Google My Business local listings for small businesses.
According to Google data, 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. Statistics like this confirm how important it is for businesses that work with local customers must ensure their website ranks for local keywords and that their Google My Business (Local) listing is appearing in the Google Maps search results.
According to Google, the position of a Google My Business (Local) listing is based on:
- Relevancy : How well a local listing matches the searcher’s keywords and search query;
- Distance : How far the business is from the searcher’s location; and
- Prominence : How well known the business is. This can relate to how well known the business is in the offline world, the businesses “authority” across the internet, number of good/bad reviews, and where their website is positioned in the local search results.
In some cases, Google may determine that a business further away from the searcher’s geographic location is actually more relevant to the search query or criteria, and rank them higher in the local search results. This is another reason why it’s important your Google My Business information is up to date as you can rank very well for a much wider geographic area.
To ensure you’re local listing is adhering to Google’s preferences I have summarised below things you can do to ensure your business listing appears more frequently.
Ensure your business information is up to date
Google finds businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches – ensure your information is up to date and all relevant fields have been completed. This also ensures customers know more about what you do, where you are and when they can visit you.
Provide accurate trading hours
Entering and updating your trading hours, including special hours for public holidays and office closures, lets potential customers know when you’re available and gives them confidence that when they travel to your location or try to contact you, you’ll be open.
If you offer an after hours or emergency service, ensure these hours are clearly stated on your Google My Business (Local) listing. This will give you a competitive edge over your competitors whose listings are showing as CLOSED.
Manage and respond to reviews
Quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.
Encourage customers to leave feedback by providing them with a direct link to your Google My Business listing. I recommend texting or emailing this to them after they have made a purchase or you have completed a job for them.
Interact with customers by responding to reviews in a timely manner.
Adding photos to your listings shows people your products and services, indicating to customers you have what they’re searching for.
Photos can also be used to help tell the story about your business and introduce employees.
Need help managing your Google My Business listing?
If you need help updating or accessing your Google My Business listing, let me know. This is an important (free) tool available to all businesses and plays an important role in your online brand market