This month, Google received an update that aims to provide more accurate, useful and relevant local search results, linked more closely than ever to traditional search engine ranking signals.
However, not everyone is completely happy with the change. It seems that putting more value into traditional SEO signals when providing local search results means that bigger companies and aggregate sites such as Yelp, Yell and Trip Advisor regularly come out on top over small businesses.
Many see this as a major flaw, and it may or may not be changed in the future, but for now how can you boost your search engine ranking once again?
The answer is to verify your business with services such as Google My Business, Yelp for Business Owners and Bing Places. This will essentially help you to share their stronger SEO signals and push you further to the top of the results page.
As with your own website, all information on these accounts should be accurate and up-to-date, and should include as much information about your business as possible. Try to mention details like your phone number and geographical location as much as possible on your own website as well.
Finally, you should urge your customers or clients to leave positive reviews on sites like Google+ and Trip Advisor as this will also affect how you are ranked. You can persuade them to do this just by mentioning it at the end of an email newsletter, a Facebook post or on your website itself.
Hopefully with these pointers, you’ll be catapulted back to page 1 in no time!