December 3, 2015 Erin Bernhard

Ask the Expert: Optimizing your Google My Business listing

Ask the Expert is a blog series dedicated to answering your questions regarding entrepreneurship in the digital age.

When you’re starting or running your own business, it can be tricky to keep track of what types of accounts to maintain and how to optimize them. From Facebook to Yelp! reviews to your website, managing your digital presence can be a full-time job in and of itself. Plus, constraints, recommendations, and best practices are constantly changing, forcing most entrepreneurs to play catch-up or refrain from doing anything at all. The latter is what we all want to avoid since your business will likely suffer without social media and SEO. How do you draw the line?

Legendary Lion | Ask the Expert: Optimizing your Google My Business listing

When it comes to social media and SEO, it’s important to remember how often the two overlap. A great example of this is with Google My Business, the official name of the business listings that come up at the top of every Google search. Just like every other digital listing, you can and should take control of these listings in order to ensure that your business is being accurately represented. Google recently released a Help forum regarding optimizing your Google My Business listing – in the post, Google admits that clicks affect your listing, but there’s plenty more to remember:

“The visibility of your business listing depends on a few factors:

Relevance: How relevant is your business category/listing to the search phrase used by the user?
Prominence: Traffic to your business listing. How established is the business online?
Distance: How close the business is located from where the search is being made.
Search history: The number of times it has been useful historically on the basis of relevance, prominence and distance.

Now since these four factors are governed by a dynamic system that decides the search results (and no one at Google has any influence over it), I would suggest you to follow the below mentioned best practices which should help your listing to appear on a better position.

1. Select the right category: Category plays an important role in ranking. Make sure you select the category that best describes your business. The right and specific category will help you in targeting the right audience. You can use more than 1 category to target the right audience. Here is an article sharing the steps and more information on Business Categories.

2. Share your business location and page with your customers: Share your location link and the business page with your customers. This will help them find your listing without any hassle. This will also help in improving the search history and prominence for your business. There are two ways to share the business location:
a. On your Google My Business dashboard (business.google.com) click on View Locations and use the link in the address bar.
b. Search for your business listing on Google Maps using business name and address > Click on the Share icon > Use the link you get to share with your customers.

3. Delighted customers are the best promoters: Ask your customers to share their experience. Reviews are a way of looking at a business through somebody else’s eye. This can help people in choosing your business over your competitor’s. You can check out more details here: Get Reviews on Google.

4. Share what’s new: People mostly follow the listings where business updates are regularly posted. Make the best of all the options available in post (Text, Photos, Videos, Links, Events and Polls). Learn about sharing updates in Google My Business.

5. Share Photos with your customers: You can upload photos related to your business on your Google listing. Steps: Go to business.google.com > Click on “Manage Locations” > Click on the Photos tab.” – Rahul J, Google employee

If you’re in too deep and feeling like you can’t keep track of social media, web, and SEO for your organization, we can help! Give us a call or drop us a line today.

Have a question regarding entrepreneurship in the digital age? Ask the Expert in a comment below!

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About the Author

Erin Bernhard Having dived in to her love affair with words at an early age, Erin is no stranger to writing great copy. She has arrived in the Lions’ Den wielding a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan and extensive experience in content development, digital marketing strategy, and social media management — and she’s always hungry to learn more. Erin has a knack for storytelling and a passion for listening that have proven to be the winning combination when it comes to great client relations. Communication is the key to success in any business and Erin stops at nothing to ensure that her clients’ voices are heard

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