Step One – Find Your Business in Local Search (GMB)The first step towards improving your Google My Business rankings is to find out how you’re doing in the first place. To find your business in Local Search, ensure you’re physically near your business. Next, search for your company name on Google. If you don’t see it, ensure your device has its location settings enabled. Otherwise, Google won’t know exactly where the search is coming from. You’ll have to complete your Google My Business Profile if you still don’t find your business. Filling out your profile with more detailed information lets Google know where your company is and that you’d like to appear in Local Search results on their platforms. Learn all about how to fill out your profile here. If you already have a filled-out GMB profile and still don’t find your business through Local Search, then don’t fret. There are a few things you can do to help improve your ranking.
Step Two – Update the Information on Your Google My Business ProfileOnce you’ve found your business through Local Search, check your profile’s information. Doing so is essential because Google allows all of its users to make an edit to your profile’s information. So, naturally, regularly keeping an eye on your profile and updating it with current information is imperative for improving your GMB rankings and maintaining your business profile. Without constant vigilance, anyone could change their hours, address, prices, and more. Those changes can hurt your business. To learn how to update your GMB profile, head over to this Google My Business Help article. Additionally, Google prefers what they call “complete data” for your GMB profile. What they mean by that is you should always ensure your GMB profile has your complete address (including state and zip code), your business hours (including special hours for holidays), your phone number, your business category, and all your business attributes (services, prices, etc.).
Step Three – Verify Your Physical Address Location with GoogleGoogle suggests that you “verify your business to give [it] the best opportunity to appear for users across Google products, like Maps and Search” (GMB Help). To verify your physical address and location with Google My Business, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your GMB account
- Select your business and click “Verify Now.”
- You’ll be directed to a postcard request screen. On this screen, make sure that the displayed address is accurate.
- Click on the “Send Postcard” button.
- Routinely check your mail for the postcard and follow the instructions.
Step Four – Add Some PicturesAccording to Google themselves, adding pictures to your GMB listing showcases your services and products. The more accurate, appealing, and high-quality those pictures and graphics are, the better they show potential customers how well your business fits their needs. Okay, so adding pictures to your profile is essential. However, that begs the question: visions of what? Generally, it’s best to add the following types of images to your GMB listings:
- The products your company makes
- Your services offered
- Employees and staff performing their various duties
- In-progress projects
- Your business participating in local events
Step Five – Respond to Your Reviews, Positive AND NegativeOne of the best (and sometimes most important) features of Google My Business is the ability to respond to and leave reviews. To improve your rankings in Local Search, ensure that you respond to and manage all the reviews for your company. To respond to a review on GMB, first, log in to your business profile. Then, navigate to the reviews tab and scroll down to read your thoughts. Generally, it’s best to respond to negative and positive reviews. Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of only responding to negative reviews to try and save themselves from the backlash of a publicly unhappy customer. However, responding to negative and positive reviews shows your customers that you care about them regardless of whether they’re happy with your services.
Conclusions on Improving Your Google My Business RankingsTo wrap things up, improving your Google My Business rankings is as easy as following these five steps:
- Find your business in Local Search
- Update the information on your GMB profile (and keep it updated)
- Verify your business location with the Google postcard system
- Add pictures to your GMB listing
- Respond to your reviews, both positive AND negative
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