Learn How To Create and Optimise Your Google Business Listing So That Your Business Stands Out Above The Rest

Outstanding Business | Business Listing | SEO Company Sydney

Creating and optimising your Google Business Listing (also known as Google Places or My Business Page) is a great way to attract local customers and build revenue for your business. This step-by-step guide will help you to get things underway and teach you how to best optimise your listing to stand out in the Search Engine Results Pages (“SERPS”).

Step 1 | Claim / Create your Business Listing

If you have already created/claimed a My Business Page for your business, scroll down to Step 3.

If you’re not sure whether you have one or not, head to Google’s My Business Page and click “Start Now”. Type the name of your business under the Business Name section in the top panel. If your business pops up as an option then Google has it listed already. Watch the video below to see how to claim your business if it pops up as an option:

If there is a My Business Page already set up for you business, but someone else is using it, follow the steps on this page from Google.

If there is no page for you business, type in your business name, address, phone number, category and website. It is important to enter all your details correctly and include a category which most accurately reflects your business type. This way people searching under your category, for businesses in the area are more likely to end up on your business listing. Watch the video below for an example My Business Page setup:

Step 2 | Verify Your Location 

Once you have entered your basic details or claimed your already-existing listing, you will be prompted to verify that your business is located at the listed address. Click “Verify” and Google will send you a postcard with pin number. Enter the pin under the “Verify Location” section and your address will be listed as verified. This can be done at any stage, but we recommend that you do it as soon as possible to legitimise your business listing and unlock all the useful functions that your My Business Page has to offer.

Step 3 | Customise your Listing

Business listings make use of Google Pigeon, an algorithm that provides preference to local search results. So when customising your listing, don’t think globally, think locally! Even if your business does not rank on a global scale, it may well show up as the top result for business of its type in your area.

Here are some things to think about when customising your business listing:

What services do you provide?

Business Listing | SEO Company Sydney

Your business listing allows you to enter 5 different categories for your business. Make sure you utilise these categories. For example, let’s say you run a Surf Shop by the beach. Of course you will be entering the category “Surf Shop” but also include all other services that you offer, for example “Surf School”, “Surfboard Hire”, “Men’s Clothing” and/or “Women’s Clothing”.

What kind of image do you want to portray?

Business Listing | SEO Company Sydney

Uploading photographs to your business listing is a great way to provide people with a quick and stimulating insight into what your business is all about. Avoid low resolution, poorly lit images. You may even consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos of your shop or some of the products you provide.

Cafes and restaurants in particular benefit hugely from having a range of bold and interesting images of their food and/or drinks. If there are three cafes on the same street, often customers who are undecided on where they will go to eat, will make up their mind based on a quick scroll-through of the photographs in the business listings page.

What’s your business story?

Business Listing | SEO Company Sydney

Be sure to include a brief, informative spiel on what your business is all about and what services it offers. Certainly include your keywords in here to improve your SERP results, but don’t keyword-cram! Instead, write unique, relevant content that sets your business above the rest.

Step 4 | Improve your ranking

Now that you have laid the groundwork, depending on your business and locality, you may find that your business listing already ranks quite well. However, if you would like to be ranked higher, there are a number of things you can do. These include:

Creating legitimate and ethical backlinks to other local and national business directories

Business Listing | SEO Company Sydney

The more valuable backlinks you have the more you will stand out in the SERPS. Some of the many local business directories you might be able to list in (depending on your business) include:

  1. Local Business Guide
  2. KM Directory
  3. Start Local
  4. SEEK Business

Generate a wealth of favourable reviews

Business Listing | SEO Company Sydney

Positive reviews increase your business’s visibility in search results. When you have say 20 reviews on your My Business Page, you will inevitably stand out from similar businesses who don’t have as many.

Here are two great ways to get your review page kick-started with some positive feedback from your customers:

  1. Create a link for customers to write reviews using the steps on this page.
  2. Just ask! Whether you write it on chalkboard outside your shop or engage with customers on a personal level, be sure to ask for reviews in a friendly and non-confrontational way. Customers don’t like to feel forced into writing reviews, however, if someone shows they are pleased with your service, it is a good idea to give them a gentle reminder that their kind words can help spread the love that your business provides. Sometimes all people need can be a nudge in the right direction!

Business Listing | SEO Company SydneyDon’t forget:  If someone writes a bad review or a complaint on your Google Business Listing review page, you should reply to it personally to quell an angry soul and/or negate any erroneous or damaging claims made about your business.

For a list of review content which will be taken down by Google, check out Google’s review policy.

Write fresh, relevant and timely ‘Google Posts’

Business Listing | SEO Company SydneyBusiness Listing | SEO Company Sydney

Google Posts were initially created for political candidates to post relevant content during election campaigns in January 2016. They were then opened up for a very select number of small businesses in March 2016. Luckily, everything changed for the best in June 2017 when they became available for use by all businesses with a listing on My Business Pages. Google Posts on your My Business Page allow business owners to:

  1. Upload an images
  2. Write 300 words of texts
  3. Create events with start and end times
  4. Add call-to-actions buttons including:
    1. Reserve
    2. Sign up
    3. Buy
    4. Get offer

Google Posts are a great way to showcase top products, inform customers about special deals and events and allow customers to buy or sign up with just a few clicks. They expire within 7 days so they need to be relevant and timely. They do have an impact on your ranking, so get posting!

Upload Images… and lots of them!

Business Listing | SEO Company Sydney

Our research has shown that it is best to have images that are:

  1. High resolution. (Check out the Google’s Best Practises for Photos here.)
  2. Updated regularly, to ensure that your listing is fresh and timely.
  3. Abundant. The more the merrier!

Remember to make sure you’re aware of the legality of posting images as a business as different rules apply for business than for individuals.

Step 5 | Analyse your Business Listing on Google Insights

When your My Business Page has been verified and up and running for some time a great way to monitor how customers interact with your business is through the Insights function provided by Google. This allows you to determine/monitor:

  1. How customers find your listing through a “direct” search (ie through searching for your business name) or a “discovery” search (ie through searching for the service or product that you provide or your business category).
  2. How customers find you on Google (ie through Google Search or Google Maps)
  3. What customer do once they reach your listing, for example, visit your website, request directions to your address, call you or view your photos. These referred to by Google as “Customer Actions.”
  4. Where people are situated when they request directions to your business address.
  5. When and how often customers called your business via your My Business Page. Google offers a graph to show phone-call trends by time of the day or day of the week.
  6. How often your business photos are being viewed.

So, what are you waiting for? Get with the times – get cracking on your Google Business Listing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *