Originally published by our MD, Rishabh Dev, on Medium
You can use this method to boost your organic visibility, organic traffic, and inbound enquiries — even if you’re not a local business!
In this post, I’ll show the exact step-by-step method I used to rank on the top Google search results for my target keywords including ‘Growth hacking consultant’ and ‘Growth hacking agency’ in my city.
Before we learn the method, let’s quickly see how Google listings work.
Here we go:
Local businesses use the ‘Google My Business’ dashboard to manage their Google Maps listing which includes their description, photos, and reviews. Google search has something called the ‘LOCAL PACK’ which shows up in search results when relevant listings are found based on the searcher’s query.
Here’s a quick example of how a local pack result looks:
It shows only 3 local listings followed by a ‘More places’ link which shows the other business listing results.
The local pack can show up as a result of searching something in a specific location with or without adding keywords like “near me” in search queries.
Now, let’s learn how to use this pack as a “Rank 0” search position. That is, we’ll rank here for our keywords which will put us above the usual search results.
Remember: The idea is to get there fast with lesser resources.
Want ‘Rank 0’?
Here are the exact steps:
STEP 1: Find your golden goose keyword
Make sure you start only with a single keyword at this step. To make sure you’ve got the right keyword, search for the keyword on Google and see if a few Google maps listings are showing up on the search results page. Note that we want to show up on Google search and not just on Maps search. You need to find the right keyword which doesn’t have too much competition with other Google Business listing results and also fits your buyer persona.
For me, this keyword was ‘Growth Hacking Consultant’. When I searched for the keyword from my locality (Koramangala, Bangalore), I found 2 results showing up in the Local pack. Since the local pack shows 3 results, I knew I would rank there just by creating my listing. And if I can optimize it, I would be pushed to the first result without much effort. Find your golden goose.
My golden goose:
I ranked for this keyword in 24 hours, told my tribe and my subscribers that I’ve listed on Google My Business, got amazing reviews, also ranked for associated keywords like ‘Growth Hacking Agency’, and got my first prospective lead of a consulting client the very next day!
STEP 2: Create or optimize your Google Business listing around the golden goose keyword
If you haven’t created a listing, do it now! You can create a listing even if you’re not a local business but want organic traffic from local buyers.
For instance, you might be an online app who has a ‘missed call’ to download the app campaign. You can use the Google listing to drive calls from people (a lot of traffic from Google listing results converts to calls more than even website hits) and the call will auto-respond with a link to download your appfor the problem the searcher is trying to solve. This gives you an automated pipeline of app downloads using a Google business listing! If you’re a local business the application of this is quite straightforward. If not, you need to think creatively and see how you can leverage this opportunity.
While making the Google listing, make sure that you include the keyword in your listing title and add all the information about your business. Also, make sure you upload at least 5 photos of your business.
STEP 3: Get reviews to boost keyword density and get LSI Keywords associated with your business listing
When people write natural reviews for your business, they would ‘naturally’ use a lot of LSI keywords which would help you scale from the singular Golden Goose to multiple keywords associated with your domain.
This will help you rank for associated keywords as well.
City-wide search for the keyword ‘Growth Hacking Agency’
Another result because of the keyword density of ‘growth hacking course’ in my reviews as many people who reviewed the business had taken my growth hacking course:
You can scale this to multiple keywords as you get more business reviews over time by happy customers.
Reviews will tell Google that customers love your business result. And in return, Google will show you some more love.
Here are some ways to get reviews for your business: (Most people don’t ask. Just ask people to review your business on Google)
- Tell your advocates and clients you’ve listed your business on Google
- Include a ‘Review my business’ link in your email marketing material
- Make it easy for customers to write Reviews by making a step-by-step guide
- Print this guide if you’re a local store use stickers to encourage people to review
So just ask. And be shameless about it.
Now, Let’s talk a little grey hat: Another idea to scale this is to have multiple listings in different cities by using an address in each of the cities you can verify. This may count as ‘grey hat’ but nevertheless, it still WORKS.
There are a few other things you can do to rank better in 2018 for local search. These include Facebook Places Optimization and Snap Maps Optimization.Yes. I said Snap Maps. Don’t get shocked if you’re a straight-faced B2B company. Adapt or Die.
Also, if Google Voice Search hasn’t gotten your attention yet, you should start doing some research on the data to understand the increase in the use of voice search and the expected use in 2018.
It’s the next level of branding when Google says your brand name to the searcher. Believe me, it sounds beautiful!
If you’re looking to dominate organic search in 2018, don’t miss the ‘Ultimate SEO Mastery Course for 2018’ where I teach SEO for 2018 through 30 unique, actionable lessons.
P.S. If you want a coupon code to avail an early bird discount on the course, just comment on this blog or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
P.P.S. The early bird ends on 15th November 2017. Act fast and join the first few 2018 SEO-ready professionals.