How to Get to the Top of Google
Learn how to use your business listing and website to get to the top of Google Maps and Google Search
How to Get to the Top of Google Maps
It’s easy to add your business to Google Maps. If you search your business name and it’s not listed, simply click on “add missing place” (in fact, anyone can do this).
This will help your business to show up for searches for your business name, but what about searches for your business type, by consumers who don’t yet know you exist? (“plumbers near me”, for example). Not only do you want your business to show in these results, but you want them to show at the top of these results. This will help you attract the people most likely to become customers upon finding you on Google.
To show at the top of Google Maps results, you’ve got to beef up your listing with lots of helpful information for potential customers. This is done through your Google My Business profile. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Complete your Google My Business profile— all sections!
2. Use a local phone number.
3. Embed your Google Maps location on your website.
4. Collect reviews. The better your reviews and rating, the closer to the top your business will be.
For more help with this, head to our post on How to Rank Higher on Google Maps.
How to Get to the Top of Google Local Results
If a consumer types a search into regular Google (as opposed to Google Maps), Google will still display local results because it can detect the searcher’s location via their IP address. Local results appear near the top of Google, and the name given to them is the Google Local Pack (or “4-Pack” or “3-Pack”—depending on how many results Google is showing). Here’s an example of the local pack:
You’ll notice that local results appear at the top of search, just below ads (which we’ll get to later).
Luckily, Google Maps and Google local results pull from the same data source mentioned above: Google My Business. This means that optimizing your Google My Business profile will help you get to the top of both Google Maps and Google local results.
How to Get to the Top of Organic Search Results on Google
Organic search results are the regular results that rank on Google on their own (organically) without any paid advertising.
They may include web pages, videos, or even snippets from web pages such as in the Answer Box or “People also ask” sections.
To get to the top of organic search results, you’ll need to make optimizations to your business website. This requires:
1. Local SEO optimizations to appear in local search results
2. Performance and security optimizations to further facilitate ranking
3. Publishing useful content that targets keywords your customers are searching online.
SEO is a long-term process that requires maintenance, but organic results without any “Ad” label are highly trusted, and therefore frequently clicked on, by searchers. For a more in-depth look at how to optimize your website for top organic ranking, head to What Makes a Site Google-Optimized?
How to Get to the *Very* Top of Google Results
The methods above will help you to appear higher in search results and for more searches, but they don’t guarantee top ranking. The only way to guarantee you show at the top is through paid advertising. There are two types of paid ads you can run to get to the top of Google: Google Ads and Google Local Service Ads.
With Google Ads, you bid on keywords that you want your business to show at the top of Google for when searched by consumers. Your website will appear at the top with a small green “Ad” label to the left of the title. Here’s an example of three ads appearing at the top of Google for the search term “business card printing”:
Google Local Services ads are similar, but you bid on services instead, and results appear in a “Google Guaranteed” section—above even the regular Google Ads. Here’s an example:
As mentioned above, Google Local Service Ads appear at the very top, above regular Google Ads.
To Get to the Top, Don’t Focus on the Top
The key to getting to the top of Google results is to focus less on ranking and more on providing quality content. Google is always evolving its algorithm and coming out with new results page features, so striving for any one position isn’t the best use of your time. Strive instead to put forth useful information that helps searchers get what they need. The more helpful your business listing, website pages, and reviews are, the more likely Google will be to put you in the top results. Remember: Google wants to maintain its reputation as the most trusted search engine in the world.
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