Get a Quote
(305) 455.0720 Quick Contact

Issue #7– Google Local Listings – Tips from SEOversite

Most business owners seeking leads online are aware that for years there have been two fundamental ways to get seen on the first page of Google. First, is by paying for Google AdWords (commonly referred to as pay-per-click advertisements) and second is through old fashioned hard work known as “Organic SEO,” which consists of hundreds of tasks ranging from link building to writing blog and press releases, to Google local SEO to managing directory submissions, to adding photos, video and other content on your website.  More recently, however, tiny on-screen maps have crept into the public’s subconscious every time we perform a search on google and see a number of results beneath the Google AdWords, but above what used to be the #1 organic search result. So what is this map? How does it work? And how can you get your website to appear more often in this powerful position, which actually outranks every organic search result? 

First, a little history.  Just a few years ago it was possible to purchase URLs containing a city name and rank almost immediately for related search terms.  For example, if you could buy “” you’d very likely rank at the top of the search engine for folks looking for a jelly bean store in the City even if your store was based in Portland.  Google wanted to fix this as there were many cheaters and Google aims to create the best possible results for its users.

Part of that solution was to create Google Local search results. Google’s aspiration was to deliver a variety of local businesses in response to people searching for neighborhood businesses that would appear, along with a map, in the body of the Google page, and push down erroneous results like “” if they happened to be based in Portland.  Google was so sure this was the right course of action that they created, in general, seven mapped results for every local search which took up nearly the entire first page of Google on many browsers. Just like that, overnight, getting local listings became paramount.

While Google has now dialed back the infamous “7-pack” to a more manageable “3-Pack,” which allows for more organic results, but makes the task of appearing in the top three local results that much more competitive, local listings and the need to rank locally is more important now than ever.  As choosing not to participate is tantamount to guaranteeing a decrease in business, there is a need, not just a desire, for most small and medium-sized businesses who seek superb online results and lead counts to “join ‘em” when it comes to competing for local listings.

With that in mind, here are some tips to increase the chances you will rank well in these mapped results:


  1. Make sure you are actually able to be listed on local maps. Google requires a fairly in-depth process to make sure your business is real, which does include checking your mail for a postcard (rumors are out there that an online solution to this debacle may be forthcoming in the near future).
  2. Get lots of Google reviews.  While not every business with more reviews will outrank those with less, it is a heavily weighted factor in Google’s local search results. Take a moment right now and search for something for which you would like to rank well.  Of the 3 businesses that are listed on the map, do any of them have many reviews with a high (4-5 stars) rating? If not, your territory or area is rather small and you are quite lucky. You can likely get just a small number and start to appear more often. If there are a lot of competitors who have many Google reviews, you have your work cut out for you, but you can use this as a goal and starting point. At a grassroots level, it starts with making a list of 10, 20, 100, or 1000 happy customers and simply reaching out to them and asking for them to review you online. There is nothing more to it.
  3. Consider paying some money.  If you are a business owner generating annual personal income in the $200k+ range, you are both busy and you can likely afford to invest a small amount in a company that can help you garner more positive reviews. Our clients range from around $400,000 to around $70 million per year in revenue.  If you fit that demographic while you may be able to keep review generation in-house, but can likely outsource the process partially for less than you would pay your employees monthly and achieve a superior volume of quality reviews for your business online. We at are happy to recommend companies we feel do this very well and we do recommend getting a referral as there are many options and not all are of superlative quality – simply email us at and we can talk for a few and get you to the right people – this is a free service. In short, these companies might provide an iPad for your business, have the ability to have any happy patient write 4-5 sentences on their experience, upload it to the internet using a unique IP address and post that review to as many as a dozen or more important review sites, plus do it all legally and anonymously so that all of your clientele are comfortable providing their feedback.  We have no idea whether this will be possible years down the road, but currently, this is a superb opportunity to get more excellent reviews, and Google reviews in particular to improve your local rankings.
  4. Improve overall SEO.  While the more five and four-star Google reviews you have will strongly correlate to how you rank for these mapped local searches, they are only one factor.  Google (both the search engine algorithm and the company itself) is shrewd and they look holistically at your online presence. Getting more reviews in general (from Facebook to Yelp! and beyond), having a robust website with significant content, white hat link building, social media interaction, and more all contribute to Google’s magical formula for ranking businesses. Again, consider having SEOversite’s complimentary matchmaking service help your team find the right web design or online marketing vendor by contacting us today.

To ask questions or share thoughts, contact us at 305-455-0720 or email us at Check out and sign up for our complimentary newsletters. We look forward to hearing from you.

By SEOversite, learn more about our team.