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How to Improve Local Search with Google My Business

When you’re a small business, your local search engine results are important. You want interested parties to be able to quickly and easily find your business amid the crowd of others–not to mention directing local searchers straight to you. Unfortunately, boosting your local search engine results isn’t always as easy as it sounds. By creating a Google My Business Account, however, you can substantially increase the effectiveness of your local search results and make it easier for local searchers to find your business.

Creating your Google My Business Account is a critical step in increasing your SEO and raising your online exposure. Like Google Places, its predecessor, it’s designed to increase exposure for your business and make it easier for customers to find you. It has the added benefits of being connected to Google+, Adwords, Map, and Search, increasing its power and your exposure with one simple profile.

Creating Your Account

Creating your Google My Business account is relatively simple and straightforward. First, you’ll have to create an account. Visit the Google My Business Page and click “Get on Google.” From there, it’s easy to keep your account organized: just follow the relevant steps as outlined by Google. If your address isn’t already listed, you may have to verify it: a simple postcard is usually enough to do the trick! From there, you’re ready to use one of the most valuable SEO features in the industry.

Make Sure Your Information is Right

Many customers, when searching directly for your business, will end up on your Google My Business Page–and they may not look any further than that. This means that all of the relevant information about your business needs to be correct, including:

  • Your address (note that you’ll need to use your street address, since Google My Business won’t accept a P.O. Box)
  • Your telephone number or numbers
  • Your email address
  • Your daily business hours (note that it’s acceptable for your business to operate on different hours for holidays; however, you’ll want to update information for the big holidays so customers can find it)

When your information is correct, it makes it easy for customers to get in touch with you. Incorrect information, on the other hand, can make it incredibly difficult to locate you or connect with your customer service department–and that can mean some seriously dissatisfied customers. Check your Google My Business information periodically to ensure that it matches with your actual information, and make updating it part of the plan any time you change your address or telephone number.

Check Your Image

The image associated with your Google My Business account may be the single most important image you put online. It’s the first image that many people will see when they are looking for your business–and it significantly increases both click rates and requests for directions to your business. Your image should:

  • Reflect your business
  • Be recognizable to your customers so that they’ll know they’re looking at your business
  • Meet Google’s algorithms: that is, it’s more likely to be accepted for use on all of Google’s platforms if it’s an image that is a picture of your building (either inside or out) or a shot of a common product.
  • Look great at small sizes, since Google will use that image in a variety of formats

If you need to see how your business’s local search results look on critical pages like Google, our free scan can help. In a matter of minutes, you can determine the effectiveness of your local marketing efforts and fix up anything that’s been ignored. Need more help building your local search optimization? Contact us today to learn how we can help.

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