How Important is Google My Business?
In July of 2014, Google released a major algorithm update known as “Pigeon.” This greatly impacts how your Google My Business page affects your rankings. In October of 2015, Google announced an update named “RankBrain” which demonstrated that they have been using machine learning for showing results. Although this was not announced until October of 2015, we saw the effects of it as early as the spring of that year.
One of the biggest updates that Google searchers have noticed is the Google Maps (also known as Google Local or Google Places) updates on search. When searching, depending on your location and search terms, many users get a Google Maps box with results above the website listings (see example below). This proves that Google My Business, along with reviews, are a vital component to your online presence.
Two Factors for SEO in Google My Business Page
Keep in mind that Google is looking for consistency and searchability. Google also “verifies” or builds credit for your online business through your online listings which makes optimizing your Google My Business Page one of the key components to ranking well online. It is also important that you select the correct categories for your Google My Business listing.
How to Optimize My Google My Business Page
A quick search for your business online will tell you the status of your page: 1) Your business page is already claimed 2) A page has been created for your business but has not yet been claimed (look for an “Own this business?” link on the listing) or 3) You do not have a page created.
To properly optimize your page there are several items in location details that you will want to be sure you complete if you have not done so already. Make sure the name of your business, address, phone number and website are all correctly listed and are consistent with what you have listed on your website. The category section is extremely important. Be sure you have selected the proper category. If your business falls within two types of categories, you are able to list a main category and a secondary in order to cover both. Next, you will list your regular business hours. You can set special hours for holidays or a unique event. And then lastly, enter your business description. Remember to keep your business description clear and to include your targeted keywords. Also make sure it is consistent with the description you have listed on your other online listings
A few other features to make use of are photos and reviews. Photos are becoming more and more important. Displaying an exterior photo like a street view will help customers find your location. Show interior photos as well. If you are a restaurant for example, use this section to display photos of your food. Make your customers hungry! Online reviews play an important role in getting your business to the top of the search results. The more people that review your business, the better. Keep track of your reviews regularly and properly address any negative reviews right away. Never ask for fake reviews!
Our clients have had a lot of success improving their online presence by starting with optimizing their Google My Business page. I hope that after you optimize your Google my business page you will start to see results quickly and that it will ultimately drive your business.