Drastically strengthen your business’ SEO by optimizing your free Google My Business Listing.
Google My Business is a free tool offered by Google that helps business owners manage their online presence across the search engine and internet — with the greatest impact being on local search.
Claim & Verify Business Listing
The first step in any local SEO strategy is to claim and verify your business’ Google My Business listing: https://www.google.com/business. By claiming and optimizing your company information, you will increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Search, Google Maps, and organic searches.
Claim your free listing on Google and fill out as much information as possible, including the company address, phone number, business hours, and types of payment accepted. A consistent NAP (name, address, phone) is rewarded by search engines, and your customers will appreciate the consistent information.
Be sure to fill out as many fields as you can and include photos and videos to enhance your listing.
Your category selection is super important. Be sure to choose the correct categories for your business.
Google will send you a verification code postcard that, once you receive, you verify with the enclosed code and your business will officially be live.
Create & Answer Questions
In local search results, there is now a section where people can ask questions and get answers.
As a small business, it is important that you stay on top of these questions. Create your own questions and provide the answers.
Google’s goal for their local Q&A feature is to provide consumers with enhanced details about a business. This additional detail will hopefully allow consumers to find meaningful answers to their detailed inquiries and, as a result, be able to make an immediate decision while on Google as to which business to call.
- “Does this restaurant offer gluten-free bread?”
- “Does this store sell top hats?”
- “Does this company rent tools?”
Questions like the above can help the customer quickly make their decision to call the business.
Local search results favor the most relevant results for searches, and business offering the most detailed and accurate information will be easier to serve in the search.
Keep Business Operating Hours Accurate
It’s obviously important to enter your business hours, but equally important to update them whenever they change.
Google offers the ability to customize hours for holidays and other special events, and it should always be used to keep your site accurate and users happy.
Photos help business listings’ performance more than most business owners and marketers probably expect.
Businesses with photos on their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos, according to Google.
Manage & Respond to Customer Reviews
Interacting with customers by responding to their reviews illustrates that your business values its customers and the feedback that they leave regarding it.
Positive reviews are going to have a positive effect on potential customers when researching your business, but they also increase your business’s visibility in search results.
Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews for your business.
If you don’t fill out your company’s information, someone else can. Many business owners don’t realize that anyone has the power to suggest changes and edit your business listing – including your competitors.