One of the easiest ways to improve your business’s local visibility is to make sure you have a listing on Google My Business and that it is set up correctly. This can help your business show up in the maps section, local pack and for local searches.
If you haven’t already got a listing then click here to create one. You’ll need to claim your business listing by filling in some basic details and will need to wait for a postcard to be sent to your address to verify your listing.
Fill out the basics
Once you’ve verified ownership you can get to work on completing the setup of your listing. The more complete your listing is, the better your chances of showing up in local searches and map results as well as the local pack. Here are some things to focus on:
- Make sure your business description is enticing and describes your business accurately
- Choose the most appropriate category for your business (take a look at competitors for ideas)
- Use the services section of your profile to list the services you offer
- Add your business opening hours, telephone number and website address
Uploading photos to your business listing is a great way to show prospective customers what you have to offer. From photos of food on your menu to the inside of your shop or work you have completed, photos help to showcase your business and let customers visualise the experience. Include photos of your team, your logo and if you have any short marketing videos then make sure you upload these too.
Business with more recent photos will typically receive more clicks to their website from Google My Business so it is worthwhile taking time to add new photos to your listing on a regular basis.
If you want to stand out from the crowd in local search then you’re going to need reviews for your business. Not only do reviews help your business to show up in local search results and map listings but the higher the rating the more your customers will trust your business. Google recommends that businesses actively encourage customers to leave reviews, so remember to follow up with existing customers with an email inviting them to write a review for your business. This works well for customers that have already provided good feedback about your business or services.
Responding to reviews is a great way to show that your business cares about customer service and is a must for helping to deal with any negative feedback.
One of the most recent additions to Google My Business is the introduction of business posts which let you share offers, events, product announcements and details of sales. There are four post categories available to choose from which are: what’s new, event, offer and product. Posts are a great way to help your business stand out and can include a photo or a video as well as a call to action button such as “Learn more” or “Get offer”.
Posts can show up in the knowledge panel, maps listing and below your Google My Business listing and offer a great way to advertise your business for free.