Knowing that most searchers use Google to find your business online, it is essential for you to understand how critical your Google My Business listing is to ranking in Google search results. According to a study by Gybo, searchers who view complete listings of a business are 30 percent more likely to purchase from it.
Google prefers its own accurate and updated business listings when providing local search results to users. In addition, if you want to show up in the local 3-pack, which displays the top three most relevant results for a search, you have to validate and improve your Google My Business listing.
Ensure business information is accurate
Google prefers your business’ correct name on Google My Business listing as it is used on your storefront and other marketing materials. Google may not allow you to add extra information to your business name, such as office location, taglines or URLs. Be sure to use your local phone number for each office location as opposed to a toll-free number. It is critical that your NAP (name, address and phone number) not only be correct on Google My Business listing but consistent across the Internet.
Get more customer reviews
Encourage customers to review your business on your Google My Business page by clicking “Write a Review.” The more positive reviews you have on your Google business page and the better the rating of those reviews, the higher you will rank in search results. Have a plan in place to ask your loyal customers for reviews and make it easy for them to post reviews of your business.
You need to make time to respond promptly and appropriately to customer reviews in order to show potential customers that you value your customers’ experiences and feedback. However, you can only respond to reviews on “verified” Google My Business pages. So, if you have not done this yet, verify your Google My Business page.
Update your business hours
Many businesses change their hours seasonally. Look at the business hours mentioned on your listing and make sure they are up-to-date. You may lose customers if you have the wrong hours listed. While you are updating your current business hours, update your payment options, as well, if they have changed lately in order to avoid disappointing your customers. After you have verified your business address, take a look at your office location on the Google map, and check that the marker is in the right place. If the marker placement is incorrect, you can drag it to your exact business location.
Pick relevant categories for your business
Select all the categories that apply to your business and represent the services or products your business provides. For instance, ‘Italian restaurant’ is more relevant than just ‘restaurant’ in search results. This helps Google consider your business as a relevant result for searches in that category. However, do not misrepresent your business.
Upload relevant pictures
The right images can go a long way in selling your business. One survey shows that pictures, customer reviews and accurate business hours can help maintain positive consumer engagement. Showing photos of your office location will not only help customers find your business but also help overcome the fear of trying a new business.
By optimizing your Google My Business listing, you can expect a higher ranking in search results, an increased click-through rate to your website and a better search experience for the customer. If you rank high, a search user is likely to become your next customer.