Google’s latest core update has made it even more vital for businesses to optimize their Google My Business pages.
Google’s recent core algorithm update has changed the appearance of search engine results pages while also greatly increasing the importance of Google My Business pages and local SEO. (To learn more about the implications of the recent Google update, check out our most recent blogs: Google Core Update to Search Engine Marketing and Google Core Update to Search Engine Optimization.) But first, take a look at the new search engine results page below.
As you can see, above the fold is now dominated by four paid ads and Google My Business listings. Clearly this new search engine results page has a major impact on both paid and organic search and now more than ever, it’s vital that businesses diligently update and optimize their Google My Business listings.
If you already have a Google My Business listing, you’re off to a great start. If you don’t have a Google My Business page, we highly suggest you create one today or have your digital marketing agency do it for you.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Information for Local SEO
Make sure your business information is correct and complete.
The most important thing you can do to optimize your Google My Business listing for SEO is to make sure you provide users with correct, updated information — and lots of it. While maintaining a current and updated NAP (name, address and phone) on all local listings is something all businesses should be doing already, it’s important to add even more useful information to your Google My Business page.
Double check that your business name, address and phone number(s) are correct. If you’ve recently moved locations or changed phone numbers, you’ll want to make sure that your Google My Business page is displaying the correct and most current ones.
Drag the Google map marker to the exact location of your business if necessary so that users can easily find you. And if your business isn’t the traditional Brick and Mortar, let Google know by indicating that you provide services to customers at their location instead of yours. You can even designate a service area within a certain distance from your location.
Additionally, improve user experience by adding your business hours, types of payment accepted and a link to your official business website.
Once completed, all of these things will help increase your authority and relevance with Google.
Integrate keywords into your business description.
It’s no secret that most of us probably just copied the first paragraph of content from our website’s homepage and pasted it into the description box on our Google My Business page. Now we all need to go back and update that description with a well-thought out, accurate and informative description of our services. Not only should this description be well-written and accurate, but it should also utilize as many keywords in our SEO campaign as possible.
Rework your description to naturally incorporate those keyword phrases that you want to rank for. Don’t just dump a bunch of keywords in there and hope that Google will rank you above your competitors. Google wants authoritative, high quality content that is focused on user intent.
Think about what your customers are searching to find you, get creative about utilizing your target keyword phrases, and spend some quality time crafting a top quality description for your Google My Business page.
Pick the most accurate categories possible.
Boost your local SEO by choosing the most accurate categories for your business as possible. By doing so, you are clearly communicating to customers (and Google) what kinds of services your business provides. Instead of picking a broad, loosely focused category that describes your business, go for the narrow, specific category. The more specific, the better. This will greatly enhance user experience.
Add high quality photos.
How many times have you used a photo featured on Google My Business to locate a business in your town? Probably more times than you’d care to admit. At the very least, business owners need to upload a logo and a photo of the storefront to clearly indicate their brand to consumers.
Not only will customers use those photos as a reference when trying to locate a business for the first time, but it also provides Google with more definitive proof that you are in fact a legitimate business.
We suggest uploading at least five photos to your Google My Business page, including your business logo, storefront, and products or services. Adding photos to your Google My Business and Google+ page can help increase your SEO rankings and online authority.
Request Google+ reviews from your customers.
If you don’t already know, your Google My Business page and Google+ page are interconnected. (You can’t create a Google My Business page without simultaneously creating a Google+ page.) Google+ gives users the ability to post public reviews to your page, which in turn, helps you establish a strong online presence and builds on your credibility. Both of these things are great news for your local SEO.
Request that your loyal customers leave you a quick review on your Google+ page to further increase your authority with Google. The more reviews, the better off you’ll be!
In most cases, loyal customers are more than happy to do this if you simply request it. Have your employees send each happy customer away with a reminder in hand — whether it be a business card, complete with a helpful link to your Google+ page, or a simple reminder and link on their receipt.
If you don’t have a Google My Business page and don’t know where to start, contact JumpSIX Marketing today to learn more about our SEO services. Let us help you increase your business’s online presence, starting today.