When it comes to managing your online business presence, it may seem like a particularly daunting task, especially if you compare yourself to large corporations. There is no way around the simple fact that they have a multitude of extra resources to dedicate to this task that a small business owner simply will not have.
The great news about this is that Google My Business offers a very simplistic way to promote your business on a mostly equal level with these larger corporations. If you are not utilizing Google My Business, or even if you want to learn how to optimize it for your business, read on and see how much Google My Business can help the average small business owner.
Back in the stone age (aka pre-internet), phone books served immense value to local communities. It was how people found local businesses and indeed many businesses sought strategies to list themselves with “A” to get the opportunity to be listed in the first spot in the list.
Now, Google Maps essentially serves the purpose of an online directory, and they have their own way of listing companies. How do they rank companies? They do it by primarily listing them by which they think provides the most information and content for users searching for that service. You can read more about these factors on their help center page here.
So why should small business owners make this extra effort? It is a fair bit of time setting up the local listing and then more time spent adding content/keeping it up to date. However, the payoff can be great. To see this in action, go ahead and type into google search “lawyers in los angeles” or feel free to replace that with your business service in your city.
From the screenshot, Google My business listings are showing at the top of the page. Many companies will spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on search engine optimization to get their website listed on the front page but Google prioritizes showing Google My business pages over the organic results! They are prioritizing a free service at the top of the page. Why? Because the search query was specific to a city and that is how Google views their business pages. As the new yellowbook that helps people find local businesses.
So how does one go about meeting those goals? How does one improve the ranking for a Google My Business Profile? Well first, if there is anyone who tells you that they can guarantee a spot/position, be very wary as Google keeps their algorithm confidential and there is never a guarantee on how you will rank.
The easiest/simple answer however is to fill out every Google My Business section in detail. It sounds stupid simple but these are sections Google has provided to you, mainly because they view these sections as being important to users who are searching for information.
So, to improve the ranking of a local Google Business page, you can greatly increase your chances by updating every field and category that Google offers. This includes a detailed description, a comprehensive list of services that you offer, multiple photos/videos, posts, and multiple reviews. If you offer a certain type of service that does not show up in Google’s selection, create a custom category to tailor to that specific audience. Basically, the ultimate goal is to provide an extra level of detail about your business so when Google is looking at which businesses to promote, you make your business stand out.
In closing, taking advantage of the features/services that Google My Business offers is a surefire way to get extra information out there about your business to the local community. It is one that many people are not yet aware or familiar with how much of an impact that fully filling out a local business page can give, so take advantage while you can before it is too late.