Have you seen your business listing falling in local search rankings?
Local search rankings can be so complex it’s near impossible to tell why your business listing has fallen in search engine results at first glance. But there are some key questions you can dig into that will likely shed light on where the problem lies.
Once you’ve determined where problems lie, you can get to work on getting back on top and outranking competitors.
3 Questions to Figure Out Why Your Business is Falling in Local Search Rankings
We’ve covered how to raise your ranking in local search a lot here on the ReputationLoop.com blog, and you can check out these articles to help you with raising your ranking:
- How to Improve Your Local Ranking on Google – GMB Beginner’s Guide
- Google Local SEO Ranking Factors for Small Business
- Local SEO for Brick and Mortar Business – FREE GUIDE
These following questions specifically cover how to determine what could be happening when you’ve done the work to optimize your business listings to rank at the top of search results, but you’ve seen a fall in rankings.
Q1. Has Google done an update that affects local ranking?
Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms and formulas to create search results that are as relevant and useful as possible. Dozens of updates can happen in any given month, and they usually won’t affect hard-earned rankings. But sometimes they’ll throw out a change or uncover a bug that needs fixing, and your ranking falls because you didn’t know that some search optimization tactic you were using doesn’t affect ranking in the same way anymore.
To stay informed on what is new with Google there are a few reliable sources that you can check to see if an update is affecting your ranking:
Q2. Have you violated Google’s guidelines?
If you’ve been ranking high in Google search results, then we’ll assume that you are consistently optimizing your Google My Business listings and publishing new or updated on-site and off-site content. Avoid falling in rankings, or worse suspensions, and make sure new web pages or content (such as reviews or business listings) aren’t spammy or misleading by Google standards.
Are you doing any of the following?
- Picking popular but not relevant categories or other Google My Business Violations
- Posting the same review multiple times or other Review Guidelines Violations
- Creating web pages with no original content or other Google Webmaster Violations
Q3. Do you routinely update your Google My Business Listings?
Sometimes competitors are passing you because they are simply putting in more effort. If you ever got to the top of local search results, you must have been doing something right. Your competitors want the top spot so don’t slack on keeping your Google My Business listing fresh with new content like reviews and photos, as well as updating hours and services as they change.
- Ensure business NAP is (and stays) correct and consistent across the entire internet.
- Have a Review Management strategy to gather and monitor customer reviews
- Update business hours with seasonal and holiday changes
- Pick all the best categories for your business
- Fill out your listing in its entirety
- Optimize images with local identifiers
HOT TIP: Use Google Posts to keep fresh content on your listings – Google and search user LOVE those.
Why Did My Business Fall in Local Search Rankings?
You’ve optimized your website, content, and listings and as a result, ranked high in local search results. To remain at the top, you need to consistently put in a little work to monitor and maintain your standing. Asking yourself these questions is the first step in figuring out why your business listing may be falling in local search rankings. Stay ahead of competitors by staying on top of how you are optimizing on-site and off-site towards local search ranking factors.
USE THESE FREE GUIDES FROM REPUTATIONLOOP.COM TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing | 8 Low-Cost Digital Marketing Tactics | Local SEO Checklist: 9 Tips to Get Found Online |
2017 Reputation Management Checklist | Using & Understanding Google My Business INSIGHTS | Local SEO for Brick & Mortar Businesses Guide