We’ve all seen it: that little map and list sandwiched between the Ads and the SERP results. Those, my friend, are your Google My Business results, and I’m going to give you some helpful tips to get your local business listed!
The Google My Business results are not to be overlooked! Not only are they colourful but they’re useful! By providing the map first, Google presents all of the Local Business results is an easy to consume format that enables you to see straight away which one is closest to you and the most convenient. For a lot of people, this will be enough for them to make up their mind on where they're going to go or which business they’re going to go with. For the others, there’s a list of business names, all with reviews (or no reviews……#awkward) and easy buttons to take you to their website or to give you directions to their business.
Now compare that with the alternative of a searcher having to go to search, scroll down the SERP results and find a site, find the address details on that site then copy and paste them into their navigation app of choice in order to get directions! Or they’ll have to peruse that site and find some reviews or testimonials to help them make their decisions. Time is precious in today’s society and the quicker + easier something is, the more people will like it and use it (assuming the service is good, which this is).
So now you know how great a Google My Business listing can be, here are our tips for getting your local business listed and ranking!
Claim Your Listing
Chances are high that Google already has a business listing for you. It’s one that’s been created by default to help searchers find what they’re looking for. There are probably no images, no link to your site, no reviews, it’s probably not ranking, the opening hours might be wrong, maybe there’s not even a phone number! You can change all of this very easily. Just start by performing a Google search of your business name. If there’s an auto-generated listing for you already, that’ll show up with this next to it:
All you've gotta do is click “Own this business?” and follow the instructions.
Side Note: If you start to feel overwhelmed or are thinking “I ain’t got time for that!” - we DO have time for that and would love to help you out!
If you can't find an existing auto generated business listing for your business, then head on over to the Google My Business signup page here: https://www.google.com.au/business/
Once you’ve claimed your business or signed up fresh, you're going to have to do some optimising.
Optimise Your Listing
This is where it can start to get tricky. Google is particular about certain things but often doesn’t clearly say what they are. It can get confusing! If in doubt, always play it safe. So with that in mind, here’s a list of a few things you need to check across your website and your local Google My Business listing (these will help you rank):
- Is the phone number the same between your site + the listing?
- Is the address on your site a physical address & is it the same between your site + the listing?
- If you’ve got one, it needs to be.
- If you don’t, Google has an option you can check that allows you to not display the address to the public on your business listing. They’ll still use it for verification though.
- Is the business name the same between your site + the listing? (Check the spelling!)
- If you’re a suburb specific business:
- Is the suburb in your website page title? (If you don’t know what that is, let us know!)
- Can you put the suburb in the Google Business details? (Think any description/about sections but be sure to use it naturally. Try not to keyword spam.)
- Are the opening hours the same between your site + the listing?
- Are they on your site? They should be.
- Is your website listed on your Google Business listing?
Free Tip: A good place for all of your business details on your site is in the footer. This makes it viewable (by visitors) + indexable (by Google) on every page, highlights the importance of it to Google and makes it easy for your customers. If you can’t do this for some reason, then the contact page is your next best bet.
Having all this information on your site + listing and having it all consistent is going to help Google verify you and view you as a serious business that their searchers are going to want to find.
Get Some Reviews
This can be tougher as you want it to happen naturally. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to nudge nature along a little bit. The Google Business review process is dead easy! All someone has to do is Google your business name, look to the right at your Google Business listing then click on ‘Write a review’. They don’t even have to write any words if they don’t want to; they can just click 5 stars and then bail!
An easy way to get some reviews and get things rolling is by asking family and friends to jump on and leave a nice review. It doesn’t take long and really helps in getting your business to rank in local results as well as helping it look appealing to searchers. After that, and if you’ve got their details, you can ask previous clients/customers who were happy with your service! If you aren’t sure how to explain it or feel a little weird typing out instructions to help them along, we can put together a PDF guide customised for your business that breaks it down step by step. We’ve had some great results with these guides and we’re confident it can help you as well!
To be honest, we could probably go a whole lot deeper in refining and continuing to optimise your listing but who’s got the time*? Am I right?! If you’ve got any questions, why not leave us a comment! We’d love to hear from you and know more about your business. Hopefully this has helped you out and I look forward to seeing your Google Business listings rise up above the competition!