SEO can be a daunting and time-consuming task, and often most businesses have don’t have the budget to invest in their digital marketing activities but that shouldn’t stop you from improving your website’s ranking. Google offers a simple yet powerful way to improve your rankings through Google My Business.
What is the Google My Business profile?
First things first, Google My Business is a free tool offered to business owners to help them manage how a business appears on Google’s search results. You can include relevant information that users will use to search for businesses, for example location and contact details. If you own a business, you should definitely set up an optimised Google My Business listing and we’re going to explain how to do that in this blog.
Step one – create, claim or verify your Google My Business profile
Let us start with the basics, the first thing to do is to create a listing or claim and verify your existing one, all of which can be done via this page. Start filling in all the relevant details for your business which are listed below:
An optimised Google My Business listing has all the below information filled in and updated on a regular basis including:
- Your business name
Enter your business name as it appears everywhere else, this needs to be consistent across all channels so you can be found online from potential customers.
You can choose one primary category for your business and another nine relevant categories, be as specific as possible about what your business is about.
Enter and verify your physical address so potential customers can find you on local search results. There is also the options for those that haven’t got a physical location as well as for businesses that have multiple service locations.
- Phone number
Include your phone number so that potential customers can call your business and if you are a local business customers feel more comfortable if they see a local number.
Update your website information if you have one so that you can drive traffic to it and customers can learn more about your business.
- Opening hours
Another important aspect of optimising your Google My Business listing is having the correct opening times on your listing and keeping them up to date on upcoming holidays. This is very important if you are a restaurant for example, where customers are searching for opening hours to visit you.
- Business summary
This is where add further information about your business, products or services. Consider using your company’s elevator pitch so that potential customers can know what your business is all about, just don’t forget to use relevant to your industry keywords in that description.
Step two – include company updates and news
Google My Business listing offers something called Google posts, where managers of the listing can post updates about upcoming events, promotions, newsletters, news and blog posts. Google posts appear on Google search on the business knowledge panel on the listing, and aim to provide value to the users. Just make sure you pick a relevant call to action depending on the post type.
Step three – Include images
Include as many photos of your business as you can such as team photos, the interior and exterior so people know how to find you, and your marketing assets such as your logo. Businesses with more than three images have a higher chance of appearing on local search results and often users are far more inclined to click on a business with images.
Step four – Get more customer reviews
One of the most important factors in being ranked for local search results is customer reviews. Reviews highlight your level of service and give trust and credibility for other users interested in your products or services. If you do get a review, always make an effort to reply to each one, especially the bad ones! You can find out more about the importance of online reviews in one of our previous blogs ‘How to get more reviews in the professional services market’.
Those are just a few things you can do straight away to help you to optimise your Google My Business profile and take a positive step in improving your rankings. A fully optimised Google profile is just one small part of an effective SEO strategy, to find out what else you can do improve your ranking, get in touch with us here. You can also find out more about our digital marketing services here.