6 Essential Tips to Optimize Your Google Listing
August 3, 2015
Consider these facts: Consumers use smartphones now more than ever; Mobile searches have surpassed desktop and will continue to increase; Smartphones have built in GPS.
Google knows all of this, and caters to its mobile users by prioritizing search results to an individual's exact location.
What does this mean for local businesses?
Local search engine optimization (SEO) has become an incredibly powerful marketing tool.
Think about it — how do people find what they're looking for? They "Google" it, which happens so often that it has developed into its own verb. Google has become the almighty platform of choice for business discovery, product research, and online shopping.
Potential customers are out there, actively searching for your products or services right in your local area. Your business must appear when they do — or they'll find your competition.
The first and most important step towards local SEO success is to create a profile for your business on Google. To have the best possible chance of appearing on the first page of your local search results, follow these 6 steps for a fully optimized Google My Business listing.
Officialing claiming your business's Google listing verifies you as its owner. This gives you access to the back-end editing portal of Google My Business — allowing you to customize your page.
The claiming process is fairly straightforward:
- Create a Google account (if you don't have one) and log-in
- Go to the Google My Business homepage
- Click on the "Get On Google" button, and search for your business
- Click your listing and follow the instructions to initiate the phone verification process
- Google will send you an automated call to your office phone number to ensure you are the owner
2. NAP Consistency
After claiming your page, the most important thing to double-check is your contact information. Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) and other details match exactly what's listed on your website.
This provides Google with correct, cohesive information across your two most important online platforms. Matching your details makes your business seem more trustworthy, accurate, and up-to-date — which gives Google added incentive to show your listing higher in the local search results.
3. 100% Completion
Now that you have access to the back-end of your Google My Business page, the next task at hand is to completely fill out your profile.
It works similarly to Facebook pages or other social media sites. Be sure to add details to every part of the profile until you reach 100% completion.
By doing this, you're showing that you're an active member of the local search community, which will give you a ranking boost because Google is more confident in showing filled out listings to its users.
4. Detailed Description
The description section of your page is your chance to entice readers. It's a copywriting opportunity to increase clicks to your website and turn visitors into clients.
You should focus on what separates you from other local competitors in your market. This could be your history, who you serve, features or benefits of your product, awards or recognitions, or level of service. You also want to be sure to write with your target audience in mind, and communicate directly to them about their specific needs.
It's also important to include a list of your main products or services, along with relevant links to their corresponding pages on your website. This allows your potential customers to get what they're searching for in the easiest way possible.
5. Custom URL
Adding a unique url that includes your business name is a strong ranking feature to take advantage of. Within the Google My Business portal, click the button to customize your url and choose the option that best fits your company's name and location.
6. Custom Profile & Cover Photos
The last step to fully optimize your Google listing is to add profile and cover photos unique to your business. It's a good idea to use your business logo for your profile image, and either a picture of your office, storefront, or staff for your cover photo.
This helps to brand and personalize your listing, while aligning it with your website, social media profiles, and other marketing materials.
Need help with your local presence?
Contact us at MustBeOnline and our digital marketing specialists will implement SEO, content marketing, and social media strategies to get the most out of your online identity.
From managing your Google My Business listing to more advanced search engine optimization techniques, we'll provide you with the best tools available to increase your website's traffic, reach, and visibility within your local area.
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