A local dentist contacted us last week because the Google Business page he had optimized is not ranking well in local Google search results.
After a little investigation, we found that this dentist actually has two Google business pages – one for the business entity (which he had optimized to be 100% complete) and a second for the dentist himself (which was not optimized). Learn more about optimizing your Google Business Page.
The optimized Google Business page for the business entity is not ranking in the top 100 local listings, but the page for the dentist is ranking 28th. So, we have two issues:
- Why is the optimized page for the business entity being outranked by the non-optimized page for the dentist?
- What can we do to rank better in Google local search results?
What we need to do is focus our efforts on a central page and get it to rank better by following each of the sections below.
Calling Google My Business Local Support
I began by calling Google local support, posing both questions above. Here’s what I was told:
First, the Google representative told me the reason why the non-optimized page for the dentist is ranking better is because it has more recent activity: It was created last month (probably machine-generated by Google). The optimized page for the business entity was created in 2012 and its most recent activity was in April 2014, eight months ago.
Frankly, this is news to me. I didn’t know Google is placing so much importance on activity. I was sent an email with the following ideas for improving the ranking:
The big takeaway here is that a page with regular activity should outrank and perform better in Google than a page without regular activity.
Consistent Name, Address, Phone #
Many experts believe the consistency of your business’s name, address, and phone #(NAP) are important in achieving high rankings. This only makes sense because Google is trying to confirm that your business is listed accurately.
We performed an audit of 22 top internet business and niche directories and found the NAP were very inconsistent from one to the next. The business name is different and the address had multiple variations – some had the suite #, some didn’t, and the ones that did had it denoted differently (suite vs. ste vs. #).
We recommended the client update his website to include the address found most commonly and also suggested he edit every business listing so that his business name as listed as it is on his website.
In addition, the Google My Business page should be updated to be consistent with the website (ie, same exact name, address, and phone number). Creating NAP consistency from website, to Google Business page, to directory listings (citations) helps you rank better.
Creating Activity On The Google Business Page
There are two good ways to create activity on your Google Business page. The first way is to blog regularly on your website and then share that content on your Google business page. This is our preferred method because it helps make your website stronger, too.
The second way is to simply share interesting content, facts, images, and videos directly on your Google business page.
No matter which method you choose, make sure to interact with customers with the aim of building a following, just like you would on your Facebook business page.
Lastly, try to get reviews on a consistent basis. Put a system in place, get more reviews than your competitors and you’ll stand a good chance of outranking them. Read our guide on How To Get More Reviews.
The strategy described above is pretty standard for ranking your local Google business page. If you’re operating a business, it’s a good idea to check to see how it’s ranking on a regular basis, just in case Google happens to create a new page by default. This can sometimes happen, as in the case above.
Make sure you are active and have consistent listings of your business on the internet to give yourself the best chance of ranking well.
You might also enjoy our instructional post on Dentist SEO.