The secret to succeeding in any online business is ranking high on Google’s local ranking. For your business to appear in local results, it needs to have a Google Map listing and a complete Google My Business (GMB) profile. This is very important, especially for HVAC businesses. The listing on Google Maps is a strategic marketing tool that is free! Some of the benefits of registering on Google Maps include:
- It helps new customers discover your business
- Generates more traffic to your business website
- Helps to convert more leads into sales
- Builds the credibility of your business
Do you want to build the credibility, visibility, and authority of your HVAC company brand? Keep reading to find out how to get your Google Maps listing to rank highly in search results and attract ideal customers.
Why your business needs to achieve a top local listing on Google Maps
Research indicates that 67% of consumers prefer to use Google Maps when searching for services near them. Most potential customers rarely look past the first page of the Google search results. If you want your business to have a shot at gaining new clients, then it needs to appear in the first few results of the first page. The surest way for your business website to appear on the first page is to optimize the Google Map listing of the business.
Potential clients also come across a business through discovery by use of keyword search, rather than direct search using the name of the business. This is a clear indication that your business listing should be optimized with keywords for it to rank highly on Google Maps.
Additionally, the top 3 Google map listings on Google Maps always appear at the top of relevant search results on Google. Since most searches on Google are local, appearing at the top of search results will strongly increase the visibility of your business.
How to increase local ranking on Google
As we stated earlier, the first step to ensure your business appears in local search results is by creating a Google Map listing. Without the listing, your business will flop in searches, decreasing its chances of attracting new customers and converting more leads into sales. Below are several tips on how to increase local ranking:
Claim the listing of your business on Google Maps
When you create a Google Map listing, the information provided consists of the name, location, and category of your business. You should take advantage of your local listing by claiming your Google Map listing. Add more information about your business on Google so that it is easily discoverable by online users using the search engines to search for HVAC services and products.
The more information your business has on Google Maps, the higher its ranking is in search results. To successfully claim the business on Google Maps, start by creating a Google my Business Account for your business.
Optimize the listing
For your business to rank highly in local search results, optimize the information added on the Google Maps listings. The steps below show how you can easily optimize your listing for high rankings:
Add a local phone number to the listing
You can also optimize your local SEO by adding a local phone number. Do not use toll-free numbers such as 800 and 877 on the listing because such numbers are categorized as spam by Google. Instead, use a local phone number that has the specific area code of your business location. This will notify interested customers that your business is local, thereby building credibility.
Add both tracked and main numbers
In the of case track calls in your business, the tracking number can be your primary business number, and the main business number can be the secondary business number. This will increase the number of calls through the tracked number, and you can easily determine whether Google listings are generating more calls or not
Having the main business number in the listing is relevant because Google can still match it to the ones in your other listing and online platforms.
Update your business hours
Make certain to include the hours of operation for your business on the Google Map listing. Potential clients can search for products or services at any time of day or night, and the information on Google listings will signal to Google whether your business is active or inactive.
Updated hours are also proof to Google that your business is trustworthy, thereby encouraging the search engine to rank it highly. Besides, including the hours on the Google profile will save potential clients the stress of making a trip to your business, only to find it closed. It is also important to update the hours you work during the holidays.
Describe your business
The business description informs the interested visitors from the get-go what your business is about and whether your products or services can cater to their needs. Ensure that the tone of the description aligns with the brand’s personality.
We highly recommend including the niche-specific keywords in your business listing. It will not only rank for direct searches (searches containing the business name) but for discoverable searches (searches containing keywords in the business listing description) too.
Categorize your business accurately
Google provides five categories you can accurately use to increase the local ranking. While categorizing, use a primary and a secondary category. The primary category can include the primary services your business offers. Any other services included fall in the second category.
Google customizes all the categories. Use the menu to choose the perfect categories for your business. There are some instances where the categories provided don’t fit your business. Match the categories to your keywords so that the business can still get high local rankings.
Add photos to the listing to increase local ranking on Google
Another secret to increasing local ranking on Google is by adding photos to your business listing. The photos benefit the listing in the following three ways:
- The photos signal to Google that the listing is credible and active, thereby increasing your chances of ranking highly in search results
- The photo recognition technology of Google is advancing, whereby Google is now showing images in local searches.
- The SEO rule of thumb applies when photos are used in Google’s profile. The rule indicates that Google loves what customers love, and most customers love photos.
Not all photos will increase your local ranking on Google. Therefore, only upload photos with the following elements to the listing:
- High quality
- A convincing business story
Earn Google reviews
The more positive reviews your business listing gets, the higher Google will rank it in search results. Immediately after creating Google local listing, your business is automatically opened to reviews. We recommend that you proactively ask for reviews from loyal customers to boost your local SEO performance. You can also get reviews through:
- Creating a share review link on the Google Business profile
- Sending email links
- Providing quality services
- Offering incentives, including gift cards or discounts
Because your aim is increasing local rank on Google, focus more on getting those reviews on the Google business profile by making it easy for the audience to leave their reviews.
Here is another great tip for using positive reviews to rank on Google; respond to all reviews your business receives. It will help to mitigate any negative, damaging reviews. It is also important to interact with the clients because it makes them feel like they are a part of the brand. Also, the response signals to Google that your business is active and credible, hence increasing its local ranking.
The way you handle the negative reviews on Google can also help to increase or reduce your local rank. Here’s how to properly handle the review:
- Respond to the negative reviews swiftly, and we recommend between 24 and 48 hrs.
- Accept the issue in the review even if the client is wrong
- Apologize to the clients
- Offer to remedy the situation.
By taking all the above steps, Google will notice that your business is active, and concerned about the clients which will help to rank it higher on local search results.
Use Google ads
Increasing local ranking on Google might take time because of the fierce competition in the HVAC industry. Therefore, you can opt for either, PPC or CPC Google ads. Even though it’s not an organic way of increasing the local rank, the ads help the business to appear above other businesses on Google maps search results.
Some of the popular options to use include:
- Search result ads displaying your listing for the local audience
- Ads for valued local search terms
- Promoted pins showing business rank on Google maps
- Local inventory showing the products you have stocked
Publish posts regularly on Google map business listing
Posting promotions and events regularly on Google business listings can also boost the local ranking on Google. By posting frequently, Google receives signals that you are taking charge and managing the listing, and while ranking local business, your business is considered relevant and ranked high. While creating the post for the Google profile, consider the following:
- Post regularly to keep the brand consistent
- Include high-quality pictures and videos in the posts
- Upload high-quality and short text
- Include the localized keywords in your posts
Include a local schema markup
Another way to boost local SEO is by including a local business schema on the web pages. Local schema markups are additional codes that provide information from their understanding of your content. They help the web crawlers to get your location and to understand how the products and services are relevant to people searching for products or services in your local area.
Have a consistent business citation
The business citations on Google can determine whether you rank high locally. One of the significant proofs that Google will use to acknowledge that the business is real and trustworthy is a consistent name, address, and phone number across the internet.
Ensure your citations are accurate by typing the business address on Google. Visit every page with your address and rectify the incorrect citations.
Add your business to local online directories
Submitting the same information on your Google business profile to local online directories can also increase local ranking on Google. When your business appears in the high-quality and relevant directories, its visibility increases. The local SEO is also boosted which also increases the local ranking. We recommend including the following information in your directories:
- The business address and phone number
- The business names
- A detailed business description
- The business website’s backlinks
For consistency, ensure the business information is similar across all directories such as Yelp and Thumbtack.
Evaluate your business ranking consistently
After successfully claiming the Google my business listing, track the ranking performance regularly. You can use a tracking tool with local rank tracking to track performance for specific local keywords on the Google profile. While tracking, ensure the business listings are accurate on Google maps.
Tracking also involves inspecting the competitors’ listings to find out where their businesses are listed and list yours, if it is not already listed. Also, if your business doesn’t appear on a third-party website, list it on those websites.
By regularly tracking the local SEO strategies, you can improve the strategies that are not optimized which will help your business rank higher on the local search.
Utilize Geo-fencing advertising.
Using Geo-fencing advertisements can also increase your local ranking on Google. The local Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising technique is very efficient. It creates a virtual boundary around the business and triggers your advertisement on the mobile devices in your local area.
This allows Google to rank your ads highest to the audience physically close to your business and they are likely to click on them. However, the technique can only work if it is incorporated with specific local terms in your content, increasing the chances of ranking higher locally.
Have a responsive website.
The responsiveness of your website also determines if the local ranking increases. The shift from desktop to mobile is happening faster than expected, and a study established that 75% of all mobile searches exhibiting local intent visit the local store within 24hrs.
It would be frustrating if the links on the Google profile direct mobile users with local search intent to a website with broken links, slow loading speed, or where they are required to zoom in to see clearly. It can reduce the credibility of your website, and you are likely to rank low locally. Therefore, ensure that the website functions consistently on all devices and different screen sizes.
Conduct local keyword research.
Another way to increase the local ranking on Google is by conducting local keyword research tailored to the local target market. There are various tools to use while performing in-depth keyword research. From the research, determine the relevance of your local keyword to your business, its estimated value, and its current competition.
There are a few things to consider while doing the local keyword research, they are:
- The chosen keywords should be locally relevant, use a landmark or a hotspot specific to your locality.
- Analyze the search volume for the local keyword by using the Google keyword planner.
- Check the keywords for local searchers’ intent.
In-depth keyword research ensures that once you have created the content, the visibility of your web pages on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) also increases. An increase in the organic search also boosts the local ranking on Google.
Include local keywords on your website.
Keyword optimization is an on-page optimization strategy that can improve your local ranking on Google. Include Geo-specific keywords on different web pages. The local keywords allow Google to find the relevance of your business to a particular region and rank it at the top of the local search results. Include your location on the following pages:
- About us page
- Service page
- Blog posts
- Contact us page
- Home page
Also include your location on:
- The headings
- Title tags
- The URLs
- The content
- Image tags
If your business operates in several locations, create different landing pages for each location, use relevant local keywords, and ensure that each page’s content is unique. Also, include specific Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) data on each page, testimonials, and product descriptions, it will increase the credibility of the business and its local ranking.
Include a Google map on your website.
Another way to increase the local ranking is by including a Google map on the contact us page. Having the Google map on the website confirms to Google that your business is in the same location listed on the Google business listing.
Embedding a Google map on the websites also helps the visitors to navigate the area easily and find the direction to your business location. This improves their customer experience and they are likely to leave positive reviews on your business’s Google profile, which can signal Google to rank your business higher on local searches.
Build quality local links.
Building quality backlinks can also increase your local rank on Google. The fastest way to get the local links is by reaching out and connecting with other local businesses. Use the closeness and familiarity with other local HVAC businesses and increase community engagement.
Ask other businesses that offer complementary services such as suppliers, plumbers, and remodelers, to link to your website, and request them to include a location on the anchor text, and expect to get high-quality local backlinks. Quality links can increase your website’s authority and the local search rankings. Some other ways to build backlinks include:
- Guest blogging for other local businesses and linking the content to your website.
- Setting up link-building and PR campaigns to generate a list of other businesses to contact and request new links.
- Sponsoring local events so that the local community can know about your business, and you might get a link from the event’s website and local news outlets.
- Creating quality local content so that others can link the content.
Utilize social listening
Social listening can help you to monitor your social media accounts and improve local SEO. What is needed is knowing the insights to pay attention to and how to use them to increase local ranking. Use social listening to understand what people in the local area say about your business.
Use social listening to gather information about potential clients’ pain points and interests. After gathering the information, make necessary changes in your local SEO, and the local rank on Google will increase.
Base your content on local events, stories, and news
Including local issues, events, and news in your content also boosts local ranking on Google. When creating the content speak directly to the local audience and address their local issues to grab their attention. They are likely to associate more with your brand, and your credibility will also grow. Some of the strategies to use while creating local content include:
- Writing blog based on local activities, stories, or news
- Creating videos about local charities that your business supports
By referencing local issues, Google will associate you with your local area and increase your local ranking.
Get more click-through rates.
It is also possible to increase your local ranking on Google by increasing your website click-through rates. If you succeed on the SERP, succeeding in your local SEO will be easier.
To increase the click-through rates on your website, ensure the meta titles and descriptions provides a perfect overview of the content on the website. Also, use locally focused keywords in the headlines to appeal to the local audience’s emotions.
Build a social media presence.
An active social media presence can also boost local ranking on Google. If you don’t have social media pages for the business, it’s time to create the profiles and take advantage of social media to increase your local ranking. There are so many platforms to use and posting consistent information on each platform is the only way to win on local ranking.
If you are active on Facebook, include your location on the posts. While using Twitter, use the retweet or share function on social media to create a buzz about a local ongoing or upcoming event. Also, use Instagram to post pictures of landmarks in your local areas. Having an active social media presence builds credibility and authority, leading to an increased local ranking.
Interact with your customers online.
To get a higher local ranking on Google, manage your brand’s message on multiple online channels. Regularly update profiles on social media platforms and GMB to stay relevant and up to date.
It is also essential to monitor your social media accounts and increase interactions with your potential customers. Encourage them to interact with your page by giving them giveaways, hosting contests, and asking for feedback and questions.
Additionally, communicate consistently on both GMB and social media. The efforts to interact with the potential customers increase your credibility and Google will rank you higher on local ranking.
Conduct regular website audits.
Before working on increasing your local ranking, determine whether the foundation of your website is solid, by analyzing your technical SEO strategies through a website audit. The audit can help you to discover issues that can reduce the website’s rank on SERP, which also reduces its local search ranking. Use auditing tools or hire an expert to audit the website. Some of the issues to look for in the site’s audit include:
- Duplicated content
- Missing links
- Slow speed
- Missing meta descriptions
- Missing page titles
- Poor indexing.
Therefore, it is important to regularly audit your site to identify issues and fix them to improve your SEO strategies.
Optimize the content for local search.
Having optimized content can increase your local rank on Google. Create content to fit the local searcher’s intent and provide information that matters to the local audience. To identify details that matter to searchers in the local area, check what the local competitors ranking higher are writing about.
Also, ensure that your content is informative and that it addresses the local customers’ pain points. It will increase the organic traffic to your website, increasing the website’s relevance which will also help you to rank high for local search.
Optimize local names in the meta descriptions.
You can also improve local ranking by having quality meta descriptions and title tags on the web pages. Including the name of your city or town on the page title tags tells the search engines where your business is located and ranks it for local search. Additionally, meta descriptions containing local names make the content unique, increasing the CTR and helping your website to rank higher on local ranking.
The time to increase your business’s local ranking on Google is here. At HVAC SEO Services, we provide professional SEO writing services to create an optimized Google Map listing for your business. Call us today and begin the journey to a successful business.