If you’ve read my past blogs you might have seen that I say having a Google My Business listing is the #1 thing you need for your online business. If you don’t have a listing here, you’re missing out on potential customers and providing a good experience for those customers to find out information about your business such as your phone number, directions, hours and more.
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
First step to optimizing a page is having a page. Seems logical, right? Even if you never setup a listing for your business it might already exist. You can claim that listing or create a new one.
As I said in the other blog, it is so simple to do it doesn’t make sense to not do it. So stop reading and go do this right now. I promise this blog won’t self destruct if you leave. You can start by googling your business address or company name to see if you show up and then click the link as described below.
Update Your Listing in Google My Business
You went through the process and claimed your business listing, fantastic! Now the fun begins. You’ll want to make sure you do a variety of things to your listing.
Make sure these items are accurate and updated:
- Phone Number
- Hours (you can even do special modifications for holidays)
- Website (if you have one)
- Category (pick the best one that describes you as your primary)
Each category has different type of options available so make sure you explore around and fill out the information it allows you to based on your category. Restaurants have the ability to add menus for examples.
Some categories allow for multiple types of links with specific call to actions for each. Take advantage of being able to link someone right to the action that makes sense to convert a customer.
GMB – Business Description
This is your chance to let people know what your business is about. You’ll want a short and concise description of what your business does providing the services it offers as well as the location.
For example, a pizzeria in Gainesville would have something like:
Leonardo’s Pizza of Millhopper has been serving Gainesville, FL the best and most delicious Chicago-style pizzas for decades. If you want great pizza, you want Leonardo’s. Need something to wash that pizza down? Choose from fountain drinks or a beer from your favorite local brewery like First Magnitude or Swamphead.
This is short, to the point and you know exactly what they offer. This also helps make sure your business shows up in searches if people are searching Chicago-style pizza and not your actual restaurant name.
Google My Business Photos
While you can’t choose which photo will show up specifically for your listing, adding photos and doing so frequently is a great practice. Not only does it allow you to showcase your services to potential customers, it’s a great signal to Google.
The higher the quality the better. It signals trust to Google that your business is legitimate.
Manage and Respond to Reviews
High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility.
Have you ever searched for a service and then you see the service is highlighted in a customer review? Having your customer be very specific in their review is very helpful to improve visibility.
Also, new customers are likely to come to your business when you have a lot of great reviews and they see you engage with reviews.
How Google Determines Local Rankings
Google determines local rankings based on distance, relevance and prominence. Distance isn’t something you can directly control since it’s based on where the searcher is located.
Relevance is tricky because your business needs to match the user intent of what they’re looking for but that’s why it’s important to have an updated listing with all your relevant information in the listing.
Prominence refers to how well a business is known. If your business is prominent in an offline world, Google tries to show this. It’s also based on how well it is known across the web. This is why local citations are extremely important! It signals trust and authority for local rankings.
Google review count and score also play a major role. If everything else is equal but Business A has 5 reviews with a 3.0 and Business B has 50 reviews with a 4.5, guess which one Google is going to suggest to someone? Because their goal is to give the user what they want to entice them to return to use Google again in the future. Position in web results is also a factor.
There’s a lot that goes into having your business rank in the listings and it’s one of the main reasons that if you do nothing else for your business online, a strong Google My Business listing is the most important thing you can do.
This sounds great but I just don’t have the time or the skillset to do it myself, can you help me?
Absolutely! This is what I’m here for. I’m happy to audit and review your Google My Business listing to showcase some easy wins you can do right away to start making sure your business is showing to customers who are searching locally.