You know that having a website is key to running a successful business. It’s true! But did you know that your website needs to be listed in Google as well? Every business should have its own Google My Business listing (or GMB) to show up on Google Maps.
Create a Google My Business account
If you haven’t already, create a Google My Business account. This free tool allows you to manage all your business information on Google Search and Google Maps. It allows customers to easily find your business online, and you can even set up to take mobile appointments.
Make sure your name, address, and number match.
The first thing you should do is make sure your business’s name, address, and phone number all match up. This is called “NAP consistency.” Why? Because Google uses NAP consistency to verify that the information they have on your business is correct. If it doesn’t match up, they’ll automatically remove your listing from Google Maps (and other places where they appear).
Add your website URL
Your business will appear in local Google searches if it has a website with a business name, address, and phone number. If you haven’t set this up yet, don’t worry-you can still set up your Google My Business listing without having a website ready. Just make sure that when the time comes to add one, you have one! We’ll talk more about getting listed on Google Maps later in this post.
Write a description that includes keywords.
Your description should include keywords people use to find businesses like yours. Google likes it when you use keyword-rich text in your business descriptions, but not too many. So don’t go overboard. You’ll want to ensure that you include some of the keywords people are searching for (and will likely look for) when they want to hire someone like you and your company.
Add social links
It’s important to ensure your links are working correctly, as Google will see broken or incorrect links as a sign of poor quality. If someone clicks on one of your links and it doesn’t send them where they should go (for example, if you link to “www.example.com/contact-us” but there isn’t anything at www.example.com/contact-us), then Google won’t count that link as valid when ranking your business in local search results—and it could even lose its place on the map entirely! Linking to your social media accounts gives people more platform options to contact you, and it teaches Google search that your business is connected to those other locations on the web.
Keep the category for your business as specific as possible.
You can only choose one category for your business, so make sure it’s specific. Choose just one and be as specific as possible with the subcategory of your business (like “acupuncture” or “chiropractor”). If you’re an acupuncturist offering chiropractic services, don’t list yourself under both categories. Don’t just call yourself a “massage therapist” if your specialty is acupuncture; this will confuse people searching for massage therapists in their area.
Upload high-quality photos
Upload high-quality photos of your team providing their services and the interior and exterior of your place(s) of business. The photos should be clear, in focus, well lit, and show people working on their specialized tasks. Avoid blurry shots, unflattering angles, and lighting (e.g., direct sunlight).
This can be achieved by setting up a shoot with a professional photographer or taking some time to learn how to take good pictures yourself. If you hire a marketing agency, often they can handle photography and/or videography to support your marketing efforts. Find out more about our content-creation services.
Get reviews from past clients and customers.
Google has made it a priority to show businesses with more reviews higher up in search results, so if you have only a few reviews, you may not be showing up when people search for your type of company.
Your business needs to get as many quality and honest reviews as possible. You should encourage past clients and customers to leave reviews on Google Maps and other review sites like Yelp or Facebook where appropriate for your industry. A good way to do this is by asking them for feedback at the end of every job/task completed by your company – once they’ve paid their invoice or received their product/service from you. Read more about how to get reviews for your business.
Every website needs a Google My Business listing!
Now that you’ve learned how to set up your Google My Business listing and how it can help your business stand out let’s discuss the importance of having a professional website.
Why do you need a website? Well, for starters, a website is one way for potential customers to find you on the internet. If someone is looking for information about your business or service, chances are they’ll search for it online first. How often do people ask for directions?
Wrap it up
Hopefully, this article has helped you take the first steps toward getting your business on Google Maps and into the hands of potential clients. If you need more help setting up a Google My Business account or learning how to optimize your website for SEO, don’t hesitate to contact us! We include this service with all new website builds and marketing packages.