In part 3 of the Online Marketing Adelaide – Google + blog we look at why some listings don’t make the first page of Google search results for ‘what they do’ and ‘where they are’ … and what, if anything, you can do about it.
As stated in part 2, it can take several months for a newly verified listing to appear in some search queries. In addition, the ranking of listings in searches by business type or category (e.g. “Caravan Park Adelaide”) is actually determined by algorithms and is not something that any of the Places/Plus support staff at Google can influence in any way.
The aim of course, is to become one of the ‘7-pack’ that appears when a person searches for a local business or service by location (see below).
Achieving one of these places guarantees extensive exposure (a caravan park client in this list receives around 30k views each month, with hundreds of click throughs to their website and Google map listing).
It can be particularly frustrating when you create a new account that’s far more relevant (eg. actually located in the town or city, set up and completed correctly) than many of the ones that do appear.
Ranking of local results on Google
Google Places/Plus search results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence.
Troubleshooting to find the answer can be a time consuming task, as the cause can be any one (or more) of the following *10 reasons:
- The business is too far from the city where you want the Places rankings.
- Your business appears in Places results for other queries – just not the one you typed in.
- Google has penalised your listing.
- It’s too soon. (Newly created accounts can take a few weeks or months to appear)
- Incorrect business categories
- NAP (Name/Address/Phone No.) information not presented correctly on your website.
- NAP missing completely from website
- Empty, wrong and/or inconsistent citations (mentions of business name, address & phone number)
- The business may have too few or no citations at all
- Duplicate Google Places listings
*10 reasons sourced from Phil’s excellent Local Visibility System blog.
Businesses that have changed location, phone numbers or their name, often leave a trail of old listings behind. These incorrect citations harm the effectiveness of online marketing efforts. Google is looking for consistency of NAP information to deliver the best quality search results it can to searchers.
There’s no quick fix to remedy this issue, the only solution is to update the details of the accounts you do have access to – and send change requests to the ones you don’t. This process might take several weeks to complete.
The best way to identify these old citations is to search for your business name (and variations of it) using Google, it’s likely there will be several pages of search results, check each listing one by one and set about amending those that need it.
A Google search for ivolution consulting displays our website listing with links to Google + Reviews and our Google + Page. The remaining listings on the search results page display ivolution’s Yelp, Foursquare, Linked In, Google +, Facebook, Twitter Blog and Pinterest accounts.
Citations (Listings) to review:
This is just a sample of the business listings that may require standardisation of business name, address, phone (and web address):
- Social Media Accounts (some of these may have been set up without your knowledge)
- General Directories (Yellow Pages, White Pages, Where Is, TrueLocal, AussieWeb etc)
- Trade/Industry Directories
- Media Releases
- Business Databases
- Government Trade Listings
The more consistent citations Google can associate with a business, the more relevance and prominence it will give to it in its specific ‘local’ region.