Google My Business is a great place to start with getting your business online, but if you’ve noticed that your ranking has slipped over time, maybe it’s time to undertake a quick review…
How does Google determine rankings?
Google My Business delivers results based on relevance, distance and prominence.
- Relevance refers to how well a listing matches the search terms inputted by the searcher.
- Distance refers to how far each listing is away from the location used in the search. If there is no specified location, Google will use what information it has about the searcher to deliver the results.
- Prominence refers to how well known a business is in the offline world (famous landmarks, well-known shops etc.) and how well known it is in the online world (directories, backlinks etc.)
We’ll use each of these factors and how they can be influenced down below…
Verify Google My Business information
We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure the business name matches its use everywhere else across the business; even down to matching the smallest details like using “&” rather than “and” or placing a “.” at the end of Ltd. Failure to do so will reduce prominence online.
The business address needs to be correct. An incorrect address will negatively influence the distance factor used by Google. It’s also not great for showcasing trust to both search engines and customers; the same applies with the phone number. Additionally, if you have a landline, use it so Google can tie the number to an area code, again influencing the distance factor.
Hours of operation
Although not hugely important for improving a Google My Business listing, it is beneficial to feature hours of operations so customers know when they can get in touch.
With regards to the Google My Business listing, collecting reviews online is one of the best ways for a local business to improve their online prominence. Reviews will feature keywords like job description; job location etc. and they’re also a great opportunity for you to showcase your customer service by responding to them. Google reviews also appear as a rich snippet on the listing itself. The more 5* star reviews you have, the more noticeable they are by searchers.
Our advice here is to send a link to your Google My Business listing to some loyal customers and get them to leave a positive review. Your business will shoot up the rankings!
Link the Website
Link the website to the Google My Business listing. Not only will this help attract new users onto the site, it also helps Google extract information and use it to deliver relevant results. For instance, if you have boiler installation on your website and a searcher searches for “boiler installation” on Google, Google will extract the information from the site and use it to boost your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business Photos
If you’re proud of your work, don’t be afraid to show it off to Google. It makes your listing more attractive and they’re particularly important for searchers in the mobile ecosystem.
Categories describe the field that your business is in. Since Google dropped the description field from Google My Business, choosing the correct category has never been more important for improving relevance.
For instance, if you’re a plumber, select the plumbing category; if you’re a painter, select the painting category. If you’re a multi-trade, that’s no problem, select as many relevant categories that describe your business. Google recommends selecting as few specific categories as possible, but on this one occasion, it’s probably best to ignore Google’s advice considering they reverse their rules so often.
Embed Google Maps on your website
If you’re a website package customer of ours, we’ve already got this sorted, but linking Google Maps to your website shows Google that your business is located where you say it is, helping reinforce Google’s distance factor.
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