If you are reading this blog today, chances are you came across it on Google. Perhaps 90% of the entire global population either use Google in their daily lives, or has AT LEAST heard of it. If you own a business, it is crucial to maintain your presence on the Google SERP, to avoid being invisible to 90% of potential customers!
Listing a business on Google is not that difficult and is a DIY process. Getting listed on Google My Business maximizes your online presence and helps generate leads, which initiates client inflow.
Despite being a free tool, most people fail to take the initiative and miss out on a golden opportunity to expand their business. Apart from appearing on Google Search and Google Maps, a Google My Business (GMB) listing also comes with free tools (more on Google Posts and Insights later) that help you manage your online presence.
According to an independent survey conducted by Google, businesses that are listed on the SERP are twice as popular as the businesses that do not have an online presence.
Setting up and optimizing your profile is a detailed yet simple task, and you can initiate the process from this link here.
Once you decide to get started, there area few vital points to remember. We have made a list of 6 Factors to Consider While Setting up Your Google My Business Profile.
1. Consistent NAP
The first step is to ensure that you use the same Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) across all directories, social media profiles and your website. Even a small discrepancy in your address will result in the loss of visibility.
Google employs crawlers to assess and verify every detail provided by the user and compare them with information that is already available on the internet. Click To Tweet
Every minor detail is taken into account. Hence, if you have used ‘road’ in one listing and ‘Rd.’ in another, your inconsistent address has already compromised your visibility.
The trick here is to compile your business’s NAP and save it for future reference.
Upon entering the correct details ensure that your location is being appropriately displayed on Google Maps to avoid confusions in the future.
It is important to use a local phone number, since, that tells Google that your business is indeed geographically limited,and helps boost your visibility in related local searches.
2. Choosing a Precise Category and Location
We cannot put enough stress on the importance of entering the correct category, since that determines which search queries trigger results that include your listing. Precision is the key here!
Essentially, Google wants your business to closely match people’s search criteria. The closer the match, the easier it is to find your listing in the search results.
Be as precise as possible while selecting your location and avoid misrepresentation regardless of how tempting that might look. For example, if you enter an incorrect location for your business, in a bid to ‘appear’ closer to the customers than you are in reality, you are hurting your online presence even more,since, Google uses positioning AND proximity to determine your original location.
3. Include Updated Information and Optimized Images
Including up-to-date information, no matter how trivial, is always a good idea if you plan to increase your click through rates.While visiting a website for the first time, you try to decode as much information about the business as possible. For example, if you plan on visiting a restaurant shortly, you usually run an online search for the menu, pictures of the décor and reviews before visiting.
By including information that people seek, you encourage them to continue clicking! Thus, increasing the CTR!
Uploading high-quality optimized images allow people to get a better sense of what to expect from your business. The general norm is to start with at least three images, although, you can add more according to your discretion.
Another survey conducted by Google has shown that businesses with optimized images in their listing receive 42% more requests for driving directions from Google users and 35% greater click through on their website than businesses without images.
Setting up a profile picture for your business is important, since, it receives the most views. It is a good idea to set the company’s logo as your profile picture to create the maximum impact.
Pay close attention to Google’s recommendations while uploading images. Square images are best displayed on Google. The images should be saved in the .png or .jpg format and measure at least 720x720 pixels.
4. Google My Business Insights
Every listing needs regular performance monitoring in order to understand how well customers are interacting with your profile. With Insights, know how your customers find you on Google, their direction requests, phone calls and actions in general.
The gathered data will help you understand your shortcomings and think of ways to overcome problems that you encounter along the way.
5. Keep Your Listing Updated
Once your GMB listing is live it is important to keep it updated with all the latest activity around your business,be it local content, reviews or client feedback. Google Post is the company’s latest tool that helps you share new information about your business and posts it directly on the Google SERP.
Google encourages User Reviews unlike Yelp, and business owners are urged to nudge their customers in this regard without irritating them. Responding to user reviews is important, especially to the negative comments, and this recommendation comes straight from Google.
6. The Importance of On-Page SEO
Despite having an optimized GMB listing, your visibility could suffer at the hands of poor website SEO. On-page and off-page SEO work in tandem to increase the online visibility of your business. Your location plays a major role here too!
Google prefers local businesses.
In order for you to appear in their local search queries, you have to show Google that you own a local business. A great way to do this is by creating localized content and being reviewed by customers present in the same geographic location.
People often put greater emphasis on website SEO and ignore optimizing their GMB listing. BUT, staying at the top of Google’s SERP results is a continuous process that comes with its share of benefits.
Interior Designers need to vehemently stick to creating and UPDATING their Googly My Business listing in order to boost their online visibility.Simply listing yourself on Google is not enough to keep you ahead of the game. Check out our DIY guide to claiming your Bing Places for Business listing, in order to get that small edge over your competitors!
Searchmetry has created a short checklist for you below to help you measure success if you want to take the DIY route to creating your profile.
If you seek professional help with creating and updating your Google My Business listing, schedule a consultation with us Today!