Professional Local Search Ranking Analysis by Bob Sommers
When it comes to placement on Google Maps, the three things that matter most are:
- Relevance: Does your business offer the products or services being search for?
- Prominence: How well known is your company … on the Internet?
- Distance: How far is your business located from the area being searched?
When it comes to relevance, the most important factors are your category selection, business name and business description in that order. You have control over all three of these factors … and it begins and ends with your local keyword research.
When it comes to prominence, the most important factors include the quantity and quality of citations, number of positive customer reviews and the popularity and optimization of your business website. Prominence is the most time consuming factor to enhance, but it’s also the factor that will allow you to leapfrog past your competition … and stay there.
It just makes sense that distance would be an important factor, but it’s not the most important factor as you might think. Here is an example of a business that is located 11 miles from the city center and it still shows up on page one of results for its primary keywords. Regal Car Rental in Ft. Myers Florida
Why? Because Regal Car Rental is perceived as being both relevant and prominent on the Internet. Keep in mind that Regal Car Rental is/was a very small single location rental car business competing with the links of Hertz, Alamo, Enterprise Leasing, Budget, Avis etc. This is the power of understanding how Local Search Marketing works.
If your business is located way outside of Google’s map area, there are ways you can still get your business listed on the results page for that area, but you’ll need to do it with either Google Adwords or with a highly optimized local web presence.