The first thing that comes to mind when you think about search engine optimization (SEO) may be keywords married with a goal to be in the “10 ten search results.” A large player in your search visibility may be something you have scarcely noticed: your Google My Business listing.
Your listing plays a large role in everything Google, from maps to search page results. Claiming your listing and ensuring it is complete and accurate is a must-do for all businesses.
As illustrated below, the details of your business profile are shown alongside search results when users search your business name. If yours shows the “Own this business?” link, you have not claimed your business. Make that your first action item.
When users search more generically for a business, Google My Business listings appear on the page right below any paid ads and above any organic search results. How does Google pick the top three? That’s some formula that factors whether the listing is claimed, how complete it is, the proximity to the searcher, reviews, and more.
Get the most out of your Google My Business listing, with these steps:
- Claim your listing.
- Complete all available fields, including hours, services, common questions, etc.
- Upload pictures that illustrate your business. Even if you don’t have a physical store front, you have a logo, people, customers, pictures from events you attend. People are visual, so don’t skip on adding images.
- Ask people to submit reviews. Once you have claimed your listing, you can generate a link that will send them right to your listing.
After you take these initial steps, make a habit of checking your listing periodically. Google regularly adds features and you want to be sure you take advantage of every opportunity. Seemingly changeless information does change, so make sure your hours and other details are accurate. Remember, Google gives higher rank to complete and accurate business listings.