If your Google Business Profile calls are declining, this decrease in call volume might be due to Google rolling out its most significant Local SEO update in five years. The update started in 2021 on November 30th and was completed December 8th, with some of the most considerable fluctuations happening on December 6th in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
What has changed in Local Search?
Google has changed the ranking weight of business names to favor the proximity of companies to your location. This change occurred because some marketers took advantage of a ranking loophole, where keyword-stuffed business names would guarantee higher rankings in the map pack and local search results. Google has now decided to emphasize location rather than the business name.
It makes sense; customers typically want the most convenient option in search results, which is usually the closest choice.
The Local Algorithm
Google uses a complex ranking Algorithm to show search results; this system calculates many weighted factors in determining your position in local listings. Google tweaks the formula with every update to hopefully attract better search results.
Local Ranking Factors
- Relevance: how well a local search result matches your query.
- Distance: how far the local business is from your location.
- Prominence: how well known the company is compared to the competition.
So, why have my Calls dropped?
Plain and simple, your website is no longer as relevant as it used to be; the primary factors are that:
- Your GBP Listing name no longer carries the weight it used to.
- Other businesses are positioned in a better vicinity/location than you, pushing your rankings down.
- Other websites might have better content and backlinks than your website.
Don't be too discouraged; most of these rankings can be improved upon with the help of an SEO expert.
How to Recover?
With this update, you can do several things to improve your chances of ranking.
- Become more relevant. Does your website show Expertise, Authority, and Trust? You want your web pages to be the best solution for potential customers.
- Is your location best to service customer needs? If possible, consider moving to where most of your clients are.
- Promote your business to become prominent in your community. This can be accomplished with community involvement and outreach.
I hope you found this informative and helpful in improving your local search result rankings; please let me know if you need any help or have advice in improving this article.