Ninety percent of all searches online are through Google. Hence, any savvied Local SEO professional will tell you, it all starts with a Google My Business Page. This is basically a free listing from Google that not only helps businesses utilise all this search giant has to offer in one place, but also plays a primary role with regards to local search results. Because it is designed and run by Google it has all the information needed for Google to know which business is best suited for a specific local search. That is, if it is optimised correctly! Here are some tips offered by Sam Jones a London based SEO consultant, a UK digital company specialising in Local Search.
Local Search Results Example
How to Optimise your Google My Business Page
It is important to understand that your business page will not trade places with your website. Think of it instead as complementing it by enforcing your Google presence.
1 – Verifying your listing is absolutely essential because it will not be visible until this stage is completed. This is how Google sifts out false and/or misleading listings and so protect users. To verify your business address Google sends a code by post to that address. This can take up to 13 days. Once verified your business page will be live.
2 – Include all the data you can. Local search ranks are based on relevance therefore the more details you include about your services or products the better. This can include detailed content as well as the basics.
3 – Get those keywords in. Akin to traditional SEO keywords tell Google how relative your business listing is to a search term.
4 – Including business hours is very important. Make sure they are always current and accurate.
5 – A picture paints a thousand words as they say. Statistics show that Google My Business Page listings with photographs have a thirty-five percent higher click-through rate to their website. They also have a forty-two percent higher request for directions.
6 – When a customer creates a review take the time to answer them: Regardless of whether it is a good or bad review. Good reviews are worth their weight in gold and can really push your listing up the ranks.
7 – Profile pictures can have a huge impact on the customer’s decision. It does not have to be a person, but something that is eye-catching and representative of your brand can have a very positive impact. Avoid images that have been heavily ‘shopped’ and/or poor quality.
Monitoring Your Page
Once your page has been optimised and is live you can use Google My Business Listings Insights to see how it is performing. Insights provides lots of useful information with regards to your customers actions (such as how many ask for directions or called, clicked through to your website), how they found you (directly or indirectly, Google search or maps), which images are popular etc
Monitoring your page helps you understand your customers better and realise what is and is not working (for example if photos are not popular change them).