How to Use Google My Business to Increase Local Rankings

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The Google My Business platform is an essential tool for anyone who owns a physical storefront. With your My Business profile, you give customers everything they need to know before they walk through the door. Each profile contains extensive information about your business, including the name, address, website and hours of operation. The more information your profile has, the more likely people are to check out your business–which means increased sales, profits and positive word-of-mouth.

 

However, many business owners don’t realize that Google generates My Business listings automatically. This means that you don’t have control over your listing until you sign up for a Google My Business account. Signing up for an account is 100% free and doesn’t require any advanced knowledge, although an Internet marketing company like Send It Rising could optimize your profile. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have full control over your listing.

If Google generates your profile automatically and you don’t see any incorrect information, it might seem safe to assume that you don’t need an account. However, you’re missing out on a valuable resource that attracts more customers to your location. Here’s how to use a Google My Business account to increase your traffic and search engine rankings.

What is Google My Business?

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Google My Business is a platform that allows you to customize your business listing. When you sign up, you’ll be able to fill out your business information to ensure that it’s 100% accurate. Google can only generate so much information, so this is your chance to build a complete business profile. You can also add photos of your business, answer questions and view insights to see how well your profile performs. Other resources include the ability to add products and services to your listing. To access this platform, all you need to do is sign up for a free business account.

How Does Google My Business Help With Local Rankings?

Google hasn’t released their algorithm to the public, but experts know that keywords play a large role in your profile’s ranking. If someone searches for “plumber in Ohio” and you have this keyword in your profile description, your business ranks higher in the search results. This is why it’s important to sign up for an account so you can customize your business’s description and add relevant keywords.

With a My Business profile, customers can leave reviews and ask questions. This shows Google that you’re running a professional, legitimate business, which gives you a boost in the rankings. Having a complete, accurate profile also makes your business rank higher in the search engine results. You can also share posts and photos of your business to show Google that you’re running an active, thriving company.

What Does a Google My Business Listing Look Like?

When your listing appears in the search results, Google displays your business’s name, type, address, phone number, customer rating and whether your business is open or closed currently. Some listings also feature a line from a positive review. Depending on the information in your profile, customers could browse your website, get directions to your business or even schedule an appointment.

If a customer finds your business on Google Maps, they’ll see a more extensive listing. The Google Maps listing features your business’s name, type, address, phone number, hours, rating and website. Customers can see if you’re open or closed currently, then view your hours for the week. When they scroll down, they’ll find a photo gallery, a review summary and an option to ask questions.

From this listing, customers can view full-size photos that you or your customers uploaded. Note that customers can add their own photos. They can also read full reviews complete with a star rating. If you respond to a review, customers will see your response as well. Some businesses display additional information, like popular hours for your business.

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What is the Maps Section?

Some people skip the search engine and go right to Google Maps. When they type in a business name or address, Google shows them the business that they’re looking for. If they don’t know the name of the business or want to see similar businesses in the area, they’ll search for something like “restaurants” or “diners.” Google Maps displays all the relevant businesses in their area. People can click the results to view the listings, which is where your Google My Business page comes in.

With Google Maps, you can get traffic from local customers even if you don’t have a high search engine ranking. Some businesses might appear higher in the results than others, but Google still displays every relevant business. If you have an incomplete profile, customers are less likely to check out your business, so it’s important to stand out from the competition.

How Do Most People Search for Local Businesses?

When they use the Google search engine, most people use keywords to search for local businesses. For example, if they’re looking for a hardware store in their region, they might search “hardware store new york,” “hardware store near me” or simply “hardware store.” Even if they don’t specify the region, Google automatically displays businesses in their area at the top of the search results.

If they use Google Maps instead, people use similar keywords like “hardware store” or “hardware store near me.” Google automatically displays businesses in their area if they don’t specify a region. Otherwise, people can use Google Maps to find businesses just about anywhere–even another state or country.

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How Do I Claim My Google Business Account?

To claim your account, all you have to do is visit Google’s My Business page and hit the “Manage now” button. Once you’ve signed in, go to Google Maps, find your business’s listing and click “Claim this business.” Afterward, you can start updating your business page. Make sure you review the information that Google already filled in–their information might not be totally accurate.

What Information Should I Include in My Google My Business Listing?

Include as much information as possible when you set up your business listing. This gives your customers all the information that they need to make an informed decision, increasing the likelihood that they’ll visit your business. If you don’t have everything right now, you can always go back and add more information later. You can also periodically update your business listing to keep it fresh and provide new photos for your customers. Here’s a rundown of what you should include in your listing.

1. Business Information

Your basic information is the foundation of your business profile. Here’s what you need to include:

  • Your business’s name
  • Your business’s type (i.e. plumber, hairdresser)
  • Your business’s hours for the week
  • Your business’s address and phone number
  • Your business description with SEO keywords
  • Your business’s website if you have one

If you don’t have all this information, fill in as much as you can. You can always add more information later.

2. Services

You can add your business’s services to your profile through the Google My Business dashboard. When customers click on your business’s listing, they can scroll through a list of the services that you offer. Make sure you keep this section updated so you don’t accidentally display outdated services.

3. Photos

Each profile has a “Photos” section with pictures uploaded by owners and customers. Upload crisp, full-color photos that feature your team, business, products, completed jobs and anything else that’s relevant to your company. Professional photography is best, but you could include amateur photography if it suits your narrative. When you upload a photo, your customers will see the full-size image, the name of the uploader and the upload date.

You can also upload videos for your customers to watch. Your video section could include advertisements, interviews, job site footage, news and updates, panning shots of the inside of your business and much more. Note that you can upload videos with and without sound.

On another note, customers can upload their own photos of your business. They might post pictures of the products, building, store layout, completed work and anything else that they want to share. Other customers can browse the photos “By owner” if they only want to see the photos that you uploaded.

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4. Attributes

Besides the basic information, you could add more specific data that tells customers more about your business. If it applies to your business, you can add certain labels like “women-led.” Other specifications include whether you require face masks, offer curbside pickup or have wheelchair-accessible areas. If your store has different apartments, you can add store hours for each department. Check out every option on your Google My Business dashboard to ensure that you’re offering as much information as possible.

5. Products

Like the “Services” section, you can list some of the products that you offer on your listing. You could also upload pictures of your products to the photo gallery. Make sure you keep this section updated so customers don’t ask about products that you don’t sell anymore.

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6. Posts

Social media should be part of your marketing strategy, but customers aren’t always going to check out your Facebook page before they make a decision. Fortunately, My Business allows you to add posts directly to your listing. This includes promotional posts, announcements, information about your services and anything else that you want to include. It’s essentially a mini social media feed. Add a picture and a contact link or phone number to make your post stand out.

How Do I Create Posts?

Posts are an invaluable tool for promoting your business. Follow these steps to add a post to your listing:

  1. Go to your My Business dashboard.
  2. Click the “Posts” tab to the right.
  3. Use the post editor to write your text and include links, images and buttons if necessary.
  4. Click the “Preview” button to review your post.
  5. Hit “Publish” to add the post to your listing.

That’s it! However, keep in mind that making posts doesn’t automatically guarantee more customers. To drive sales, you’ll need clean, professional posts that utilize marketing tactics. An Internet marketing company like Send It Rising could help you optimize your feed.

How Can I Receive More Google Reviews?

Google My Business reviews are essential for building a successful company. If customers see four- and five-star reviews when you check out your listing, they’ll be much more likely to hire you or buy your products. However, you’ll need to build a large base of reviews to gain credibility.

Encourage your customers to leave reviews if they’re satisfied with your work. Link your reviews page on your website, or tell your customers about it verbally. Mention reviews on your social media pages to remind customers who might have forgotten. If your customers realize that reviews are important, they’ll be happy to leave a review that helps you upgrade your business.

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How Can I Analyze Insights?

My Business offers invaluable insight into your marketing strategy. Go to the My Business dashboard, then hit the “Insights” tab to the left. You’ll see how many customers engaged with your listing and how they found your business in the first place. My Business also compares your profile with similar listings to see how you’re doing in comparison. Use this information to adjust your marketing strategy. If you need help, Send It Rising offers Google My Business support.

Can A Digital Marketing Company Manage My Listing?

Yes! Send It Rising offers Google My Business support for small and large businesses alike. If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ll create your entire My Business listing from scratch. And if you’ve already gotten started, we’ll optimize your listing to increase clicks, calls and conversions. In addition to this service, we offer graphic design, SEO services, web security and much more. Get in touch with us today to learn more about this exciting opportunity.

Google My Business | Send it Rising Internet Marketing 

This article was written by Send it Rising, digital marketing and eCommerce professionals focusing on eCommerce website design, SEO, listing optimization, and more. If you have further questions surrounding building your eCommerce in 2021, contact us here.

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