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Your German auto shop is a local business catering to a specific customer base. This makes local search critical to your digital marketing efforts. While you might think there’s not much to local search strategy, how search engines rank local searches has a major impact on your success. That means you really should know what happens when someone enters a search for a German auto shop in your area. Here we explain how local search ranking works to help you succeed.

What is Local Search?

Just in case we lost you with local search, here’s a brief explanation of what local search actually means. Search engines consider the keywords people use to help find the best matches. Part of the keywords that are very important in a search include geo words. However, while some people might enter German Auto shop Springfield, others might enter German Auto shop near me.

Both of these searches have what is known as “local intent”, meaning the user wants an auto shop in a specific location. Google strives to improve user experience so will automatically include location when someone enters words like auto shop or pet groomer whether or not a location or near me is included. You might notice Google is quite polite when you do this kind of search and will ask if they can use your current location to conduct the search. But how does the search engine determine who gets that top ranking?

The Local Search Ranking “Signals”

Search engines use signals or search criteria that change based on Google’s latest algorithms. However, there are three main things Google has kept pretty consistent when it comes to local search rankings:

Local Search Ranking Signals

  1. Proximity
  2. Prominence
  3. Relevance

Once it is apparent a search is local, search engines focus on signals that meet these three important elements to show the best results.

How the Signals Work

Google uses the following signals for local searches:

Signals Used By Google For Local Searches

Google My Business

Your Google My Business listing is key to local searches. It is numero uno for signals and requires you have your Google My Business profile completed in detail to help improve your rankings. This is where Google goes first for a local business search looking at your contact information and what you do for a match. So if you want to rank higher, fill out your Google profile end to end so Google knows you exist and are legit.

Links

Google also searches inbound links to your site. Most German auto shops haven’t considered this aspect of their SEO efforts, but it makes a big difference in your local ranking. The better quality the websites are that link to your site, the more trustworthy you appear to search engines. While this can be a tricky thing to incorporate into your digital marketing tactics, it can make a major difference in the signals you send. If you create high-quality content on your site, you can look for businesses that might be willing to link to that content.

On-Page Signals

Your website should include key information that is consistent with your Google My Business profile including your company name, address, phone number and URL. On-page signals also include things like headings and titles with relevant keywords.

Citations

Like inbound links, mention of your business on sites of authority can help increase local rankings. But it can also be something as simple as ensuring you appear on local online business and industry directories. These “citations” send big signals to search engines as it helps build your authority. Being active in the community, and involved in your industry on a local level can help increase citations as well.

Reviews

Some companies fear reviews because you never know what someone might say. However, if you are confident in your services, you can help search engines see you offer superior customer service through reviews. Having high star ratings in hand with positive reviews raises you up the rankings because Google wants people to find the top-notch businesses near them. Customers also pay close attention to ratings and reviews before they click to contact a business. So don’t be afraid to ask customers for reviews.

Proximity

Of course your actual location is very important because Google wants users to find the closest German auto shop. It starts with a clear address and contact info on your website and Google My Business profile, but also includes consistency across all directories and social media. So it’s worth taking time to look yourself up and make sure everything is correct.

If you want to see higher rankings for your German auto shop, schedule a free call with our team today.

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