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Getting into the Top Three

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# 1
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Business name: Craig's Taxi

Business Address: 210 Newland Gardens Hertford SG13 7WZ UK

Telephone: 07599 287464

Sorry, couldn't get the Google plus URL to paste into the box, despite following the instructions

website: www.craigstaxi.co.uk

 

Hi All,

After seeing my call numbers wither away to virtually nothing, I decided I needed to do some work on my listing. If someone was to search for 'Hertford taxi' I didn't appear on the list of places, let alone the top three. However there are a few companies (mainly independent owner/drivers like myself) who ARE listed. I know for a fact that most of them would not have gone to the trouble of setting up and maintaining a Google page. In fact, Google confirmed that these individual listings were generated by the search engine. So how do I get above them? They are not updated at all, yet sit at the top. I have begun to update my page, and am enjoying the process, but I'm not making inroads. When I mentioned the situation to one of the lucky drivers with this 'free top listing' and explained that apparently reviews would boost the ranking, he reviewed his own business. Naturally he gave himself five stars. Apart from making him look a bit silly, is he gaining an advantage over me, as I have no reviews yet?

 

I have absolute confidence someone can help!

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Craig B
June 2016

Re: Getting into the Top Three

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# 2
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Hi @Craig B

Well, that's the $500 question, now isn't it? 

Before I launch into anything, I'll hit a few basics. 

First, Google shows different results to practically everyone at this point. Get in your car and drive across town, doing a search on your smartphone every 5 minutes, and you'll probably get a different 3-pack every step of the way. You'll get different things if you're logged into your Google account (do you go to your own site a lot? That can change things) and you'll get different things on your desktop computer than you will on your smartphone. Location is a huge part of the results, and even though your address is hidden, you're more likely to show up when people are near where your business is located on Google. 

 

Second thing, Google's algorithms are pretty complicated. The number of factors that can weigh in are in the hundreds, and when looking at specific results, it can sometimes be hard to tell what the heck Google was thinking. Deejay's is one... I have no idea why it's in the 3-pack, but the low competition might have something to do with it. 

So. The short story, there's a few main areas that matter. How you set up your Google My Business profile is the first. Claim your listing, make sure your business categories are chosen well, upload images, make sure there's no duplicate listings for your business, that sort of thing. Your listing looks good to me. 
For anyone else who wants to take a look, it's here.

 

Next up is reviews. Reviews help, when you get 5 reviews you'll get the review stars showing for your business. Having a bunch of reviews isn't a hugely important ranking factor, but it does help. Obviously don't review your own business, but Google's a little lax about spam, so unless you turn your friend in it might fly under the radar. One review won't make a huge difference either way. Google recently changed how their reviews works, so it's hard to get a good link you send customers to when you drop them off, the one I used to use doesn't work for people on smart phones anymore. I'd say to use this tool, but it can't find your business. Maybe do some of the stuff below and try that link in a month, see if it finds you then? For now you could always tell people to do a Google search for Craig's Taxi UK and click leave a review. 


Next is your website. Notice that the top two results (Foxholes and Herzline) both show under the 3-pack as well, their sites are ranking well. That's a big thing. Get your site ranking and it'll help you get in the 3-pack. On your site, you've got Craig's Taxis and the phone number up top, but it's an image. Make that an H1 tag instead, and include the Hertford UK as well. Add your city + country to the title tag as well, and add a meta description. Add schema and a map too. Here's the map embed code:

<iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d78950.8341412793!2d-0.12899153038338412!3d51.8... width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" style="border:0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Without getting into making more pages, that's where I'd start at least. 

 

Getting your website to show well isn't just about cleaning up the site itself, you also want other sites to link to you. Here's a list of ideas on where to start. It looks like Hertzline doesn't have any, so you shouldn't have to do much here to move the needle. 

 

Last one is something called citations, and it's basically other 3rd party sites that have information about your business. Getting a profile set up on Yelp or Facebook, that kind of thing. The best sites to use change by industry and by country, here's a potential place to start for the UK.

If you want more, this is a great place to start.

Rounding out the important citations especially might help you show in that 3-pack, or at least in the maps results... it's strange that review link tool I tried using didn't find you. Is your listing still kind of new? 

Either way, do some of this, wait a month or two, and see where you're at then. Things move slow when it comes to changing your rankings, so keep that in mind. Good luck!

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Craig B
June 2016

Re: Getting into the Top Three

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# 2
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Hi @Craig B

Well, that's the $500 question, now isn't it? 

Before I launch into anything, I'll hit a few basics. 

First, Google shows different results to practically everyone at this point. Get in your car and drive across town, doing a search on your smartphone every 5 minutes, and you'll probably get a different 3-pack every step of the way. You'll get different things if you're logged into your Google account (do you go to your own site a lot? That can change things) and you'll get different things on your desktop computer than you will on your smartphone. Location is a huge part of the results, and even though your address is hidden, you're more likely to show up when people are near where your business is located on Google. 

 

Second thing, Google's algorithms are pretty complicated. The number of factors that can weigh in are in the hundreds, and when looking at specific results, it can sometimes be hard to tell what the heck Google was thinking. Deejay's is one... I have no idea why it's in the 3-pack, but the low competition might have something to do with it. 

So. The short story, there's a few main areas that matter. How you set up your Google My Business profile is the first. Claim your listing, make sure your business categories are chosen well, upload images, make sure there's no duplicate listings for your business, that sort of thing. Your listing looks good to me. 
For anyone else who wants to take a look, it's here.

 

Next up is reviews. Reviews help, when you get 5 reviews you'll get the review stars showing for your business. Having a bunch of reviews isn't a hugely important ranking factor, but it does help. Obviously don't review your own business, but Google's a little lax about spam, so unless you turn your friend in it might fly under the radar. One review won't make a huge difference either way. Google recently changed how their reviews works, so it's hard to get a good link you send customers to when you drop them off, the one I used to use doesn't work for people on smart phones anymore. I'd say to use this tool, but it can't find your business. Maybe do some of the stuff below and try that link in a month, see if it finds you then? For now you could always tell people to do a Google search for Craig's Taxi UK and click leave a review. 


Next is your website. Notice that the top two results (Foxholes and Herzline) both show under the 3-pack as well, their sites are ranking well. That's a big thing. Get your site ranking and it'll help you get in the 3-pack. On your site, you've got Craig's Taxis and the phone number up top, but it's an image. Make that an H1 tag instead, and include the Hertford UK as well. Add your city + country to the title tag as well, and add a meta description. Add schema and a map too. Here's the map embed code:

<iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d78950.8341412793!2d-0.12899153038338412!3d51.8... width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" style="border:0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Without getting into making more pages, that's where I'd start at least. 

 

Getting your website to show well isn't just about cleaning up the site itself, you also want other sites to link to you. Here's a list of ideas on where to start. It looks like Hertzline doesn't have any, so you shouldn't have to do much here to move the needle. 

 

Last one is something called citations, and it's basically other 3rd party sites that have information about your business. Getting a profile set up on Yelp or Facebook, that kind of thing. The best sites to use change by industry and by country, here's a potential place to start for the UK.

If you want more, this is a great place to start.

Rounding out the important citations especially might help you show in that 3-pack, or at least in the maps results... it's strange that review link tool I tried using didn't find you. Is your listing still kind of new? 

Either way, do some of this, wait a month or two, and see where you're at then. Things move slow when it comes to changing your rankings, so keep that in mind. Good luck!

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Re: Getting into the Top Three

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# 3
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Hi @JamesW,
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to help in such a comprehensive way, I really appreciate it! To answer some of your questions, no the listing is not new, it has been neglected for some time as I thought I didn't need to pay much attention to my listing. I live near the centre of town and others (Deejay's) seemed to get plenty of trade without updating, so why should I? Little did I know...
Yes, I have visited my site a fair bit, particularly recently. I'm not exactly sure what you're suggesting I do with my website, I built it with Weebly, is it possible to do those things with a website builder? Are you saying I should move the image of my car, and put a title on top? I'm afraid I did struggle with some of the tech-terms you used. And I thought I was reasonably savvy!
I've cracked on with registering with some outside listing sites, so hopefully that should raise the profile a bit. Once again, thanks for your help!

Re: Getting into the Top Three

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# 4
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For sure, no sweat! 

And yeah, in a past life I was a programmer, so I know I'm not always the easiest person to follow tech instructions from. I haven't used Weebly before, but it should be possible to add in the JSON-LD code, and the other stuff should be pretty simple to do too. This page that I linked to above should walk you through how to make a block of code that'll end up looking something like this:

 

<script type="application/ld+json">
	{
  	"@context": "http://schema.org",
  	"@type": "LocalBusiness",
  	"address": {
    "@type": "PostalAddress",
    "addressLocality": "Irvine",
    "addressRegion": "CA",
    "postalCode":"92618",
    "streetAddress": "123 Happy Lane"
  	},
  	"description": "This is your business description.",
  	"name": "Gene’s Delicious Donuts",
  	"telephone": "555-111-2345",
  	"openingHours": "Mo,Tu,We,Th,Fr 09:00-17:00",
  	"geo": {
    "@type": "GeoCoordinates",
    "latitude": "40.75",
    "longitude": "73.98"
 		}, 			
  	"sameAs" : [ "http://www.facebook.com/your-profile",
    "http://www.twitter.com/your-profile",
    "http://plus.google.com/your-profile"]
	}
</script>

 

Except it'll have the right info for your business of course. You should be able to edit your site in html, just paste it in the header and it'll do it's magic. You shouldn't see anything on the site when it's in there, it'll just change how Google reads it, and let it know more about your business. When you make the code though, run it through this tool to make sure you did it right.

The map code i had above you should be able to just paste in, and it'll add a map showing where you do business. The map links up with your business too, so as you get reviews, it'll show that in the map by your business name. 

 

When I was talking about the picture, your taxi picture is fine, it's the image that says "Craig's Taxis 01308 861000" That's a problem. That's an image, so Google can't read it. Plus, if you write a headline in something called an H1 tag (found a little tutorial here that may or may not work) Google will not only be able to read it, they'll know it's an extra important piece of information. Including your city, UK can help with ranking too, so do that as well. 

 

I found a thing that says how to change your title tag here, like I mentioned above, city, UK is a good idea to add there too. 

 

I guess the bottom line with Google... there's only 3 spots in the map. Around a year ago it used to be 7, but now that it's only 3, there's not enough to go around. In a city and industry like yours where the competition is pretty low it shouldn't be too hard to cut yourself a piece of the pie, and some companies (Deejay's) may even luck in without having to do much of anything, but it's definitely no guarantee. Hope all this helps you get up there too!

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Re: Getting into the Top Three

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# 5
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Great stuff James, thank you! The only point I'd like to draw your attention to is that I think you've been looking at someone else's website. The phone number you quote isn't mine. I think you've been browsing www.craigstaxis.biz , when my site is www.craigstaxi.co.uk . Sorry if I've confused matters, I'm sure you could positively butcher my site lol (feel free to, by the way!)

Re: Getting into the Top Three

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi @JamesW,
I did some of the things you suggested, namely getting listed on some directories. This worked really well for about a week, and then the views plummeted again. It's a bit frustrating when other companies don't have to do anything to get top billing! I'd like also to draw your attention to the post above, unfortunately it looks like you were looking at someone else's site. Could you run the rule over my site, and perhaps I can make that a bit more attractive to Google. I'm still not getting a lot of 'actions' from the views, which have been fairly encouraging.