Regardless of what you sell, prospective customers are searching for your business online, and if you want to increase the number of customers who find you through Google, you should optimize your Google My Business listing. Luckily, this is a relatively easy search engine optimization technique you can implement on your own, without paying a marketing professional to help you.
Find or Add Your Business
To begin, search for your business on Google. When it appears, click the link that says “Own this business?” and continue the prompts to create a Google profile for your company. Alternatively, go to Google My Business, click “Start Now,” and follow the prompts to add your business. Keep in mind this process only applies to brick-and-mortar businesses or businesses that visit their clients, such as carpet cleaners with no storefront. If you have a website, you should create a brand page with Google, which is a different process.
Complete Your Profile
When completing your profile, make sure to fill out all the information requested on the form; the more details the search engine has, the easier it is for customers to find you. Don’t use your full legal business name or add any other details to your name. Instead, simply use the name customers know you by. Ideally, it should be consistent with your signage, advertising, invoices, and other materials.
Make sure your information is accurate, and update the listing when details such as store hours change. If your hours have changed and customers come to your store only to find it closed, they may not return. Also, keep your listing engaging with photos and an inviting description of your business. Check Google’s best practices guidelines and modify your page as needed if standards change.
Take a look at your competitor’s listings or check out listings for similar businesses in other areas. See what looks great on their pages, and learn from their mistakes. Put yourself in your client’s shoes, and imagine what you’d want to see if you were searching for a business online.
Google advises to use the fewest number of categories possible when listing your business and to be as specific as possible. Try to choose the categories your clients are actually searching. For example, if you are a locksmith, don’t add categories of businesses that are close to you such as gyms or restaurants. Simply stick to basic categories such as locksmith or key cutting that accurately describe your business.
Your description can be vital in attracting customers. You want to use this space to accurately paint a picture of your business. You should edit carefully for spelling or grammatical errors as they often look unprofessional. When drafting a description, try to use relevant keywords. Don’t overload the description with keywords, but instead, sprinkle in a few words that customers have in mind when looking for your business. If you aren’t sure which words customers search, check out Google’s analytic tools.