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Let’s face it, as a small business you probably don’t stand a cat in hell’s chance of appearing on the first page of Google for the search term ‘business insurance’. But, localise that search to ‘business insurance Farnborough’ and you will drastically improve your chances.

Optimising for local search is a vital weapon in the small business armoury. Local results are shown to those who search for businesses and places near their location. The results generated by these searches appear in the organic search results and Google Maps, and could become a reliable and lucrative revenue stream.

To give your business the best chance of becoming a big deal in your local area, you need to tick all the right boxes. Then, and only then, will your business feature prominently in local search.

Give Google all the information it needs


The more information you provide about your business, the more relevant your business will become in the eyes of Google. You need to enter all your business information in Google My Business, including what you do, where you are and when you are open. Google will ask for your physical address, phone number and business category. Make sure all the information you provide is accurate and up to date.

Verify your location

The next step is to verify that the information you have provided is correct. Depending on the type of business you run, there will be one or more verification options open to you. This could include:

  • Verification by postcard
  • Verification by phone
  • Instant verification
  • Bulk verification (if you have 10 or more locations)

Once you’ve verified your information, you’ll be asked to review your details and make any final changes. Here’s the official spiel from Google if you need a little help:

Customers may choose to leave reviews about your business. Replying to these reviews can help to build customer trust and ultimately raise your profile (the better the reviews, the higher you’re likely to rank). You should respond to reviews with genuine, helpful responses. And remember, any responses you post will be public, so keep it polite, relevant and free from colourful language.

Add some snaps

female photographer with professional SLR camera, natural light, selective focus on eye

If you‘ve already read our post about the power of visual marketing, you’ll understand that a couple of pictures of your business can attract customers and help to tell your story. Images can also show prospective customers that you can supply the products or services they need.

How does Google determine your relevance in local search?

Google’s algorithms take a number of factors into account when determining the ranking of businesses for local search terms. This includes the business’s distance from the user, its prominence and relevance to the search.

  • Relevance

The more Google knows about your business, the better. Google wants to provide users with the most relevant results to their search. The closer the information contained in your local is to the search, the higher you are likely to rank.

  • Distance

There are no tricks here. Google will favour businesses that are closer to the location of the searcher. If the user searches for ‘shoe shops in Farnborough’, and you have a shoe shop located slap bang in the middle of Farnborough, you stand an excellent chance of ranking.

  • Prominence

Google will take into account a number of different factors to determine how prominent it believes your business to be. The number of positive reviews your business has received, the amount of quality content on your website and the number of links you have will all be taken into account. Your adherence to SEO best practices will also boost your local ranking.

Is it time you took local search seriously?

At DGTL, we can transform your business from a local flop to a hotshot in your target area. Combining SEO best practice with quality content and a little local know-how can give your business the boost it needs. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements with our team.