Use Google My Business to Improve Your Local Ranking
If you own a small business and have a website, you will want to be at the top of the list in local search results. There are plenty of ways to rank well as a local business, but unfortunately not all of them are guaranteed. One of the best tools to ‘get ahead’ of the competition is to use Google My Business. This article will explain what it is and why it is important for local businesses to include as part of your online marketing activity.
What is Google My Business?
My Business is a Google tool that manages how your business will look and perform in their search engine. The tool manages your business listing by including your business name, address and phone number, opening times, photos and/or videos you may have taken. It also allows you to manage customer reviews which is a key factor in local search results.
My Business is a major driver of local search success and should not be ignored. You should consider your Google My Business listing as a second website serving local searches.
How To Set Up Your Google My Business
Getting setup with My Business is very simple. If you have a Google account (if you don’t, why don’t you?), simply search for Google My Business and claim your business. There are a few details to fill in and submit. This triggers an actual, real life postcard to be posted to your address. This postcard is used to verify you’re the owner of the business at that address.
Once verified, you will have the chance to complete your Google My Business listing in greater detail. Take time to add as much details to your listing as possible including photos and video if you have any.
After a short period of time your will be able to see insights into your listing including impressions and clicks. It’s a great way to get a feel for how Google and your customers perceive your business.
How to Rank Higher In Google My Business
Make sure you have added as much data into your listing as possible, and make sure the data is relevant and accurate. This enables customers to make a better choice as to how they will react with your listing. It is important to keep this information updated and current as your business changes.
Keep your hours accurate especially during holiday times and special events. There’s nothing worse than turning up to a business looking for something specific to find the business closed when the listing shows it as open for trading.
Google loves reviews, especially when you have responded to them. Encourage customers to leave a review on your listing. It’s easy for them to do. Respond to their comments even if it’s just a thank you.
Add photos and posts the same way you would a Facebook post. Adding photos with relevant content helps you to tell your story to your customers. Update and add on a regular basis to improve your positioning.
Local Ranking Factors
Your My Business listing is ranked mainly by three factors; relevance, distance and prominence. These factors help Google best match your customer search. It is important to take these factors into consideration as Google might decide to display a business that’s further away from your location than your own simply because these factors are more relevant.
Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for. Adding complete and detailed business information can help Google to better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches.
Just as it sounds – how far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search? If a user hasn’t specified a location in their search, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about their location.
Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local rankings. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels or well-known shop brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be more prominent in local search results.
Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (such as links, articles and directories). Google review count and score are also factored into local search ranking – more reviews and positive ratings will improve a business’s local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices apply to local search optimisation.
Your Google My Business page is a valuable tool when driving customers to your business. Treat this as a second website and maintain it on a regular basis. Review the useful insights Google provides to make calculated decisions about your business page, your website and your business generally.