The Custard Blog

Words of wisdom from our team of online marketing experts

4 Simple Ways to Optimise Your Google My Business Listing

It’s no secret that more and more people are carrying out local searches on search engines. In fact, 73% of all online activity is related to local content and creating a Google listing can be an SEO goldmine for positioning your small business in front of local customers.

Search engines like Google are constantly trying to create an algorithm that shows a searcher the most relevant results to their query.

To make your business stand out online, you’ll want to start focusing on local SEO; a technique that puts your brand in a better stance to be shown to searchers around a certain location. You can do this by optimising your Google Local Listing using the steps shown below.

What is a Google My Business Listing?

A Google My Business listing is essentially a free directory listing within Google’s search engine. The listing enables Google to pull in this feature box for your company name or list your company for relevant local searches.

These Google directory listings can display your business’ opening hours, provide directions to your store through Google Maps and searchers can even read reviews associated to your business.

Here’s the one we’ve got set-up for Custard:

Google local listing - Custard

The listing is displayed when a searcher enters our company name, and is optimised for the best chance of being displayed when our ideal customer searches for keywords that relate to our services.

Let’s say that you’re a car repair company based in Manchester. Setting up a Google My Business listing will allow you to be part of the search results box displayed below:
Google my business


We can see that there are three companies listed, all of which are displayed on a map and the searcher can find the one best-suited to them.

Along with the ease of providing a customer with directions, the listing:

• Is displayed before other organic results, giving your company a higher local ranking
• Shows a link to your website, encouraging potential customers to visit and increase traffic
• Encourages people on mobile to call your business through a simple button

Now that we’ve agreed on the fact that a local Google listing is hugely beneficial to your business, it’s time to start optimising it!

The following techniques can help to boost your profile and improve the amount of traffic and conversions you get as a result of the listing:

1. Fill in your information

As obvious as it may sound, the key to getting your listing off the ground is to enter your details and add as much information about your business as possible. After all, Google won’t think that it’s relevant to searchers if you’re not telling them what they can expect from you!

The more detail you add to your profile, the more information the algorithm can process to accurately determine your ranking.

Start by adding a photo of your business’ logo, premises and if possible, the products that you offer. Ensure that the alt text – the piece of information that describes what an image is about –  is naturally telling a search engine about your services and targeting keywords. Then, fill in your business’ opening hours, website and contact information.

It’s also worth noting that Google My Business listings that add photos to their profile receive 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more website clicks.

The information that you enter for your listing will synchronise across all your Google channels, including YouTube and Google+ page. The latter gives you an option to add a longer description for your brand. Remember that content is king and use the opportunity to write search-engine friendly content to improve your chances of a higher ranking.

2. Choose a relevant category

When you’re setting up your Google My Business listing, you’ll be prompted to choose a primary category in order to enable a search engine to get a good grip on what products or services you provide – and serve the most relevant to a searcher.

It’s important to pick the most relevant option to your business. If not, you may not have a strong chance of receiving a good ranking position and it can be misleading to a customer that is searching for a certain thing. You can choose a variety of categories, but select the most relevant as your primary choice.

Let’s say that you’re an appliance repair company. You might want to choose ‘appliance repair’ as your primary keyword, and ‘washing machine repair’, ‘dishwasher repair’ and ‘microwave repair’ as your secondary.

That way, your local listing is optimised to target people in your area that are looking for the branches of service that you’re able to provide.

3. Ask and Respond to Reviews

As many as 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.

Your local Google listing will automatically show the number of reviews that your business has received, and when it was left.

Here’s an example of one of the reviews associated with our listing:

Google my business reviews

Encouraging reviews is essential but asking your customers to leave a testimonial doesn’t have to be a complicated and confusing process. Google allows you to create a customised link that can be sent to your customers once you’ve supplied the product or service, prompting them to write a short review of their experience.

You should also monitor the reviews that people give your business and respond to as many as you can, even if they are negative.

Replying to negative reviews is much better than simply ignoring them. You should publicly provide the unsatisfied customer with a sincere apology and a solution to their problem. This encourages prospective customers reading the review that you take time to interact with unhappy customers, and helps them to trust that your business is great with customer service.

4. Use your Google+ Page

As mentioned before, your local Google Business listing is associated to your Google+ page; a tool that you should be using to support your listing as it’s an opportunity to target local keywords.

It’s recommended that you post on your Google+ page at least once a week. This provides the search engine with fresh content – a factor that an algorithm considers when determining rankings – and more relevant text to improve your ranking for key terms.

You can post anything that is relevant to your business to your Google+ page, from new photos of your office to updates to your services. It’s also a fantastic platform to promote your blog posts and increase traffic back to your website, in the hope of converting them into customers.

As you can see, optimising your Google My Business listing is extremely beneficial to your business and can aid with boosting your local rankings and increase the number of customers that are situated close by. It also encourages searchers to visit your website as visual information is displayed, making their online experience with you more interactive.

If you’re looking to improve your local SEO, get in touch with the team today. We’d be more than happy to help!

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