure not to overdo this on your own site. You can and will get penalized.
There are many more factors and areas in which you should be focusing on anyway.
This is how "well-known" your business is.
Google determines prominence from information it gathers about your business across the web. They specifically call out links, articles & directories.
Links are the main way Google and other search engines "crawl" the internet. Automated robots (also referred to as spiders or crawlers) jump from link to link to learn about documents across the web.
Think of links as an "online vote", with the quality of the site that is voting for you being a main factor.
The more quality sites that "vote" for you, the more Google has confidence that you are a quality business worth showing to it's users.
Having quality links pointing to your site, solid articles on your blog and consistent citations will have a direct impact on how many new customers & agents find you!
Reviews also play a huge role in prominence. How many reviews and your overall score are factored into local rankings, plain and simple. Each potential review counts. Each happy customer counts. They can all help grow your business.
Finally, your position in traditional web results is a factor. So optimizing your website with SEO best practices will also help you move up in the local 3-pack.
There is a lot of misinformation in the world of local SEO. This should give you a good starting point on what actually matters.
Paying attention to what signals you're sending Google will not only help you get more client direct business, it will make agents more likely to refer you if they see you high up in local search results!