How-to: Rank locally with Google My Business

Google My Business is a great free tool to help new customers find your business and view your company information in a few clicks. In this post we walk through how to set up your business listing, plus offer a few tips on getting the most out of this handy tool.

Set up Google My Business

To get started, first make sure you’re signed into your business account, then go straight to Google My Business. Click ‘Start Now’ to begin registering your business. A popup will appear where you can start adding your company information. Fill in your business name, address, contact number, website, and the category your company falls under. Click ‘Continue’ when you’re done, double check your address displayed on the next screen and click ‘Continue’ again to confirm.

Google will send you a card by post with a verification number. Once you’ve received the postcard, log into Google My Business and click the ‘Enter code’ button at the top of the page to begin the verification process. Once completed, your business details will be published instantly across Google+, Search and Maps.

Manage your business

Through the centralised dashboard you can now easily review and edit your business information. Fill in company hours (plus special hours e.g. bank holidays), and upload photos of your business and team via the ‘Info’ tab. Through the ‘Reviews’ tab you can actively respond to reviews people leave you.

Use the ‘Insights’ tab to discover not only how customers find your business through search, but what they do once they have. Insights show you the most common actions people take on your listing – whether visiting your website, giving you a call or requesting directions.

Improve your local ranking

Now that you’re all set up, it’s worth doing a search to see how your business appears in local searches. You’ll notice when you do a local Google search, 3 businesses are featured directly below the main map, above the full listings link. Known as the “local 3-pack”, this is the prime position to get seen and there are a few things you can do to help you get listed there.Firstly, look over your details to ensure all info is filled in and up to date. Consistency is also extremely important – so make sure the information exactly matches what appears on your website.

Start encouraging new reviews from your customers – either directly, via your social channels, or even through email marketing campaigns. Reviews help signal to Google the relevance of your company in the local area. Whats more, a study by BrightLocal revealed that 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation – so it could provide a great boost to conversions as well.

Last but not least, be aware that businesses ranking well already are more likely to take the top spots. Step up your SEO game with local keywords to increase your ranking locally. Find out more on choosing the best keywords for your website here: SEO Basics: Choosing the perfect keywords for your website.

 

Google My Business is a fantastic tool for any small business. Taking the steps to optimise your information will help to further connect your company to local audiences.

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