The Most Important Reason Social Media Is Good For Your Local Business

by Jason Falls |

Polishing up on my local search knowledge recently, I came across a Local Search Ranking video from Google featuring product manager Jeremy Sussman. He explains in the video (embedded below) that three of the primary factors Google uses to rank your business in local search are relevance, prominence and distance.

Relevance is easy. If you’re searching for a coffee shop, Google will eliminate dry cleaners. They aren’t relevant to what you’re looking for.

Location is easy, too. If you’re looking for something near you geo-location or the address or area you’ve entered into the search, it’s a matter of measurement.

Prominence is not so easy. Unless you listen to Sussman’s explanation of it:

“Prominence is determined by how well-known or prominent certain coffee shops are, based on sources across the web.”

If you’re not talking with your customers online or giving them something to talk about online. You aren’t affecting prominence.

Three ways you can affect your prominence today:

  1. Offer some expertise in a blog post or Facebook post that is helpful to your audience.
  2. Run a special for your Twitter followers.
  3. Post a sign in your store that encourages users to check-in on Foursquare, Gowalla or Whrrl.

Yes, there’s claiming and optimization and all that to do, but those three will make you incrementally more prominent today.

What other ways can you think of to make you more prominent in sources across the web? Drop them in the comments and we’ll collect a nice arsenal for everyone.

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).