According to a study from Go-Globe, 18 percent of local searches lead to a sale within one day. And what do people normally use to search? That’s right — Google. So if you want people to find your local business in their searches, you need to make your business really easy to find on Google.
Google My Business is the search engine’s local business listing platform. You can create a profile that pops up right in the search page so people don’t even have to visit your website to get the information they need to visit you, including your address, phone number and hours of operation.
Google My Business Cheat Sheet
If you want to take advantage of this very important tool for your own local business, check out the Google My Business cheat sheet below.
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Start by visiting the Google My Business website and signing in with a Google account. There, you can create a profile from scratch or choose a business that’s already on their list that you want to claim. Google will walk you through the process of updating your page and all of the relevant information from there. You’ll also need to verify your business — Google will send a code to your business address that you can add to your account.
Include All the Essential Info
Google will ask you to choose a category, name, address and all of the essential information throughout the signup process. Don’t gloss over this process. There are more than 2,000 different categories to choose from. And the one you choose will impact how you can edit the rest of your listing. For example, if you have a restaurant, it will let you link or upload a PDF menu. You can optimize the listing by adding a description with some relevant keywords and attributes designed to attract people to your business.
Upload Quality Images
People want to know what your business is like before they visit. Adding images of your storefront, menu items or team can help you build a rapport and entice people to actually visit. Just make sure these images are high quality and show your business in a positive light.
John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing adds, “Particularly on a mobile device, it’s a good trust building and content element. So, upload 8 or 10 photos of your products, of your business, of your people. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but make sure that you have some pretty good representative images that you upload.”
Attract Visitors to Your Page
Garner Positive Reviews
A study from Local SEO Guide found that Google My Business reviews that contained a relevant keyword were the second most influential factor in rankings for local searches. So reviews aren’t just about showing potential customers that you provide a great experience — they also affect your SEO.
To gain more positive reviews, the obvious answer is just to make sure and provide great customer service. However, you can also include signage in your store, add a link to review your company in your email signature or even share positive reviews on your social media pages. These can serve as simple reminders to people who have had great experiences with you, making it more likely that they’ll actually share their thoughts.
Respond to All Reviews
On an ongoing basis, it’s also a good idea to respond to all reviews on your Google My Business Listing. This shows people who find your page that you’re responsive and allows you to address any concerns publicly. In fact, if you provide a satisfactory response, some customers may even consider leaving a more favorable review than they did initially.
Post Content Continuously
In 2017, Google rolled out Google Posts, a way for businesses to share content on their pages on an ongoing basis. Use this feature to keep your listing fresh. You can add blog posts, special offers, events, and even photos and videos.
To do this, simply sign into your Google My Business account and find the “Create Post” button. Then you’ll see options for adding different types of posts, including photos, videos, events, offers and text. For example, a local restaurant could post about a live music event they’re hosting. Then when people search for local restaurants and see that, it could entice them to visit on that particular evening.