Showing Up in Local Search Results

Your SEO campaign seems strong, but competitors in the area still rank ahead of you in local search results. In addition, they are listed in the ever-important “3-pack” (below).


Your efforts to rank highly on local search are not in vain. The problem may lie in the Google “filter”, which factors in…

  • Proximity
    • where the search user performs the search
  • Google My Business categories
    • the category you selected for Google My Business is not as accurate as it could be
  • Physical address
    • Being located next to your competitors can have negative ranking effects

“The Filter”

Here are three common reasons your local business will fail to show up in the top search results.


Google greatly emphasizes the user’s physical location while performing a search. If your business is not close to where the search user is located, the chance of being filtered is greater. Several years ago, this was detrimental to businesses located in the suburbs of a large city. Recently, there have been updates to “the filter” so suburban businesses have an increased chance to rank highly in local search.

Google My Business Categories

Accurately selecting the Google My Business category for your business is very important. Generally, it is advised that the category selected corresponds directly with your business. However, if a competitor is ranking higher, it may be beneficial to see what category they are under and adjust accordingly. Some categories are searched more than others, so be aware of categories that may attract greater search volume.


Physical Address

Being physically close to competitors can negatively effect your rankings. Google may have more “trust” in their operation and give them priority. The same priority may be give to the competitor if both businesses operate out of the same building. If possible, try not to share an address with a competitor.

Counter “The Filter” and Show up in Local Search Results

If other local businesses are ranking highly, emulate what they have done.

  • Ensure your Google My Business profile is complete
  • Provide a complete business description on Google
  • Ask past customers to rate their experience to increase the amount of 5-star reviews
  • Create content that makes searchers view your site longer

Addressing these issues may increase your Google ranking for local search results.