Businesses of all kinds understand the importance of having good online visibility. The internet is the primary means people use to find and research where to purchase goods and services, even when they intend to buy those things in person. In fact, half of all searches on Google originate as local searches, meaning that the searcher was looking for something “near me,” putting geographic limits on the area of their search. Companies wanting to maximize their visibility in searches of this kind need strong local SEO to rank high.
Google My Business is a powerful, free tool to help accomplish this goal. It gives you access to manage and edit your Google Business Profile, transforming that profile from a passive listing into a lead-generating, SEO-boosting asset. And yes, it’s absolutely free! Here’s how to use it to make sure your business shows up prominently in relevant Google searches.
Step one of getting your business to show up on Google is setting up a Business Profile. You tell Google your business name, location, and category, and once they’ve verified it isn’t a duplicate, you’re put on the map for people to find and interact with (for example, by leaving a review). However, you can’t manage the information there or add to it unless you claim the listing by setting up a Google My Business account. This second step is arguably just as important as creating the listing in the first place because here’s where you can really make it work for you.
The quality of your Business Profile directly impacts its ranking in local business results and Google Maps searches—having just a basic listing up isn’t enough to make sure you’re showing up in the right searches nearby. Taking the time to enhance your profile through Google My Business will boost its visibility and improve its effectiveness in bringing new customers through your door. Once you’ve taken control of your Business Profile, you can add value to it for your potential audience by:
Adding relevant details: What would someone checking out your business want to know right away? Posting your operating hours, products and pricing, services offered, a link to your website, and other key information is a great start.
Engaging with your audience: Respond to reviews, answer questions, or enable direct messaging for faster response to inquiries. You can also publish posts to your listing, in the way you might post on a Facebook page or other social media business profile.
Gaining insight: Your Google My Business account gives you a dashboard that shows how visitors find your listing, what search terms they use, and what actions they take there. Reviewing and using this information can help refine your content to improve your local search performance.
The content you add to your Business Profile is the information the search engine uses to decide whether to flag it for potential searchers. The quality of what you put there directly influences your results: you should ensure your information is up to date, specifically tailored to your target audience, and refreshed regularly so that your content is timely and signals your business is active. When your listing is optimized to be as useful as possible to searchers, that helps to boost its ranking in the right Google searches.
Making sure that all parts of your Business Profile are filled out and accurate, especially your contact information and hours of operation, is fundamental. More subtle but equally important are steps like using relevant keywords in the material you include, from product or service descriptions to responses to reviews and questions, which will help your business rank more effectively for the queries you’re trying to target. The result is a listing that is easier for potential customers to find and more likely to attract their business.
Among the strongest steps you can take to magnify your Business Profile’s impact are:
When you want to give your local marketing the strongest possible footing, using Google My Business is a must. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of everything this free tool has to offer?
Is your company buried way down in local business listings on Google? Iffel International can take you from online obscurity to reliable visibility in front of your target audience. We create an individualized marketing plan to align with your business goals for improved growth and sales. We stay on top of the latest trends and sales strategies to maximize your return on your marketing investment. To find out more about how Iffel International can position your business for success, contact us here.
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