Taking the proper steps to optimize your local SEO presence can really help to improve your overall digital marketing efforts as a whole.
A marketing strategy for local businesses is starkly different than marketing for digital businesses. Local SEO alone is a completely different challenge than regular SEO. For one, there’s a whole realm of in-store marketing thatPreview you will need to master in order to be successful, and the list goes on.
One of the best marketing resources available to a local business is a Google My Business account. Completely free to the business owner, when this account is a huge asset for boosting your business’ marketing efforts when executed and managed correctly.
In fact, recent data from a BrightLocal survey shows that local search comes out ahead of any other marketing technique for local businesses in terms of return on investment (ROI). Clearly, local search marketing strategies paired with a Google My Business account is worth investing time in.
Since Google is always changing their algorithm in order to improve the accuracy and relevancy of search engine results, it is important to stay on top of your Google My Business page. Make sure you keep your page up-to-date and ensure your company’s relevancy with this guide on how to optimize local SEO for your Google My Business account.
Step 1: Confirm that your address is correct.
We know this may sound obvious, but it is still important. With the way that local search works, it is crucial to have all of the listings for your business use the same exact address all the way down to using “St.” or “Street”.
Step 2: Make sure that your business hours are correctly listed.
Many businesses alter their hours a few times a year depending on the season. If you have not logged into your Google My Business for a significant amount of time, you should log in sooner rather than later to make sure your business hours are still accurate.
Step 3: Make sure you have selected the correct category for your business.
For most businesses this step is pretty straight forward. For others, it can get a little tricky. At our local search marketing agency in Fort Lauderdale, we always recommend doing some research in order to determine how you want to categorize your business.
Step 4: Add at least four photographs.
Photos make a huge difference because they give visual information to potential customers about your business.
You should consider adding:
- A photo of yourself
- Photos of your primary staff
- Photos of your check-out area and other work spaces
- Photos of your facilities
- A few photos of customers being helped
- Photos of what you are known for and really good at
- A 360-degree view or “virtual tour” of your business
Step 5: Write a thorough and descriptive introduction.
This is where you get the opportunity to describe your business while including local SEO. You can include hyperlinks as well as a few carefully chosen keywords that relate to your business. You should include:
- Sub headers
- Bullet points wherever applicable
- Short paragraphs
Step 6: Include the forms of accepted payment.
Being thorough is very important to a Google My Business account. You need to make sure your account is complete and accurate, no matter how unimportant it seems.
Step 7: Allow for reviews.
Unlike Yelp, Google lets you ask customers for reviews without penalization. This will also help with search engines because it can improve your rankings. It also, of course, helps with real people when they come across your site and see that your company has good reviews from happy clients. The more positive reviews you have, the more comfortable they will feel doing business with you.
Step 8: Respond to the people who have left reviews.
Be sure to be active on your Google My Business page and respond to your reviews. Say thank you to positive reviews, but pay particular attention to the negative reviews. Negative reviews can have a positive effect if they are handled correctly, as well as offer insight into where your business can improve.
Step 9: Make frequent posts to your Google+ page.
Your Google My Business account has a lot of interaction with your Google+ page and because of this, it is a good idea to post on it at least once a week. You should consider posting:
- Sale announcements
- Industry news
- New hires
- Hometown events