Everyone does not necessarily need to find your business, only people in your local community. Half of the people that do a local search for a particular business end up visiting that local business the same day. When people do a local search on Google, they will see a map and a list of the top three local search results of businesses that are nearby, before the organic search results.
The top three local search results give the users enough information for them to make an informed decision. They can see how many reviews a business has, and exactly how far away the business is. For most people, the first three results are more than enough, and there is no need for them to scroll down and look any further.
In this post, I am going to go share with you 8 Tips Get Your Google My Business Listing Recognized so that people can find your business the moment they are searching. I will teach you what it takes to appear in the top three local search results!
Complete Your Business Profile
The first step is to head over to Google My Business here. Once you sign in, make sure that you fill in all the required information that is relevant to your business. Ensure that your profile is complete and that all the information is correct and accurate.
Google prefers to display the most relevant results to users. The big G will definitely consider displaying a business in the local search results which provides the most detailed and accurate information.
Do not expect potential customers to ‘smell’ what your business is about, where it is, or how they can get hold of you. Make sure that you clearly state what your business is about, what you offer and of course where it is.
Select A Relevant Category
The category you select will determine in which local searches your business will appear. You have to select a category that best describes your business. Here are some best practices that you can follow:
- You cannot choose your own category.
- If a category you had in mind is not on the list, select a more general category that is still able to describe your business accurately.
- If you add a new category or edit an existing one, Google may ask you to verify your business again. This helps Google confirm the accuracy of your business information. Learn more about categories.
Add high-resolution Photos
Great photos help your listing stand out; you also have the opportunity to give potential customers a sneak peek at your offering. Photos help much more than most business and marketers think.
According to Google, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps. They also receive 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses that included no photos.
If you sell physical products, you can take photos and display it on your listing. You can even take a video, or capture still images and present it on your listing as a virtual tour. Read more on Google My Business Photo Tips.
Make sure that your business information is identical on all websites
Google uses a special algorithm to verify the legitimacy of a business. The algorithm checks the name, address and phone number of a business. The spelling of your business name should be the same on all websites. If your business name is ‘Issys Gardening Services’ on Google My Business, you cannot use ‘Issys Gardening’ on Yelp. If your business has two phone numbers, make sure that you use one phone number on all websites. If your address is ‘5 Camp Road’, make sure that you use either rd. or road.
To check if your business information is identical on all websites where you have a listing, you will need to head over to those websites and do a manual check. If you have a Yelp listing, log into Yelp and check if it matches the information on your Google My Business Listing. It is as easy as that, and you are on your way to hit the top space!
Use a local phone number
In addition to using one phone number on all your online business listings, make sure that you also use a local phone number with the local area code. This further signals Google that your business is local. If you have a website add the business number and the area code.
Avoid being penalized
All your hard work will be of no use if you make any offenses. Read Googles Guidelines for representing your business on Google so you have a proper understanding of what is not allowed.
According to Google, these are some of the best practices:
- Represent your business as it is recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and other forms of branding.
- Make sure your address is accurate and precise.
- Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.
- Brands, organizations, artists, and other online-only businesses aren’t eligible for Google My Business listings
Take some time and read Google’s guidelines for Google My Business listings so you have a good understanding of what not to do.
A citation is a reference to your business’s name, address, and phone number. Google uses citations when evaluating the authority of your business. Citations are one of the best ways to increase the visibility of your listing. Creating citations is a form of local SEO, here is a list of the top 10 websites where you can get a citation, apart from GMB:
- Apple Maps
Here is a link to the top 50 local citation websites by Bright Local.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Google recommends businesses that have good customer reviews to their users, and users are more likely to trust a business with good reviews. It is beneficial that your business has a high star rating. Positive reviews have an impact on your listing in the local search, so do your business the favor by encouraging customers to leave reviews.
Encourage happy customers to leave reviews; you can do this by creating a link on your website. Tell them how much it means to your business, and they will do it willingly. Here is a guide to creating a link to your Google My Business Profile.
Remember to interact with customers when they do leave reviews, this shows that you value their feedback.
A good rule of thumb is to make it clear that you handle all disputes either in store, via email, (preferably use an email like [email protected]) or via phone. This helps to avoid negative reviews on your GMB page.
As I mentioned before, Google uses a special algorithm to serve local search results, so make sure that you include keywords and search phrases in your listing.
Here is an example:
Business Title: ‘Kango’ – Graphic design studio
Description: Kango is a new and thriving graphic design studio in Cleveland Ohio. They are a team of young web-savvy graphic designers.
I used the keyword, ‘graphic design’ in the title and description, to describe the business ‘Kango’.
Check and Update Your Operating Hours
It is very important that you check and update your business hours. Google has an option available to have custom hours for holidays, and other special events. Make sure you use these options to enhance the accuracy of your business online and keep your users happy.
Optimizing your Google My Business Listing takes time, but it is worth the sacrifice. The main goal is that you want your business to be easy to find when someone is searching for your products or services.
Google offers this amazing opportunity to you, free of charge. It only takes a bit of time and effort on your side to see results. I hope that you take advantage of this offer, and I wish you goodness and prosperity in your business.
Thank you for reading this post, take the time to leave a comment, share your opinion or add more value by sharing your tips.