Get Your Business Ready for Local Search
04.24.2017 / Posted in Digital Marketing
Ever wondered how to get your local business to show up higher on search results? It can seem like a challenge on par with climbing Mt. Everest. But fear not! The complicated path to search engine supremacy begins with a very manageable task.
Sure, SEO is a key factor in search results, but so is the basic business information that a person may be searching for just a few miles from your office. This is true for companies and consumers looking for services and products.
The first step? Get your company listed on local business listing websites—and make sure your information is correct. But where do you even begin? With so many listing websites and social media platforms to help elevate and promote your company’s local presence, getting listed across the web can seem like a very daunting challenge for businesses of any size—no matter your understanding of digital marketing.
As time and resources are limited for most businesses, we suggest starting with the platform that has the most weight and relevance: Google My Business. In a Net Market Share report, Google is dominating search with more than 77 percent of all searches worldwide happening on its engine.
We’ll focus this how-to article on Google My Business, but, before we do, we should note that Bing Places is a close second and should be the next listing website your business should optimize.
Why Google My Business Matters to You
Google’s research has shown that when a local search is initiated, the searcher is ready to act. Local search is one of the main drivers for lead generation without having to pay for traffic.
Staggeringly, 50 percent of all searches made using a smartphone will result in the user visiting the local business within 24 hours of the search. Of desktop visitors, 34 percent of users will visit the business within 24 hours. Local customers want to see search results and ads that are customized to their geographical surroundings.
Here are a few other reasons why Google My Business is important for your company:
- It gives you one place to manage all the information that your customers need to know from within one platform.
- People mainly search for services—not business names.
- You can track user engagement by linking it to your Google analytics
When people find your listing, they want to know a few things right away:
- When are you open?
- How do I find you?
- How can I speak with someone on the phone?
- What do other people think of you?
- What specials are you offering?
Make sure your Google My Business listing answers these questions, and you’re in the running.
How to Get Started
First, claim your business listing by visiting the Google My Business page and clicking “Start now” in the top right corner. Next, link your Google account. If you do not have a Google account, you can create one here.
Follow the instructions and fill in all fields. A few pointers:
- Make sure your company information is accurate. Include the name of your business, all phone numbers, all website links, and the hours of operation for each location.
- Make sure you list all your locations—not just your main office or showroom.
- For images, use high-quality, high-resolution photos.
- Spend the time you need to create a company description that zings. What do you do and how do you do it better than anyone else?
- Link your social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). With your social feeds linked to Google My Business, the users can learn more without having to search for your social pages.
- Make sure the information on your Google My Business page is the same across all listing sites and websites. Having different information—like phone numbers and addresses—in different places will confuse the user and the search engines.
Once all the information is entered, check the box confirming that you are authorized to manage the business. Then click “Continue.”
You will need to verify your business via an authorization code that can be texted or mailed in a postcard. Once you enter the verification code into Google My Business, you will be able to manage all your company information in one easy-to-use platform for Google.
Accessing all this information in one place is efficient and cuts down time managing search engines and social media accounts.
Optimizing Your Company Info
When you optimize your company information properly, your business listing will show up in the “Google 3-pack” at the top of the page of search results.
The Google 3-pack local results appear in at least 93 percent of all Google searches when local content is searched.
Am I Done?
Um, no. Listing your company on Google My Business is an important building block—one on which you need to build all your other local search assets. For help getting your business to dominate online, contact FrogDog today!