Google “My Business” is a key tool for online visibility. I’ve discussed in a past blog post what Google My Business is, and why it’s important. When someone types your company name in Google, or looks for your services in a geographic region, it’s important for your information to come up in the search results. Google gives you the tools to verify your company and enter the correct information, and this is fairly straightforward to accomplish. However, the ranking placement of your company vs. other companies is controlled by Google, and is based on many factors, some of which can be influenced.
How can you influence Google to get your business listing higher up? There are several actions that can be taken. One of the most crucial, as well as the easiest, is verifying your account with Google, and filling out your profile as completely as possible. Google favors those companies that provide them with information for their My Business page. In additional to adding basic information like your company’s address, phone number, and websites address, other fields such as business hours and industry-specific fields are also important.
Adding pictures to your “My Business” profile is also important. The most significant pictures are the cover photo, profile photo, and logo. Other photos of each category should also be included, such as interior, exterior, at work, the team, and identity.
Another important step to achieve better results is to attain positive reviews and ratings on Google. Aside from the inherent benefits positive reviews have on your company, they also influence your positioning in the My Business ranking. It’s important to actively reach out to satisfied customers and ask them to give you positive reviews and rating with their Google account.
Google also checks if your company information is consistent across the Internet. Is your contact information such as phone and address listed correctly in online directory indexes? Any confusion Google has with mismatched company information can hurt your listing. It’s important to get all your citations from directory indexes in sync. The easiest way to do this is by using citation management services like Yext or Synup.
Some additional suggestions I have heard to improve your positioning include the placement of a local phone number, as opposed to a toll-free number, to both your Google My Business page and your website contact page. Rumor has it that adding an embedded Google map with your address as the centered location is also helpful. And lastly, posting links and comments on your business’ Google+ account can give your listing more of an achievement with Google.
All these suggestions are important, but at the end of the day Google has a mind of its own and doesn’t always follow sensible rules. Sometimes, despite the proper steps taken, the competition is well-rooted and is also on top of their game. One of the primary factors that Google uses for their ranking determinization is geographics, by determining the distance from the person conducting a search to your organization. There is no way to control this, as your business location is fixed, and Google will generally serve results for nearby locations first. Despite these challenges, doing the right steps is important, and in most cases I have seen it help the search result dramatically.