Changes from Google could be affecting how customers are able to find your business. You may notice that Google Maps are now listing businesses according to more than just location proximity and industry categories. Google uses business identifier to list businesses that they deem to be the most relevant. So how do you make sure your business listing doesn’t get pushed to the bottom? Check out these helpful tips!
- Verify your Business Listing
Checking that your Google+ business page is verified is the very first thing to do. Not sure if you have one? Well chances are you probably do, all thanks to Google! Years ago Google created roughly 83 million business pages based upon data that was already on the Internet.
To find your business, go to Google and type in “Google my business”. Click to the Google My Business page, then click the Get Onto Google button. It will prompt you to enter your Google email address and password to log in. Don’t worry if you don’t have one; you can sign up for a password. Next, in the search bar where it says “find your business,” type the name of your business and it should bring up your business listing.
Google will tell you whether the listing is claimed and if it’s claimed with the email address you are using. If it is, then you can log in and edit the page. If the email doesn’t match, then you need to claim your business.
Claiming your business is simple. You just need to verify that you are the owner. You can do this by having a verification pin sent to your phone, or by postcard. Your best bet is to have it sent via your phone because a postcard could take up to two weeks to receive.
- Choose the Correct Category
Once your business page is verified, you then need to check that your business is registered in the correct category. You can check your business category by searching for your business on Google. In the search results, it will show underneath your business name the primary business category you are registered under.
If the category that is selected for your business is incorrect, then you can edit the category by searching for a classification that is better suited. You can do this in the Google My Business Centre.
Name, Address, Phone Citation or NAP, is the next thing to do! You need to make sure the name, address and phone number of your business are registered correctly. This is known as a NAP citation and is important because Google uses this to recognize whether your business is trusted and relevant in the local area. After you verify your NAP, check that it is the same as the listing on your website.
- Citations Listed in Business Directories
Once you’ve completed all the above, you now need to consider how many citations are online and how consistent they are. If your business has moved and changed its address, then there may be a harmful amount of inconsistent citations across the Internet. So you need to check on other local business directories and sites, such as, Yelp, Yell, and Freeindex, to see if your NAP citation is the same as your website and Google + page.
Being a trusted provider is important to Google, so having a number of consistent NAP citations on dependable business directories is good!
- Positive Reviews
Having positive reviews about your business is important in terms of local search and can significantly help your business listing on Google. When people search for what they need in Google, Google will pull the most relevant businesses and will also consider the user generated content around those businesses via reviews.
Your business will typically need more 5-star reviews than your competitors in your local area to stand out in Google’s top 3 listings. Coming up with a review collection strategy could really help your business. Asking satisfied customers to go on Google and leave feedback about their experience could help persuade potential clients that your business is the best in the area. Also, the more positive feedback will protect your reputation if you do receive a negative review.