In today’s digitally driven world, the top priority for every local business should be making sure customers can find you online. In addition to having accurate contact information on your website, there are several tactics you can use to ensure people are finding you. Our number one tip is having a Google My Business profile.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business (GMB) is a free, easy to use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence on Google, including local Search and Maps.

Who Should Have a Google My Business Listing?

GMB is locally focused; therefore, the business must have either a physical location that customers can visit or will service on-site at the customer’s location. According to Google’s guidelines,  brands, organizations, artists, and other online-only businesses aren’t eligible for Google My Business Listings.

Creating a profile is a relatively straightforward process, but the question we get asked the most is, “how do I make sure it ranks well and shows up for the right keywords in my local area?” Well, before we dive too deep into how to improve it, it is important to know how Google determines what profiles earn those spots in search results.

What Google is Looking for When Choosing Your Rank Placement

According to Google, there are three key factors it uses to determine local results.

  • Relevance of the business in comparison to the searcher ‘s query.
  • Distance of the business in comparison to a location term used in the query or Google’s estimation of their location.
  • Prominence of the business. Google looks to see how well-known a company is on and offline. Google Reviews and your website’s position in web results also factor in this area.

So, what can you do to improve the local ranking of your GMB profile? While there is not much you can do to influence the distance factor Google is looking at, there are five steps you can take to improve the relevance and prominence of your business.

5 Steps to Improve Your Local Ranking

  1. Enter Complete Data
    Google’s goal is to match people with business listings most relevant to their search query. Local results are more likely to favorite listings with accurate and complete information over those that are spotty and not all the way filled out.
  2. Verify Your Location(s)
    Google wants to know that whoever is putting information in about a business is associated with that business so that they can make sure they are providing reliable results. Therefore, it is essential to verify your listing(s) as soon as possible.
  3. Keep Business Hours Accurate
    If your hours of operation change, it is important to reflect that on your GMB page so that you can give your customers confidence that your business will be open when they travel to your location.
  4. Manage and Respond to Reviews
    Monitor and engage with customers who leave you a review. Whether it is good or bad, responding shows that you value your customer’s opinion. Also, the more high-quality and positive reviews a business has, the more likely it will rank in local search over other competitors.
  5. Add Photos
    Like the saying says, “a photo is worth a thousand words,” and adding images to your GMB profile can give a viewer an inside look at what your company is all about. With the use of quality and appealing pictures, you can show your potential customers that you have the products and services they are looking for.

When was the last time you updated your Google My Business profile? It’s time to get in there and make sure your listing has what it needs to rank well in local search results. Need help getting your listing to the top of search results?  Reach out to our digital experts!