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Google Local Search - Simple Steps to Improve Your Results

Services for Real Estate Pros with BlogEasy for Real Estate Agents

If you are lucky, just getting yourself listed in Google's Local Business Center will help you "get on the map" as far as local searches are concerned. As I mentioned in my previous post about Google local search, if you are not listed in Local Business Center chances are pretty good you will not show up on the local search map when people search for, for example, "Punkiedoodles Corners Realtors".

But the fact is, just getting your listing in Google LBC will probably not be enough either - especially as things get more competitive. Unfortunately you need to tweak your listing so it gives you the results you want.

According to the "experts", the three most important factors that determine the ranking of your listing are:

  1. The actual content of your listing (what it says)
  2. Authoratative localation-based inbound links to your web site
  3. Citations in the major directories

Let's talk briefly about #1 above. I will discuss #2 and #3 in future posts.

So how should you write your GLBC listing?

First, be accurate and consistent. Include the same basic description of your business that can (or should) be found on your website. Business name, address, phone number. Make sure these are accurate and make sure they are the same wherever they are found, otherwise Google will be confused about your business identity (and we certainly wouldn't want that).

Make sure your description includes your most important keywords. If you want to be found for "Toledo", then make sure you say it. If you want to be found for "Toledo condos" then make sure you say it. The people at Google may be very smart, but they still can't read your mind, and they can't possibly know your specialization unless you tell them in words.

Second, enter the correct categories. They give you 5 so use them. The categories you enter (like the keywords mentioned above) help Google determine which searches your site is relevant to.

Third, wherever possible enter content and detail. For example, they give you the chance to include photos and videos. Include as many as you can.

Here are some additional sources on information on the topic of Local Business Search. Most of these are blog posts written by local search SEO specialists. Try not to get bogged down in the technical details.

The bottom line, generally, is to make your Google Local Business Center listing as detailed and as "optimized" as possible. Inbound links and citations (reviews) are next in importance.

David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors - May, 2009

Anatomy of a Local Search Listing - Chris Silver Smith

How to Launch that Small Business Website" - Lisa Barone

10 Likely Elements of Google's Local Search Algorithm - Matt McGee

Local vs. Traditional SEO: Why Citation Is the New Link - David Mihm

Local Landing Page Best Practices

Google local ranking factors - Andy Corp

Google local Ranking Excel file - Andy Corp

John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hi Rick,

Thank you for sharing an informative and helpful post. Happy New Year.

John Pusa

Jan 03, 2010 04:04 AM
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Rick ~ Bookmarked for my Online Things To Do folder.  Thanks for the info and the links. I'm going to come back to this post as a reference.


Jan 03, 2010 01:06 PM
Rick Hendershot
BlogEasy for Real Estate Agents - International, IT

Hi Don,

I'm glad you found it interesting.


Jan 03, 2010 01:57 PM
Rick Hendershot
BlogEasy for Real Estate Agents - International, IT

Hi John,

My pleasure, and happy New Year to you to. I hope it is a good one.

Jan 03, 2010 01:58 PM
Rick Hendershot
BlogEasy for Real Estate Agents - International, IT

Hi Liz,

I hope the information is useful to you. There's a ton of info in those posts. Probably too much. Just focus on the essentials for starters.


Jan 03, 2010 01:59 PM