When you do a search in Google, the page you get back is more than just a simple list of results. Depending on your search, you'll likely get several ads, a map with nearby business marked by pushpins. Some video, news articles, more ads, your list of results, some images and more. For some searches you'll even get a dark gray "carousel" of businesses at the top.
Local Business Listings Let You Sneak to the Front of the Line
That gray carousel and the map with pushpins aren't driven by the normal search engine results. You don't even need a website to get shown on the page. They are "Local Business Listings" and you should think of them as a way to jump to the front of the line.
Local Business Listings are map based. If your business is in Phoenix, you won't get listed in San Diego. But businesses from around the country won't get listed here either. Right away that cuts down the competition.
As we mentioned, your physical location is one factor. Google looks at local business directories, like those generated by the "Yellow Page" data companies. They also check your company listing at the search engine's business portals, like Google My Business, and Bing Places. Another check goes to the review sites, like Yelp and Angie's List.
All told there are 20 or so places where a local business is normally listed. Not only does Google check for your presence, they also look to see if you've "claimed" those listings and provided more information there.
Is Your Information Accurate?
Google gleans the info at all these sites and compares them. If your business is listed as a Photography Studio at one of those sites and a Videographer at another, their trust the quality of that information would cause your name to be lower in the list.
Our Local Business Listing Service
McColley Marketing Media offers a Local Business Listing service. We'll create a profile for your business and use it to populate the 20 or so services that are critical to your local ranking. We'll create (or claim if they already exist) your listings for you, then make sure they are consistent with your profile. To find out more, call us at 480-704-4286.