Ranking higher on Google Maps has many advantages:
- Your business is more likely to get discovered by new customers
- You stand out from your competitors
- You get more business leads for free in your local area.
If you are a business owner and you want more leads for your business, then local SEO is the key.
An Overview of Google My Business
Google My Business is the tool to set up your business profile/listing that shows up in Google Maps for local search results.
For example, you are searching for a pizza place in Perth from your device. Now Google will show you the nearby pizza place listings in the map pack, with the top 3 spots of the most optimised profile. Higher ranking = more leads. Here is what a google map listing looks like:
How does Google determine local search rankings?
Google search is ultimately a product. If a user makes a query and doesn’t get related results returned, it’s a bad product.
The goal is to minimise the gap between the search intent of the user and the relevant results returned. So, adding detailed and complete information about your business makes it easier for Google to match your business listing to customer searches.
If you as a user, get the best possible result that is close to your location, isn’t it great? If the user does not specify his/her location, Google will calculate and return the listings nearby to the user’s location based on the information available.
This refers to how prominent your business is in the offline and online world. Some places/businesses are well known in the offline world and Google makes sure to show these results in the local map results.
This includes hotels, shopping malls, museums, restaurants etc. Also, local citations across the internet help. Getting more positive reviews on your business listing signals Google about the prominence of your business and hence may improve rankings.
Make sure to follow good SEO practises.
How to improve local rankings of your Google My Business Listing?
Verify your location(s)
Make sure your Google My Business listing is verified. Without verification, your business listing won’t appear on Google maps and searches.
There are many ways to verify your listing like getting a postcard from Google to your business’s physical location or getting a verification code on your registered phone number.
Add complete and detailed business information
To return the most relevant results for a user query for local search, it is important to add as much detailed and accurate information about your business as possible.
This helps Google to understand your business better.
Some of the business information that you shouldn’t miss (not limited to this) at any cost are physical address, opening hours, phone number, category, website URL, business description and attributes.
When a customer visits your business listing, it should answer questions about what you do, what are your opening hours and where are you located.
Keep your business hours up to date
Make sure to specify your business opening hours correctly. Also, for holidays and special events, you should add special hours so that your customers know when they can visit you.
If your listing shows that you are open, and a customer visits to find it closed, it gives a negative impression and the customer might leave a negative review on your business listing which is a big no-no in the eyes of Google and your business reputation.
Respond to customer reviews
Try to respond to every customer review on your Google My Business listing. This interaction shows that you value your customers and care for their feedback.
Getting a lot of positive reviews and ratings from customers makes your listing more prominent and trustworthy. Ask your customers to leave a review. You can create a link for customers to write reviews.
Add photos and videos
Add accurate and high-resolution photos and videos of your business so that potential customers can know more about how it looks. There are certain guidelines from Google about adding photos and videos to business listings.
Tips for Business Owners
So you’re a business owner and you are looking to boost your Google My Business Rankings. Assuming you’ve verified your listing and filled it out completely, below are some actionable tips you can take to improve your business listing prominence:
Take and upload photos using the Google My Business app on your phone
Original and high-resolution images improve your Google My Business visibility and trust among users and Google.
This may help with the local rankings.
Try to add staff photos, images of your products and services, business location’s exterior photos and inside of your location so that customers can understand how it looks. Taking a photo from your phone and uploading it via your GMB app helps retain location metadata.
Get Staff to Request Directions Each Day to Work
Ask your staff to use Google Maps for directions to work each day. You should do it yourself too.
This will help Google recognise directions for your business location and establish a trust that people are travelling to this location.
Encourage Clients to Review Your Business
If you have a very happy customer, ask them to write a review of your service.
Client reviews and ratings are a major factor to establish trust for other potential customers as well as for Google. You might yourself check ratings and reviews of a place (like a restaurant) before visiting it for the first time.
To make the feedback process easier for the client, you can create a review link for them. It’s easy and hassle-free.
Ask Customers to Check In
You can politely ask your customers to check-in on Google Maps app for your location whenever they visit. These metrics help Google understand the legitimacy of the business location.
Google My Business is a must for any local business owner looking to increase prominence on Google. If you need help, we have an affordable SEO service designed to help local Perth businesses improve their Google My Business rankings. Talk to us today.