Why should Google rack its artificial brain to figure out which local search results are the best, when it can just let searchers do some of the work?
Local SEOs and business owners should assume that Google knows everything about how searchers interact with businesses in the local search results and beyond. As a result, businesses that seem popular with searchers are likely to stay high in the local results, while everyone else sinks.
How can you turn people’s behavioral signals to your advantage? How can you get searchers to engage with your business in ways that tell Google you’re “popular”?
2 assumptions about Google…
Assumption 1: Google knows everything
Assumption 2: Google judges everything
Ever noticed how some businesses
stick on page one forever?
Or how businesses rank then tank?
Or why results can seem so random?
Assumption 2: Google uses what it knows
Overall, more difficult-to-game signals
have been on the rise - clickthrough
rates on your listings in search results
are more influential than ever.
Clicks on maps, review links, and
driving directions all factor in.
Chris Silver Smith
Local Search Ranking Factors 2014
The $64,000 Question:
how can you get users to show
Google you’re a good search result?
Obvious win: Get lots of people into a room
Host a big gathering if you can.
Or do TV ads if you can.
But I can’t assume you’ll do those.
How can you send Google
more behavioral clues
every day, starting today?
Know the main places where
searchers can engage with you:
1. Main search results
2. Branded search results
3. Your knowledge graph
4. “People also search for”
5. Google Places page
7. “Maps” view
collect more clicks
+ clicks from all over.
Resources / further reading
• # of Clicks on Your Google+ Page Determines Your Ranking?
– Local Search Forum
• Driving Directions vs. Reviews as Ranking Signals for Google Maps
– Bill Slawski
• Mad Science Experiments in SEO & Social Media (slides 88-102)
– Rand Fishkin
• Using Autocomplete To Hijack Local Search Results
– Chris Silver Smith
• How to Pimp Your Local Google+ Page
– Phil Rozek / Whitespark
• One-page handout for getting Google reviews
– Phil Rozek