Type in the name of a movie. Look at the local movie theaters that pop up. How does Google determine which one will appear at the top with its respective movie times? Why is one theater the fourth down and another one at the very top? It would seem that the top one will get the most traffic, and that is exactly true. Getting to the top within a local industry is a worthy pursuit.

There are aspects that can be controlled and other aspects that cannot be controlled. Google looks at many attributes when they consider how to rank local businesses in search engines.

Aspects That Can be Controlled

What can be controlled? The content being added is one obvious aspect that any business can control. Google wants to see valued content being added on a regular basis. For a movie theater, it could be a movie review. For a café, it could be local news postings or new menu deals. There is always more to be added. Consistency can also go far for Google. The updates are not sporadic. They are consistent and well-maintained.

Aspects That Can’t (or Are harder to) Control

Other aspects in the ranking are difficult or impossible to control, but they matter. For one, Google prefers longevity. A website that has been around for ten years has an immediate advantage over one that is a month old. This can’t be controlled. Clicks can’t easily be controlled. A web host simply offers a great product and advertises it well. That is as far as most care to go. In some ways, it is all that needs to be done to get people coming back. These things are hard to control.

Marketers would best focus their efforts on things they can maintain and control with immediacy. The other pieces will fall into place. Make solid content at a solid pace. Deliver a valuable product and stay on top of Google with a business page that is activated and engaged with. Use Google Plus. Pander to Google’s desires to find the company smiling kindly on an enterprise and their efforts at the local level.