Now that Google is now longer running PPC ads down the right-hand side of SERPs, the top half of the search results page is devoted entirely to sponsored listings. Just below the fold, however, you’ll find the top three companies relating to the search term as ranked according to their Google My Business listings. If you want your company to obtain this coveted position, there are a few, important things that you’ll need to do. Following are several local SEO tips to help you get started.
Review Your Business Profile To Make Sure It’s Accurate And Complete
Google is unlikely to place your company among the top three business listings if your profile is incomplete or if it contains inaccurate information. This makes it worthwhile to spend some time reviewing your company information and adding in any missing details. Make sure that the street address for your business is recognizable by Google by ensuring that there are no typos and that street numbers, suite numbers, and other details are entered into the appropriate fields. Also, be sure to embed a My Places map on your website so that people can get detailed directions to your store without having to navigate away from your web pages or manually open another screen.
Eliminate Superfluous Information
While having a complete Google My Business listing is an important part of optimizing your profile for this master dashboard, it is vital to avoid adding in too much information. Superfluous details will confuse the system and may cause you to get knocked out of the running for one of the coveted, top three spots. Thus, if you have both a physical address and a post office box, enter the physical address only. This same is also true for other forms of contact information. Add your primary phone number to your Google My Business listing and share details pertaining to any secondary lines via other platforms, such as your contact page on your business website.
Keep Your Hours Accurate And Up To Date
Your Google My Business listing will provide web users with your opening and closing hours. If you’re open 24 hours per day and 365 days per year, there is no need to update this information. Most local businesses, however, should regularly check this info to make sure it is correct, particularly during the holiday season and at all other times of year when special store hours will be in effect. This will give consumers confidence that your location will be ready to receive them when they show up. It can also lead to more satisfied clients and more positive, online reviews.
Upload Images Of Your Business Location And Your Products
As with all other forms of online marketing, adding quality visuals can make your Google My Business listing infinitely more appealing to consumers. Google recognizes this factor as well, which is why it’s top three listings almost always have these additions. A picture of your storefront on your Google My Business listing will make it easier for people to recognize your location when they pull up. Pictures of your products can help answer important, pre-purchase questions that people might have as they shop around for local providers. You should additionally encourage visitors to upload their own photos of your business when posting reviews.
Manage Your Google Reviews
Google reviews are playing an increasingly important role in the screening process. People are interested in what other consumers have to say. Google My Business makes it easy for web users to access genuine and insightful feedback by publishing the most recent reviews for the top three businesses on SERPs along with overall company ratings. In addition to encouraging your customers to rate and review your business, make sure to check in regularly to see what people are saying. Also, take the time to respond to customer comments by thanking people for their loyalty, apologizing for any shortcomings that they’ve identified in your services, and by offering dissatisfied clients something or value or an acceptable resolution.