For local businesses, showing up on page one is a must – showing up in the Google 3-pack (or whatever it is called this week.) can be the difference between thriving and merely surviving.
All Google products evolve as they find ways to make search better and, let’s face it, make more money from that fact.
There are a handful of factors that Google uses to decide what sites to show when a person searches for a local business.
While there are several factors involved in that decision, today I want to talk about the linchpin of the local listing game – your Google My Business Page.
Google My Business page feeds to Google Maps and reviews are going to continue to be a ranking factor.
The presence of the Google Maps data in mobile searches makes this element increasingly important for most local businesses. I have a client who owns a restaurant that receives 66% of their current traffic on mobile devices and tablets.
You really can’t even dream about showing up for local searches unless you claim and Optimize Your Google My Business page first.
A little Google My Business housekeeping
There’s a good chance you already have a Google My Business page, even if you don’t remember setting it up.
- If you aren’t sure if you have a Google My Business page you can go here to check it out – https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778?hl=en
- Another issue you might want to work through is that some business owners have inadvertently set up multiple Google My Business pages and have a bit of a mess to unwind – Here’s a tool to check if you have multiple pages – http://www.michaelcottam.com/google-business-page-finder/
- If you find that you have duplicate listings, you may be able to delete duplicate locations by following these instructions – https://support.google.com/business/answer/4669139?hl=en
Okay, sorry for all that housekeeping, it’s just that fixing it is a big deal.
Now let’s get your Google My Business Page optimized
So, let’s assume you’ve found your Google My Business page.
There are a few things you should consider:
- Are Name, Address, and Phone the same (exactly) as you have on your website?
- Is the category precise?
- Have you written a keyword rich description?
- Is your website listed in the profile?
- Have you added a few relevant images?
Google offers some pretty good tips for setting your Google My Business page up the way they suggest.
Some more advanced options
There are other ways to optimize this important element, but make certain you have the ones above covered.
- Update images with fresh, hi-resolution images. Google will compress them as needed, but they will look much better. You can and should feature the hi-res logo, exterior shots, interior shots, staff and behind the scenes work. Here’s a detailed guide to images from Google.
- Consider adding a Google Street View Tour of your business. This adds an incredible verification and trust element for them.
If you have questions about your Google My Business Page or need some help unwinding some not so ideal set-up you might consider calling us.
Although most of what it takes to rank locally isn’t that complex, sometimes it makes sense to get a pro involved. After all, optimizing directory profiles might not be the best use of your time.