How to improve your local ranking on Google, with Google My Business optimisation

When someone searches for a business or place near their location, they’ll find local results across Google, in places like the Google Map Pack and Google Search. For example, you can probably find local results if you search for ‘Italian restaurant’ from your mobile device. Google try to show you the kind of nearby restaurant that you’d like to visit.

The below tips and actions are for you as a business owner to undertake on Google My Business to help your business have more inline presence locally and to gain an edge over your competition.

Update your business info for better visibility

You may find that your business doesn’t show up for relevant searches in your area. To maximise how often users find your business in local search results, ensure that your business information in Google My Business is accurate, complete and engaging.

Enter complete data

Local results favour the most relevant results for each search. Businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. 

Important: Make sure you keep your information up to date as your business changes.

Make sure that you’ve entered complete business information in Google My Business, so users know what you do, where you are and when they can visit. Provide information like, but not limited to, your: 

  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Category
  • Attributes

Verify your locations

Verify your business locations so that they’re more likely to show in local search results across Google products, like Maps and Search.

Keep your hours accurate

Update your opening hours regularly, including when you open and close, and special hours for holidays and events. Accurate hours info lets shoppers know when you’re available and gives them confidence that your business will be open when they arrive.

Manage & respond to reviews

Respond to reviews that users leave about your business. When you reply to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and their feedback. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.

Add photos

To showcase your goods and services, and to tell the story of your business, add photos to your Business Profile. Accurate and appealing pictures may also show shoppers that your business offers what they’re searching for.

How Google determines local ranking

Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance and prominence. A combination of these factors helps us find the best match for your search. For example, Google algorithms might decide that a business that’s farther away from your location is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a business that’s closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.


Relevance refers to how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for. Add complete and detailed business information to help Google better understand your business and match your profile to relevant searches.


Distance considers how far each potential search result is from the location term used in a search. If a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google calculate distance based on what they do know about their location.


Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking.

For example, famous museums, landmark hotels or well-known shop brands are also likely to be prominent in local search results.

Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business, from across the web, like links, articles and directories. Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking.

More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’ local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices apply.

Hint: There’s no way to request or pay for a better local ranking on Google. Google do their best to keep the search algorithm details confidential, to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone.

Author: Graham Paffett

A seasoned luxury goods & services digital marketer with over 20 years Exp. A specialist in developing "disruptive" digital campaigns and strategies for FMCG brands both within the UK and International. • Paid Social (inc. Facebook/Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn & Pinterest) • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) • PPC (Pay Per Click) • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) • ASO (App Store Optimisation) • Direct To Consumer & B2B Digital Strategy Specialist • Social Media Marketer