Local SEO is more significant than ever when it comes to getting your website high up on the search results. It may seem complicated to conduct certain SEO strategies, but luckily there are also many simple methods that can make a significant difference.
The good news is that there are many free SEO tools available to you, such as Google My Business. Google My Business lets you manage your location through Google Maps, as well as gain access to online reviews and a knowledge graph.
If you run a local business, then you should create a Google My Business page for it. This will make it much easier for people to find your business when searching online.
Half of all consumers say that they visit the stores they find with local searches the same day they make them. When people search on Google, they are shown the three top local listings for their area through Google Maps.
This means that people are likely to visit one of those three businesses because Google offers plenty of information about them, including reviews and distance.
If you can get your business into the top three, then you can expect to see a lot more people coming to your store.
Getting to one of those coveted spots requires a bit of time and effort, though. With that in mind, here are five tips to optimise your Google My Business Listing.
Create Your Listing If You Haven’t Already
The first and most important step to optimising a Google My Business listing is to make sure you have one. Open the Google My Business Page and click on the “Start Now” button in the top-left.
Fill out the relevant information Google asks you for, ensuring that everything is filled out accurately. The more complete and accurate your profile, the better.
Don’t despair if you don’t have a physical location or storefront. It would be best if you still created a listing on Google My Business.
One of the first questions the setup wizard will ask you is if you have a physical location your customers can visit. If you choose “no,” then you’ll need to list yourself as a “Service area business” and enter information about the area codes your business covers.
Choose The Right Category
Another question that Google will ask you is what category your business falls under. Google uses categories to make search results more relevant for users.
You have to choose the category that best fits your business from the list, as you won’t be able to create a custom category. If you can’t find the specific category you need, then choose a more general one that accurately describes your business.
The more specific the category, the better. Specific categories have a lot less competition. For example, the “Gourmet grocery store” category is less competitive than the more general “Grocery store” category. These specific categories are more likely to get your business in the top three results.
Choose High Quality and High-Resolution Images For the Listing
Photos are an essential part of any Google My Business listing. The right images help the listing to stand out from the crowd. They also show your potential customers what they can expect from your business. Not just any old photo will do, however.
You should use the highest quality images you can get to make the company look its best. The same applies to any physical products you sell. The better your customers can see them, the more likely they are to buy them.
If you are looking for great quality photos for your business, then consult a Google-approved photographer. Photographers can create a full 360-degree virtual tour of the place for customers to enjoy and see what you have to offer.
Google says that listings with photos and virtual tours garner over double the interest as listings without these features. The more of your place a prospective customer can see, the more they want to come and see it for themselves.
Use Accurate Information That Matches Other Accounts
Google has several methods to determine the authority and legitimacy of a business. One tool at their disposal is using the algorithm to check the information listed about a company on different sources, such as various business listings and social media pages.
You should ensure that the information about your business is the same on all platforms. This may sound easy, as your address is always the same no matter where you put it, but small mistakes can happen. Perhaps you wrote “Road” on one platform and “Rd.” on another, for example. These are small changes that can impair Google My Business optimisation.
Choose a standard way to write the business address, a consistent phone number for your business, and ensure that all your listings have the same information you put on the company website.
Also, try to get your business listed in as many relevant directories as you can. Once again, the information in those directories should match the information on your website and Google My Business page.
Use A Local Number
As well as making sure that your phone number is consistent across different listings, make sure that the number you use is one with the local area code for your area.
Using a local area code lets Google know you are indeed a local business. The number that you use for the listing should also appear somewhere on the homepage for your website or the landing page you link to from Google.
It takes some time to optimise your Google My Business page and master local SEO, but the work is worth it in the end. It means that people will have an easier time when looking for your products and services in your area.
Google is the best way to get your business in front of potential customers at just the right time. Don’t let this opportunity slip by because you didn’t properly optimise your Google My Business listing to make the most of it.
If you have any questions or would like any help optimising your Google listing, then contact our SEO Liverpool team via our online contact form.
Liam is the founder of Liverpool-based SEO agency Quirky Digital. He has worked with blue-chip companies and some of the fastest-growing brands across Europe to create and implement local, national and international SEO strategies. Alongside running Quirky Digital, he is the owner of a network of lead generation websites targeting ultra-competitive niches.