Relevant local search results — i.e., getting a list of nearby pharmacies when you search “drug store” on Google or Google Maps — are important to consumers, which means they’re important to Google, which means they should be important to you, the business owner or manager.
When’s the last time you searched for your business, or your industry, on Google? Are you satisfied with how and where your business is listed? Worse, what if you’re not listed, but some of your nearby competitors are?
It’s time to optimize your business directory information to ensure you get discovered by customers actively looking for businesses like yours. Fortunately, Google My Business makes it straightforward. Here are six SEO optimization tools you can use in Google to improve your overall ranking.
1. Go to Google My Business and either register your business if you haven’t done so already, or log in to update your existing business information.
2. Update or complete basic information about your business, including physical address, phone number, and categories. Accuracy and specificity is important here. For example, your business name should be the full name, not a nickname. Your physical address and phone numbers should be easily verifiable by Google, both through phone calls and mailed verification cards. Your primary category should be what best describes your business or industry, and as specific as possible. Sub-categories can further refine what services or products your business offers.
3. Edit your business hours for each day of the week. Make sure they’re accurate; nothing is more frustrating to customers than showing up to your business when they expected it to be open based on the information you provided Google.
4. Add the URL for your business website. Double-check that what you entered is correct.
5. Enter attributes, as appropriate. For example, a coffee shop can include attributes such as “offers outdoor seating” and “has wifi.”
6. Add photos of your business. Tip: Include photos of the exterior of your business (which will help customers recognize it), the interior of your business and any products you offer. Great food shots can do as much to sell a potential customer as anything else you post about your restaurant, for example.
Congrats — you’re off to the races with leveraging local search results to drive new business. But your work isn’t done. Maintaining and improving your Google business directory listing, engaging with reviewers, and increasing your business’ digital footprint across the web will work together to improve your prominence on Google local search.