Which Industries Dominate in Local Searches and How You Can Too
When getting your business to rank on Google’s search results, it can be a daunting task. There are so many factors and signals that Google’s crawlers look for that it can often seem impossible to outrank others online. How come some industries are able to dominate this market by such a large margin? There are a few different ways you can do the same as these dominant companies to rank your local business!
Which industries are dominating the search engine results pages?
According to a recent study done by Brightlocal, hotels, restaurants, and bars are the front-runners in search results. These are all hospitality businesses, and hotels lead the charge with the most search volume. Hotels have a unique advantage, thanks to Google. Instead of the usual three results in the local pack results, there are four. This gives hotels a slight advantage as it is, but they still dominate by more than the 33% advantage they receive in direct searches. After hotels, restaurants get the next highest amount of search volume, then bars. One characteristic of each of these industries that stands out in their ranking is the fact that at 99% of bars, 99% of restaurants, and 98% of hotels have reviews on them. Google takes reviews as an indicator for user experience at each establishment, and uses them to rank them higher for better and more reviews.
As mentioned above, reviews are very important when it comes to the search engine results page on Google. In respect to each of these industries, consumers look to reviews often when making their choice. When users leave reviews, it proves that the business is legitimate, and that others shop there. It also gives insights into what consumers liked and didn’t like about their experience with the company. Often times, the features of each company appear in each review in some capacity or another, and Google crawls reviews for these. They then rank each individual business based on the amount of reviews, how the consumer liked each feature, and how well the review answers any questions.
Google takes reviews into high regard in ranking because they want to make sure they are giving the best resources to those searching online. By having a business with a lot of reviews, owners can show others that their business is legitimate, and has real traffic. This builds confidence in the brand, and shows others what features are highlighted or noticeable when visiting the company. Other ranking factors apply as well, of course, but in this instance for businesses, those in hospitality rank especially well with reviews.
Local Search Results
Another major factor for why hospitality companies rank so well in google, is the map pack. It seems like a minor and seemingly unimportant part of ranking to some people, but having an accurate map pack is crucial for local businesses. When people search for a local business, or even one that may not be local, they would like to see where it is located. Hotels need to have locations for obvious reasons. As you search for a place to stay on your next vacation, of course you will have to find the proper location for your hotel. Not only because you don’t want to rent a room in the wrong city, but also because there are directions to that location that you need. By allowing your customers to know your company’s location, you build confidence and trust with them.
Always make sure your Google My Business has a correct location and local map pack information. This is crucial to being found, and will boost your site rankings/ visibility. Having a business that is easy to find, both on the road and online will always bring more customers to your business. An online business must clarify that it does not have a physical location in order to avoid being penalized for incorrect data. Having your Google My Business profile up to date also includes correct phone numbers for calls. Businesses under the hospitality umbrella get more calls than others for various reasons such as reservations, directions and more. It is critical to have a correct number for customers to call if you want Google to rank your site higher.
In summation, your site needs to have an optimized Google My Business profile, a well defined location and phone number, reviews, and quality content. The photos on your page should be clear and show your features of your business. If you allow guests to upload photos with their reviews, your Google SERP rankings might get a solid positive boost as well. Guest who enjoy their time at your place are more likely to post pictures of themselves or your company on social media, showing more engagement, and giving Google even more reason to rank your site higher.