There are a handful of factors Google uses to decide what sites appear in the search results when a person searches for a local business. (Let’s face it, we're all living in Google’s world.) Is it your site searchers see – or do they see one of your competitors' sites?
You really can’t even dream about appearing in local searches unless you claim and optimize this asset.
There’s a lot of recent chatter about the Google My Business page, linked to Google+, going away, but for now it’s still vital data that feeds to Google Maps and it, along with things like reviews on your Google My Business page, 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 in the home services industry that receives 66% of their current traffic on mobile devices and tablets, and ComScore recently found that 78% of local mobile searches resulted in an immediate offline purchase.
Google My Business housekeeping
It's possible you already have a Google My Business page, even if you don’t remember setting it up; if you aren't sure, check here.
It's also possible that you have more than one Google My Business page; if you aren't sure, check here.
If you do have duplicate listings, you may be able to merge them by following these instructions.
Last, but not least, we’ve found that the best (and sometimes only) way to interact with Google My Business is via Twitter. Put your questions and requests here.
Optimizing your Google My Business page
Now that you’ve found your Google My Business page, all systems are go, right?
Wait! Consider these things first:
- Are your name, address, and phone number identical to what you have on your website?
- Is the category precise? (For example: Attorney vs. Elder Law Attorney)
- Have you written a keyword-rich description?
- Is your website listed in the profile?
- Have you added relevant images?
Google offers good tips on setting up your Google My Business page as well.
After making sure the above optimizations are taken care of, there are other ways to optimize your Google My Business page. 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.)
- Choose a hi-resolution 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. Google is using this because it adds an incredible verification and trust element for them. (Check out this example for a Kansas City remodeling contractor.)
If you have questions about your Google My Business page or need help unwinding a not-so-ideal setup, consider looking up our Local Foundation Service.
Although most of what it takes to rank locally isn’t that complex, it never hurts to get a pro involved – optimizing directory profiles might not be the best use of your time.
We created the Local Foundation package as an ongoing “done for you” marketing service so you can rest assured that these technical local ranking factors are taken care of in just the right manner.
Either way, keep chugging along with these tips and soon enough, when someone says “Google that,” they’ll find your business!