The Top Local Pack Ranking Factors for Healthcare Businesses

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | By Tim Stoddart

local pack ranking factors

A top ranking in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) is critically important for your healthcare company’s success. Ranking high in Google Maps search is also key, especially if you are looking to win local business. Thankfully, Google’s local listings are available to level the playing field, helping the smaller businesses compete. Let’s take a look at how to get your company listed in the Google Map search and boost your rankings.

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Consider Local Pack Ranking Factors

Local pack is the component of Google search results that reveals nearby businesses related to the searcher’s query. When a search has a localized intent, Google displays several nearby businesses that are likely to provide the product or service the searcher needs or desires. You can boost your local pack ranking by focusing on specific factors. In particular, keywords are especially important.  One of the biggest local pack ranking factors is to Incorporate keywords that local customers are most likely to search for.

It will also help to claim your company’s Google My Business page as well as the Bing Places for Business page. Be sure to optimize your online content for local searchers with local identifiers ranging from the city or town name to the zip code, neighborhood names and other information meaningful to those in the area. Even adding your company to online business directories including all of your contact information is another local pack ranking factor.

Step One – Create a Google My Business Account

Create your Google Local Business account in Google places. Start a profile as a “Local Business.” Confirm your company’s address after creating your page. Google will respond by transmitting a postcard with pin number to your address. Confirm your address and you will be on your way to marketing your business!

Step Two – Standardize Your NAP

NAP is an acronym for your company’s name, address and phone number.

It is important to use the same standard NAP throughout your web-wide listings for complete uniformity.  Such uniformity reinforces your brand and also enhances your company’s search engine optimization (SEO).

As an example, consider a listing of your business in two distinct directories with a slight alteration to the word “South” in one of the two listings. This might seem like a subtlety yet it is actually quite important.  Opt for a standard sequence of words and abbreviations at the outset, then stick to it across posterity.

Also, be sure to use a local phone number. Google acknowledges the area code in the phone number and matches it to the listed address. The phone number should be localized as opposed to a 1-800 number. Above all, make sure the area code is accurate.

Step Three – Build Listings

This step has the potential to trip up business owners and managers. There are thousands of bad directories. Do not let these directories errantly include your business. Perform your due diligence for each listing. Abide by your NAP with these listings. A mention from another site in the form of a citation will also help boost your company’s credibility. Google takes note of these citations as local pack ranking factors.

It is in your interest to connect with those in your town, industry and niche in order to coordinate the addition of guest blogs to your site. Network with relevant parties and your connections will help your business reach its true potential.

Step Four – Mind the Reviews

Honest reviews are essential to online reputation management and SEO success. Resist the temptation to write fake reviews. Instead, highlight legitimate reviews form real customers who have social media accounts, Gmail accounts, etc. In fact, writing fake reviews even spurs penalties from Google. Instead, request honest reviews from customers, feature them and prospective customers will be inclined to pay for your value offering.

Step Five – Update with Regularity

Do not stop updating your company’s website, Google Business Page and social media pages. Updates ensure those who find your company in the map listings take the next step of learning about your business based on the latest information.

Sweat the small stuff. As an example, the use of eye-catching images on your site will help grab visitors’ attention. Continue to update your online presence with accurate contact information, post a steady stream of content and you will be presented in a positive light on the web.

Step Six – Create a KML File

KML stands for Keyhole Markup Language. This is a file pulled from Google Earth that enables you to pull pins and other information from Google Maps. Think of it as a file of coding to put into your website’s FTP that takes your local search outside of Google.

There are lots of creative ways to use KML. The biggest advantage is that it brings local listings to external websites. As an example, Jimmy Buffet makes perfect use of KML in his website. His approach makes it easy to map out all of the tour dates of his upcoming shows. This map goes through Google Earth for optimal presentation and efficiency.

Local Pack Ranking Factors Get You To The Top

Google Map listings adheres to different rules than paid and organic listings. However, there is a common thread that runs through both: consistency.

The best strategy is to add a steady stream of information in a gradual manner. Resist the temptation to add content in large chunks and Google will view your site as much more legitimate. In short, Google rewards consistency. Continue to enhance your Google Map listings as time progresses and it really will prove to be the reward that keeps on giving.

Stodzy Internet Marketing Creates Results

Google Map listings follow different rules than organic and paid listings. However, there is always one commonality involved. That is consistency.

In handling local listing accounts for our clients, we stress the idea of doing a little bit each day. You won’t get very far working in chunks. You need to show Google and your clients that you are willing to constantly provide them with resources. Our professional staff has been optimizing and keeping up-to-date with Google My Business profiles for the past 10 years. Contact us today at 800-761-1426 or learn more about what improvements can be made to your site with a Free SEO Audit today.

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Tim Stoddart

Tim Stoddart is the CEO of Stodzy Internet Marketing. He lives in Nashville with his wife and hit adorable pitbull, Alice. Tim loves to write about digital marketing and personal growth. You can learn more at TimStodz.com

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