- By Colleen McNamara
If you’ve already claimed your listings on Google My Business, the next step is doing everything you can to make them shine — and hopefully improve your ranking. It’s going to take some time and effort, but having your GMB presence squeaky-clean is worth the fuss. Trust us — your SEO will thank you.
1. Update your listings frequently, with all necessary details.
If you’re a multi-location brand, managing openings, closings, changing store hours and holiday hours is no easy feat. But having accurate, up-to-date NAP (name, address and phone number) data across the board is essential. Not only will consumers lose trust in your brand if they discover incorrect information, Google will lose trust in your business if your data is conflicting across the web — and your rankings will fall. In short: update, update, update… and ensure accuracy at all times. For more information on how to keep your listings healthy, read our Digital Health Check series.
2. Improve the resolution and overall quality of your photos.
iPhones are (almost) as good as Canon DSLR’s these days — which means there’s little excuse for blurry, low-resolution images. If you’re not a confident filter-chooser, have a professional come to your business and take photos. In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, not only do pictures say a thousand words, they’re worth (more than) a thousand dollars of potential ROI. The age of Instagram is one of visual-first marketing — so get on board if you haven’t already.
Pro tip: See an awesome image through your company hashtag from one of your customers? Reach out to them and ask if you can use their photo on your business page.
3. Choose the right category for your business; be as specific as possible!
Choosing the right category for your company ensures that your business will show up for local searches with specific intent to find your product. For restaurants, the main category would be “restaurant”, but you can extend this by saying “pizza restaurant”, and Google will pull your results in searches for “Italian restaurant” as well. For a full breakdown on how categories work, visit this page.
4. Get reviews on your GMB listings.
You might be thinking, “yeah, easier said than done!” but with a little strategic planning and some effort, your local listings can give you serious ROI, not to mention the fact that reviews can boost your online reputation (even if some are negative.) According to one study, nearly half of searchers will return to Google to continue their search if they don’t see reviews.
For tips & tricks on how to increase your review volume, check out this article.
5. Launch business listings on other relevant directories.
Let’s be honest: Google is king. But having an active presence on Yelp, Facebook, and other niche directories is not only important for increasing exposure to audiences on those high-volume platforms, Google also pulls data from across the web to examine your consistency. Ensure your data is as accurate as humanly possible on major directories and industry-specific directories to give Google the “perfection” they’re looking for.