Google’s local business search results are hugely important if your business relies on people in your vicinity being able to locate you and find out more about you. If you own a beauty salon or a family-run restaurant, you are likely to rely on word of mouth from loyal customers and from new customers in the area who stumble upon your business by searching for reputable such establishments. We usually end up looking at a list of the businesses located around us, so what if your facilities don’t show up on Google local business?
Here’s our top 6 list of tips on how to improve your position on Google Local Business, based on Google’s own advice:
- Make sure your data is complete
There’s nothing worse than not entering all of your information accurately and in full detail on Google My Business, as if your information is incomplete Google local business will be unable to match the appropriate searches to your business. Potential customers need to know your opening hours, your exact location, an accurate description of what your business does, and that all important phone number. Remember to update any changes to your details as soon as possible.
- Verify your business
When you sign up to Google My Business you will be asked to verify your ownership. This can be done in two ways. The first is to search for your business on Google, and if it comes up on the listings and you see the “verify ownership” link, click on it and off you go. If this is not the case, you will need to create or log into your Google account and manually set up all of the information. Google will then send you a verification code, and once you’ve confirmed that your business is officially registered.
- Opening Hours
It is extremely important for your customers to know exactly when you are open during each day. Don’t forget to add special opening times on holidays and exceptional events. It is frustrating when you want to visit a business on a bank holiday, for example, you search on Google local business, and the listings don’t say whether that business is open and at what times.
The power of your customer is not to be taken lightly. If someone takes the time to leave a review, you should absolutely take the time to thank them and respond accordingly. Positive reviews will make your business stand out and increase the chances of new visitors, and thanking your customers will make them feel compelled to revisit your premises.
- The power of visuals
Don’t forget to add some great images of your business. A customer may not be sure whether the Google local business result is what he or she actually is looking for; the right photo may well sway the potential customer to visit your business.
- How relevant is your business to searches?
Google local business bases its results on “relevance, distance and prominence”. These three factors combined influence the algorithm to determine which results are the best match for each search. Relevance is the direct correlation of the business description to the search query. The more the business details match the search, the more this business is considered as relevant to the Google local business search. Distance is key on Google local search as the search is based on location in relation to a specified point. For example, if you are searching for Italian restaurants near Piccadilly Circus, it is very clear that the closer the better. This is calculated based on your business address as it is listed in Google My Business. The last factor is prominence: how well known is your business? You can influence this indirectly by making sure that your business’s website has great visibility and that there are prominent links to your website, such as reviews, interviews, articles, etc. You can influence this by doing some great SEO on your website (link to a post).
In a nutshell, the more you tie all of your online presence elements together, the better your search results will be.
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