For years, a coveted goal of small businesses has been to reach the first page of Google’s search results. The search giant offers several tools to help them achieve this goal, but few are as important as the Google My Business listing.
In fact, the GMB listing has become so important to consumers that Google will sometimes generate them automatically for local businesses. Locals can use these listings to find the address, check its hours and leave reviews.
Still, the information it attempts to gather isn’t always accurate. Business hours are the most common mishap. Others include missing the website and listing the wrong business category. This is important because the listing represents the business on the world’s largest search engine. If the listing’s information is inaccurate, consumers are less likely to trust the business.
Google Maps and Navigation Results
Consumers increasingly rely on Google Maps, Waze and other smartphone apps to find and navigate to local businesses. Both Waze and Google Maps rely on information provided in the Google My Business listing. If your business name or address is listed incorrectly, potential customers may not find you. You can only correct this information after claiming your listing.
Google My Business Posts
Google+ quickly became popular among small businesses for its search ranking opportunities. Unfortunately, it didn’t become popular among many others and was shut down in 2018. However, one of its most important functions for small businesses remains: posts. You can now publish posts directly to your GMB listing. These posts can separated by categories such as announcements, sales, events and updates. You can post product pictures, schedule community events and share blog posts to the listing.
Although Yelp, Yellow Pages and Facebook dominate localized listing directories, there are actually dozens of these platforms. Google looks for consistent information among them when ranking local businesses. So, it’s important to ensure that the information listed across the web matches your GMB listing.
Full Media Experience
Google My Business listings now include rich media. You can upload pictures, videos and 360 tours. These media options are a great way to showcase the products, services or activities your business offers. So, local consumers get a better understanding of your business. You can entice them to learn more with high-quality media.
Just remember, customers can also post media to your GMB listing. Unfortunately, they don’t put much of an emphasis on professionalism when taking pictures or videos with a smartphone. Even worse, their contributions will still be around after you’ve renovated or added new products. If you want to maintain control over the message that potential customers receive, it’s important to add your own media. It’s also important to ensure that images are clear, well-lit and use the rule of thirds.
The sooner you claim your Google My Business listing, the sooner it will begin working for your business. If you are not sure of how to claim or manage it, give us a call! We specialize in local SEO and digital marketing in Chattanooga and beyond. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.