There are many things you can do to help your business website rank in Google. In this week’s edition of my new series, How to get to get to the top of Google, I’ll be outlining how a well-optimised Google My Business (GMB) listing can get you onto page one in the local listings.
But first, I’ll start by explaining the different ways in which you can be on the first page of Google.
At the top and bottom of the page are the Google ads which companies pay for. Then you have the local listings which are called the local pack and below that the organic search results. Quite often, especially for search phrases which are questions, such as How do I make the perfect mojito? you’ll see the featured snippet result which is at the top of everything and known in the trade as being Google position Zero.
Having a Google My Business listing gets you into the local listings. To improve your chances of being in the local pack of the 3 visible listings shown towards the top of the page, you can optimise your listing by taking advantage of its additional features.
Set up your Google My Business listing
Firstly if you haven’t already done so you need to claim and verify your business to create your Google My Business listing at google.co.uk/business
Create your free listing with information about your business such as your address, images, contact details and opening times.
5 Google My Business features to get you to the top of the pack
By using the extra Google My Business features, you can seek to outdo your competitors and get into that top 3 position on the first page of Google.
1. Customer reviews
Almost all online customers refer to reviews before making a purchase. Google is providing a free online review collection service so take advantage of it! The more reviews and stars you have the more your listings stand out so ask your customers to review your business as often as you can.
The benefits of using Google Reviews aren’t just in the search engine optimisation gains (getting you on page one) but also in assisting customer conversions and making your listing stand out from the crowd, especially when your competitors aren’t collecting reviews, as shown to the right.
2. Business descriptions
At one point the descriptions function in Google My Business was disabled because Google felt he was being abused. Fortunately it’s back! This space is your opportunity to describe your business in 750 characters or less.
3. Google Posts
In the same way that you are posting updates or articles on your website and social media channels you can post on your Google My Business listing. The Google Posts feature gives you up to 300 words per post to update customers about company events product releases or other announcements. You can also include an image and Call To Action (CTA) in the the posts.
4. Questions and answers
Instead of private messages between you and your customers that might become repetitious Google My Business has a feature that will enable a public listing of these questions and answers. You can’t seed it yourself but you can ask some friends or family members to do so.
5. Service menus
Previously only available to restaurants, businesses can add their services as menu items, so whatever business you are, whether an accountant, beautician or chiropractic clinic, you use this feature get your services seen in search results.
To conclude, I urge you to use these features because they not only work, but a Google My Business listing is free and Google loves it when we use their products and rewards us with higher rankings in the search results.