Google My Business is a great way to increase your presence within search results, making it easier for consumers to find the businesses best related to their needs. Within Local SEO (Optimising for Local Search Results), Google My Business is one of the key factors to ranking your business or website higher. When searching for a service Google My Business listings are the first thing you see displayed within search results. In this Blog, we will suggest some tips to get started and improve your Google My Business listing.
1) Sign up and Claim Your Listing
Sign up and verify your business. There are multiple methods to verify your business and website. Request a Pin, which is sent on a postcard to your address to complete the confirmation process. Confirm via phone. You’ll be given a unique pin to enter into your Google My Business account. Alternatively, you can verify your account with your email. Once this is verified, Google will recognise the legitimacy of your business listing and will start to rank your business higher in the search results.
2) Adding Correct Business hours
Add your daily business hours, opening and closing times and change your holiday periods. Opening and closing periods tend to shift from year to year, make sure customers know when you’re open for business and avoid negative experiences, such as a customer travelling to your business just to find out it is closed.
3) Listing the right category for your business
Proper category associations are one of the most important foundational ranking factors within Local SEO. Picking the right category can be difficult, especially now that Google no longer allows custom categories, meaning you will have to select from a predefined selection. For the best results, pick the category most relevant to your business’s services and try and limit the number of categories you select to 2 or 3 instead of using the full 10.
4) Add photographs
Adding photographs of the outside and inside of your business is a great way to help customers identify your business while searching, they may have seen your business before and will be able to find you quicker than without reference. This also helps give a good first impression to new customers finding you through search, sending a clear and positive message.
5) Add a 360-degree view or a “virtual tour” of your business
Using the new 360-degree or virtual tour is another great way to show your customers your business, letting them experience it before leaving their homes. This works exceptionally well for businesses such as restaurants and hotels, setting the atmosphere before your customer arrives.
6) Ask for reviews
Reviews are one of the main ranking factors to consider when using Google my business. Ask for reviews from your customers and try and encourage and promote positive ones by doing great work, reviews are a great indicator of how much trust to place in a business and when a customer can see multiple positive reviews they can rest assured they are going to receive a good service. Incurring negative reviews and not keeping up to date on how your business is presented over search listings can be a big mistake, especially if you spend a lot on marketing.
7) Respond to the reviews
Getting reviews isn’t the only way to help improve your Google My Business listing, responding to reviews is a great way to increase customer engagement and one of the best ways to recover from a negative review is a well thought out – constructive response, showing customers, your business not only thinks their opinions are important, but you’re always interested in improving customer experience.
8) Use the Posts feature
Google has introduced a feature called “Posts” for Google My Business. The feature lets you create a single post to add to your Google My Business listing, with an image, an attachment and a button to interact with. This feature is a great way to increase your ‘real estate’ within search results. Posts typically last one week so make sure to update regularly. If you set the post type to an event then the post will last until the event has run its course.
9) Merge Duplicate accounts and listings
When setting up a Google My Business account, there are sometimes duplicate listings for the same business. The best course of action to take is to claim and merge or delete the other listings, so there is only one listing for your business.
10) Consistent Citations
When considering how to rank your business within the listings, Google will crawl citations from other business directories for more information. The main factor it looks for is consistency. If you have listings with Bing or Yelp, make sure that your address and other details are 100% consistent across the broad.
11) Add Some Services & Products
Ensure you’re taking advantage of the services and products on Google My Business. This is a relatively new feature which allows eligible Google My Business accounts to list the services you provide, these are keywords that can help your business get found for the services you offer. The second feature is products which allow us to upload a picture, price picture, title and description. The products are visible to users when they see your Google My Business listing.
12) Include Appropriate Attributes
Attributes are a useful feature which provides users with more information about some of the features of your business. Are you women-led? Do you have outdoor seating? Is your premises wheelchair accessible? These are the types of information which can be included to help your customers choose you ahead of your competition.
Hopefully, these tips to improve your Google My Business listing will help your business’s Local SEO. For more useful tips and tricks and information, check out our Blog – Find Out More
Don’t have time to optimise your Google My Business account? Get in touch to find out about our Google My Business Accounts Management service – More Info
This post was last updated in July 2019.