Google My Business – how to make your way to the top

15 December 2019By Michelle

Google keeps our world turning – from stepping in when we fall ill and playing doctor, to helping us find local services and establishments in milliseconds. So, you probably already know just how much of a good business move it would be to bag yourself a top spot on Google My Business. But between where you are now (which might be somewhere lurking around on page nine), and where you want to be (numero un deux or trois on Google Businesses) are six steps and (we’ll be honest) hours of work.

So, before we dig in, you’ll need stead-fast commitment (this is going to take time and effort). If you’re ready, then let’s get to work.

 

Step One: Let’s see what you’re competing with

First things first, let’s take a look at the businesses that currently hold the first, second and third place spots in your area, for your industry.

Simply Google “Business Type + Area”. In this instance, I’ve tapped in “Family Lawyer Birmingham” (the first pic). You might also want to change it around to see whether there are any differences in the results. In my second search, I typed “Birmingham Family Law”.

Take a moment to review each listing – how many reviews do they have? how much information have they provided? Have they uploaded images and written compelling copy that makes you want to call the business? Whatever you see here, THIS is what you’re competing with.

Family Lawyer Birmingham

Step Two: Sign up for Google My Business

Head over to Google My Business and fill in your details. You’ll then probably need to wait for a postcard to arrive via post. Once this arrives, you tap the code it contains into Google My Business. This verifies that you are the business owner and that your company is indeed based at the address you’ve provided.

Step Three: Create your profile

Now the work begins. It’s time to add your information. Don’t skip any of the following steps – your profile must be 100% complete.

  • Claim your listing using your actual business name
  • Pick a category as close as possible to your industry
  • Provide as much data as you can
  • Enter and double check your phone number
  • Add your opening times
  • Add some images of your products/business premises/team
  • Going forward, make sure you keep the data up to date

 

Once done, head over to the Google My Business Guidelines Checker– a tool created by Synup to help businesses owners get their Google My Business set up right.

From here on in, you’ll need to check in with your listing at least one a month (especially when it comes to monitoring reviews). Speaking of which…

 

Step Four: Focus on gathering glowing reviews

Reviews play a key role in where your listing is placed on Google My Business, so you’ll need to be on the offensive for gathering reviews week in, week out if you want to continually climb through the pages towards number one.

You can make this a little bit easier on yourself by building review requests into your business processes. Here are some ideas…

  • If you own an ecommerce store, ask for reviews in the email that follows after each delivery
  • If you have a bricks and mortar store, add flyers to your checkout desk
  • Post on social media requesting your followers to leave a review

 

Step Five: Invite your customers in, with an online tour

There’s nothing quite like a virtual tour to help you stand out from the crowd on Google, and with Tour Creator, a free tool from Google, the possibilities are endless. Go head, go explore (don’t blame us if you lose an afternoon in the solar system however!).

Should you want to show your visitors around your business from the comfort of their office chair, there are plenty of service providers out there that (such as Google Maps’ photographers).

 

Step Six: Don’t forget all the other steps for boosting your local SEO

There’s a whole online world out there beyond Google My Business, and your work on other websites (including your own and industry directories) can and does influence where your company will be listed on the Google map.

Here are just a few examples…

  • Linking to inner pages from your about page
  • Going all in on content marketing (based on solid keyword research)
  • Getting backlinks from local, non-competitive fellow businesses
  • Gaining positive PR – in local magazines, podcasts and newspapers
  • Making sure your website loads quickly

 

Lead Social’s SEO service can assist with improving your Google ranking. Get in touch to learn more.

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