Create A Google My Business Account
Google My Business is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful, and free, tools for local business owners. Google Maps and Google Search produce local listings by pulling information and business profiles from Google My Business. Creating a Google My Business account is a fast, easy, and free way to appear in Google Maps and Google Search within the local results section – possibly even on the first page of Google. However, you must make sure you follow through with claiming and verification process for your listing. After that, you’ll be able to monitor, manage, and optimize your listing.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Optimizing your listing is extremely important because, while creating and verifying your Google listing will help with your online visibility, optimization is what will increase your ranking in search results. Optimizing your Google business listing for results is how you can steadily climb up to the first page of Google. Here’s how:
Complete each and every section of your profile
The more information you include about your business in your Google My Business profile/listing, the more searches it will be able to show up on the first page for. Complete Google My Business listings get about 7 times more clicks than incomplete listings so be sure to take this important step.
Consistency is key
Use the same exact spelling and format for your business name, address, phone number, etc. for your business at all times. Google and other search engines don’t like discrepancies and can effect your ranking—even things as minor as “Ste. #” vs “Suite #”. Stay consistent in all your online business listings and win.
Update your info
There’s nothing worse than a potential customer not being able to find your business, or worse, showing up to find that your business has moved, or, when they try to call, they get a message that the number has changed. All of these examples can deter a customer and may even lead them to distrust your business or write a negative review. Keep your Google My Business listing up to date so that Google can trust it, and you, enough to be placed at the top of the search list.
Upload some photos
It’s Google My Business’ goal to provide consumers with as much information about your business as possible, before they even call or visit – including what it’s like at your business. Make sure to upload photos that show your pride, products, services your business offers, the atmosphere (inside and out), as well as the employees and people that make your business great.
Get 5-star customer reviews
People searching on Google want to see what others are saying about your business, so Google ranks businesses with more positive reviews higher and places them on the first page. Try asking your customers in person, through email, and create a shortcut link on your websites and social pages. While this definitely helps optimize your Google My Business listing, remember, there are many other review sites that also have an impact on your Google search ranking.
Get listed on other directories
Google My Business is definitely powerful, but it’s still important to create and optimize listings on other popular directories, like Yelp.
Yelp receives a lot of online traffic and is a trusted source for Google. It’s extremely common for your business’s Yelp page to show up on the first page of Google for relevant local searches. Having as many legitimate online business listings as possible with positive reviews improves your online presence and sends signals to Google’s algorithm that your business should be ranked higher in local search results.
Remember, make sure all of the information in your online directory listings are complete, accurate, consistent across every site, and updated regularly. Also, make sure to collect and respond to reviews in a timely manner.
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